Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Upper Body Workouts

I’ve been sticking to my January workout schedule to a tee this week!


I like having a written out day-by-day schedule to keep me on track but I am always flexible if something comes up, I want to switch days around, or I just want to do a different kind of workout. For example, last week, I didn’t follow the schedule at all, but I still got in five workouts!

Here’s what I had planned:

Monday: legs, cardio
Tuesday: back/shoulders, cardio
Wednesday: long run (2.25 miles)
Thursday: chest/arms, cardio
Friday: cardio, abs

And here’s what I ended up doing:

Monday: 45 min cardio
Tuesday: legs, 30 min cardio
Wednesday: short run (~1 mile), 20 min Stepmill
Thursday: 30 min cardio
Friday: 60 min cycling class

As you can see, I nixed all the upper body workouts and focused on cardio and lower body – I even attended an unplanned cycling class! The reason I focused on lower body was because I actually hurt one of the muscles in my back during my crossfit workout I did when I was at Eric’s and it took the entire week to heal. I messed it up pretty bad! I couldn’t even sleep for the first couple nights after I hurt it. I’ve never tweaked a muscle in my back like that and I hope I never do it again. Not fun.


Anyway, since it’s almost the end of January, I thought I would share the two upper body workouts that I’ve been doing this month (click here to see my leg workout). One focuses on back and shoulders and the other focuses on chest and arms. They both left the respective muscle groups tired and super sore the next day, so you know they’re decent routines! To keep myself from getting bored, sometimes I’ll do them in a circuit-style manner, and a lot of times I will superset the exercises.


Back and Shoulders Workout

  • Pulldowns 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Bent-over row 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Dumbbell pullover 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Seated overhead press 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Lateral raise 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Front raise 3 sets x 10 reps

Chest and Arms Workout

  • Dumbbell press 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Dumbbell incline fly 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Cable curl 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Pressdowns 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Seated alternating dumbbell curl 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Overhead triceps extension 3 sets x 15 reps

I follow up both of these workouts with 20 to 30 minutes of cardio, usually on the Stepmill.



I’ve mentioned it before, but I absolutely love the Stepmill. The one pictured above is actually the exact one that I use at my gym, and it never fails to give me the most fantastic cardio workout ever. It’s much lower impact than running, but gets my heart rate up like no other cardio machine (besides the treadmill) can. I know it’s intimidating and it’s tempting to quit once you realize how difficult it is, but I highly recommend giving it a try!

Well, that’s all I got for the workout updates!

Questions for you all:

Have you been focusing on strength training at all this year?

What is your favorite cardio machine?


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