Hi guys!!! 🙂 Happy Tuesday wherever you are in the world!
Today’s post is going to be a continuation to my current workout routine. If you remember, back in April I did a post solely dedicated to my leg day workout routine (which I will leave linked here in case you guys wanted to check it out), so now this will be completely dedicated to my upper body routine. I will be going into detail about the different workouts I do for upper body, how many sets I tend to do, the weights I use, etc. and using demonstrative images for how (for the most part) the movements for each workout should be looking.
But before I get started, I just want to remind you guys that I am in no way, shape or form a trainer and/or fitness expert, nor am I trying to be. I googled a lot of the technical terms mentioned just to be able to make sure that I named everything correctly but also put in parentheses (a lot of the time) the basic terms for what I was saying. This post is simply meant to show/explain to you guys the workout routines that we (Diego and I) have been sticking to recently. If you have any questions for anything directly related to the workouts or our progress with doing these workouts, please feel free to leave a comment below with it OR reach out to me on any of my social media platforms and I’ll be more than happy to answer them 🙂 !
So let’s get into it already!
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For starters, we tend to divide our upper body routines between focusing on chest or shoulders (we’ll do one of each on each upper body day we have which is typically 2 throughout the week).
If you remember from my leg day routine, we like to start off all of our workouts with a compound movement that will pretty much work all of the areas that we’re trying to focus on for that day, while also working as a warm-up for us for the rest of the workout.
On the day that I’m posting this we’ll be focusing on chest mainly, so I’ll start with that.
- Bench Press
Bench pressing is a core fundamental exercise in developing a person’s upper body strength. It’s something that not only works your pectorals (chest), but also anterior deltoids (shoulders), triceps, and latissimus dorsi (your back). Like any other workout, I like to start off warming up on somewhat of a low weight, so I’ll normally just start off with the bar.
I typically tend to do about 3 warm-up sets (with a different, slightly heavier weight each time), and then 3-4 actual working sets (while being consistent with one particular weight at that point); so roughly 6-7 sets in total, although a lot of people don’t like to count warm up sets, I do. 🤷🏻♀️
The amount of weight that I add and/or maintain depends on whether it’s heavy week for us or not. So, since my leg day routine post I based it off when we were in heavy week, I’ll do this one when we’re just maintaining good weight for reps of 7-10. So my sets will look a little something like this:
1 set of 10 on just the bar. 1 set of 8 on just the bar again. Then I’ll add weight to the bar with 10lbs on each side (65lbs total) for 7-8 reps. I could do more reps on this weight because it is really light, but the purpose is to do enough to meet the set ‘requirement,’ but also to not completely tire myself out on my warm up before my actual working set. My next set will most likely begin my working sets which, as of right now, would be 20lbs on each side (90lbs in total). Recently I’ve been able to do 4 sets with this weight and (almost) easily hit 8-9 reps, but it KILLS afterwards lol (in the best way possible).
2. Shoulder Press
The next compound movement we do when we’re focusing on shoulders, would be barbell shoulder press. This is a great workout to do to stabilize your core. Although the majority of your power from doing this is coming from your deltoids, you’d also be working your rear deltoids, upper pectoral muscles, triceps and traps (upper back).
I typically tend to do more or less the same amount of sets for this as I would do if I was benching. Weight-wise though, this is a little more difficult and I haven’t been able to go TOO heavy (yet 😉 ). So as always I’ll start off with the bar to be able to warm up for a set or two, so it’ll be like: 1 set of 10 on just the bar, then another set of maybe 8-9 on the bar again. To bump up weight, I’ll just add 5lbs on both sides to start off (55lbs in total) for about 7-8 reps. And then finally for my working set I’ll put 10lbs on both sides (65lbs in total), for about 7 or 8 reps, or just as many as I could push for honestly. It’s a tough workout to master, but it’s honestly become one of my favorites for working shoulders.
3. Bend Over Rows
This is another one of those great compound movement workouts, because it pretty much works every muscle in your back, rear delts, and even biceps. And if you’re doing the workout right, you’ll feel the burn from this almost immediately.
I believe the heaviest I’ve done with this is actually 95lbs in total, and I can do a consistent 7-8 reps with it. So I’ll pretty much start off with 10lbs on each side (65lbs total) for 10 reps, then jump straight to 95lbs and be consistent with that for my next 2 sets. 95lbs is still pretty heavy to me with this movement, so I’ll ultimately just try to push for as many reps as I can get done.
4. Lateral Pulldown
This is DEFINITELY a favorite of mine for working out my back. This one is good because it not only works your back, but also your biceps and forearms in the process. Personally, I love doing workouts where I’m targeting several different muscles at once.
For the most part, everything after our main compound exercise, I’ll stick to doing only 3 sets of. My first set I’ll start off on 35lbs for about 10 reps, just to start feeling the movement. Then for my next 2 sets I’ll either maintain one particular weight, just doing a different amount of reps (or as many as I can, again), or I’ll do 2 different weights while also hitting the amount of reps necessary to complete the set. Recently, I’ve been sticking to the same weight just to be able to get used to that one weight, so that once heavy week rolls around, I’ll be able to be and feel stronger to go higher in weight. So for my next 2 sets I’ll bump up the weight to 42.5lbs for 7-8 reps more or less.
5. Barbell Curls
For the next 3 workouts, we move to the free weights section, starting off with some good old fashion curls. This exercise is what’s known as an isolation type of exercise which means it’s an exercise that “involves only one joint and a limited number of muscle groups.” You’re primarily working your biceps here.
I do three sets of these, pretty much maintaining the same weight throughout all of the sets, just mainly focusing on doing as many reps as possible. So I’ll pretty much do a set of 10, a set of 9 and a set of 8 on 35lbs.
6. Tricep Extensions
These are legit one of my FAVORITE arm workouts to do. It’s similar to the barbell curls in that I maintain a certain weight (which in this case would either be 22.5lbs or 25lbs depending on how I feel and whichever weight is available when I need it lol), while doing as many reps as I can.
I’m pretty good with this workout in particular, so I can normally push myself to do 3 sets of 10 or even 12 reps for them all, but I’m weird so every set I do needs to be a different number of reps haha. 🙃 Also, personally, I tend to do this workout while I’m sitting down instead of standing up like in the photo. I’ve never really tried it standing up before, so I’m not really sure if you feel much of a difference in the movement, but I’m pretty sure it really just comes down to personal preference for how you do it.
7. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Ultimately, this is the same thing as doing the shoulder press with the barbell like how I mentioned earlier, the only difference is that you’re using the free weights for it and doing each individual arm to make sure you’re developing the muscle/strength in both arms evenly (does that make sense? I hope so).
I’ll do this workout for three sets, and just like the 2 previous workouts, I’ll maintain a certain weight which, in this case, would probably be 20lb dumbbell weights for 8-10 reps, or just as many as I’m able to push through.
8. Tricep Pulldown
Another absolute favorite of mine which is EXTREMELY similar to that of tricep extensions. Honestly, they’re pretty much the exact same thing (I think), and you’re working the exact same tricep muscle; the only difference is the way you’re doing the movement. One of them you’re raising the weight up, and the other you’re pulling it down. But the results are or should be (hopefully) the same thing, which is gaining muscle and strength in your triceps.
I do three sets of these, for the most part all different weights. I’ll start off with 25lbs and do 10 reps of those. Then I’ll bump the weight up to 30lbs, and do 7-8 reps of that. Doing that second set and seeing how I feel after it will really determine whether or not I’ll bump the weight for that third set or just maintain and try to push to get the set done. Some days I can bump the weight up to 35lbs and be okay, and then there are those days where you just don’t really feel it, and just end up maintaining the weight you just did, you know?
9. Seated Low Rows (A.K.A. Lateral Rows to me and Diego lol)
This is a GREAT back workout. Definitely one of my favorites. You end up working your trapezius muscles, latissimus dorsi, the erector spinae, rear deltoids, biceps, biceps brachialis, and forearm flexors….. pretty much your entire back area to dumb it down a bit lol.
My three sets of this will usually start off with me doing 10 reps on 35lbs, which I’ll usually end up having to push through, but not in a bad way. It’s like a healthy push, not like I’m struggling to hit 10. For my next 2 sets I’ll usually bump the weight to 42.5lbs, and on this weight it’s a little more of a struggle, but I can usually push myself to hit 7-9 reps for both sets.
10. Kettlebell Pull-Ups
I’ve been saying this for like the majority of the workouts I’ve spoken about, but this is one of my top 5 favorites!!! 😂. The main things that are being worked with this work out would be your back muscles, posterior deltoids (your shoulders), and biceps.
This is a favorite simple workout, which I tend to stay very consistent with in the weight I use. Lately I’ve been doing 3 sets with the 26.4lbs kettle bell. On that weight, depending on how I feel since this would normally be one of the, if not the, last workout I do for upper body, I can do anywhere from 8-12 reps for all of my sets.
And finally, to end my workout as a whole, I’ll typically do some cardio. Just like I mentioned in my leg day routine, we typically try to hit cardio AT LEAST 3-4 times a week (if not more) after our workouts. I’ll do the treadmill, sometimes Diego will do it with me and other times he’ll just do the stair-master. Depending what time it is by the time we finally finish the entire workout, will determine how long we do cardio for. Now I’m able to do cardio anywhere from 30-45 minutes without any issues, which would typically allow me to burn anywhere from 300-450 calories, if not more, depending on how high the speed and incline is (which, I keep at 10.5 incline, and 2.8 speed).
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Well there you guys have it. That’s my entire workout routine that Diego and I have been following for quite some time now. There’s been a few new workouts that we’ve incorporated to both our routines lately, but being that they are all fairly new still, I didn’t think it was that necessary to speak about them yet since we’re both still getting used to them. But all of the ones that I mentioned are what we consistently ALWAYS do. Hope they were of some type of help to you guys.
Also, once I figure out how (or if I really want) to incorporate videos on my blog as well, I would love to do a more demonstrative sort of updated version of these routines, just to show you guys how I do the movements, how their supposed to look, etc.
Stay tuned to my upcoming posts, they’re gonna be some fun ones! 😀
*I do not own any of these images, they were all taken from Google.*
-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤