Last week during a run, I had an epiphany. Said epiphany led to my first entry detailing my strength training. I decided to break up the strength training entries… because… well… because I felt like it.
Anywho – here is part two
Upper Body Stuff
Chest (option 1) – Seated Pushup – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 Sets
This really isn’t my favorite and in all honesty, it is the option I go with when I have already waited for my preferred option for longer than I like and I am still not able to use the machine. So, its more of a last resort. And yes, I could do regular old fashioned push-ups… but I HATE doing those… even though it really is a good exercise.
Chest (option 2) – Seated Butterfly – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 Sets
This is my preferred option. I have always been a huge fan of the butterfly exercise. I use the machine version simply because all the benches near the free weights tend to have some sort of understood weight list and I tend to get frustrated when I have to wait too long to do an exercise… after all, I want to keep my heart rate up a bit. So when at the gym, I throw in the towel and use the machine.
Upper Back (option 1) – Pull Down Machine – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 Sets
I usually do more than one exercise that targets (mainly) the upper back muscles. This overall exercise is just about as old school as you can get. I keep wanting to try to the machine that is also a pull down but it is a bit more free form (again, I don’t actually know what some of the machines are called) but there is that whole waiting thing. One observation I have made at the gym is guys tend to focus only the vanity muscles… in other words, the muscles they can see because “If I can’t see it then I don’t need to lift it” (yes, I have actually heard that phrase utter numerous times). This mindset tends to make it difficult to use certain machines…
Upper Back (option 2) – Seated Low Row – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 SetsAnother very good option and my favorite of the two (even though I do both when I hit the gym). There are lots of versions of a “row” to target the same muscles. And I have done a good portion of them but this one still remains my favorite. It is certainly challenging for me but not so much so that I feel like I am never making progress. In fact, I had a break through last week when my third set didn’t feel brutally hard so I was able to add on the 4th set. I was very excited! Progress!
Upper Back (option 3) – T Push-Ups – 12 Reps – 3 Sets (for now)
I just added this exercise back into my arsenal because it was always a save for when at home exercise. But given that the weather will be forcing me to run indoors for the foreseeable future, I figured why not add it back? And this is probably not the correct term but you stand with weights in both hands and your arms out (like a T) and bent at the elbows (kind of like a field goal in football…hmmm… maybe I should call this the field goal…) so your upper arm is parallel to the floor. You push the weight up and then return to start. Since I just added it back, I am working my way up to higher reps and an extra set. When doing this exercise on Friday, I knew the third set was maxed out for me because it was difficult
Shoulders (option 1) – Zippers – 12 Reps – 3 Sets
I started doing this instead of holding the weights by my sides and lifting the arms up to form a T because for some reason my shoulder pops whenever I do that move… and it hurts after a few reps… so I needed to find something else. So now I hold the weights in front of me and lift my arms up with the weight sort of ‘sliding’ up my torso (following the line of a zipper on a jacket… hence the name) and then lower the weight back down. There is no popping with this move so it works… although, I do think the other move is better. But I just can’t do it.
Shoulders (option 2) – Shrugs – 12 Reps – 3 Sets
I do this move along with the zippers. Hold the weights and then just shrug my shoulders. I actually never used to do this move but some several guys doing this move at the gym and thought I would give it a try. I often find you can get a lot of good workout ideas by simply observing the other people around you at the gym.
Triceps (option 1) – Tricep Dips – 12 Reps – 3 Sets
Admittedly, I should do this move more often… its been about a once every other week occurrence but should be done more often. This move is easy to do in between sets when I am on a machine. I know you can do this move on a yoga ball as well… but have yet to give that a shot.
Triceps (option 2) – Tricep Pull Downs – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 Sets
I use one of the machines to do this move… its the pulley looking machine (Haha… I really should figure out the technical term for this one). I like that you can change out the item that you hold. I can use a straight bar, ropes (which are awesome) or an angled bar. All work really well but work the muscle just a bit differently so I try to change up which item I use weekly.
Biceps (option 1) – Bicep Curls – 13 Reps – 3 Sets (for now)
Old school and basic but still effective. Granted a lot of the stuff I do will also work the biceps to a degree, this one is still my main choice. I have tried the machines at the gym that focus on the biceps but I find the positioning awkward and they make my wrist hurt for some reason.
Biceps (option 2) – Bar Bicep Curls – 10 Reps – 3 Sets
I don’t do this one too often but probably should have two exercises for the biceps. Not sure why, but this move always feels more difficult to me.
I am trying to do two exercise that target each muscle group for the upper body (and yes, probably should do the same for the lower body). But time does not always permit for that. I do what I can…