The Dragon’s Monster Mass Building Training Series continues this week with what may be the most intense workout yet. Today, we focus on the back and the biceps. That’s right. Consider this week’s post to be a “twofer”! This is easily one of my favorite workouts because of the insane pump that I get after doing it. Minutes after you finish you will probably curse me. Weeks after, you will thank me. Let’s get started.
Besides all of the great health benefits of having a strong back, an added bonus is the much admired “V” shape you will have. Combined with a trim waist, a barn door back will make you look like you have wings. It is a real head turner. Back workouts are typically divided into upper and lower, with most of the focus being placed on the upper back. Let’s take a look at the muscles that encompass the back:
Trapezius: This large diamond shaped muscle is mostly trained with the shoulders and has been already covered here in part II.
Latissimus Dorsi: Translated as “broadest muscle of the back”, the Latissimus Dorsi (AKA “lats”) are the key to having a wide wingspan. They run parallel to and outside of the Trapezius muscle. They are large and mostly flat and are responsible for extending the arms outward and upward. The most effective exercises for these muscles are pull-ups, lat pull-downs and bent over rows.
Teres Major & Teres Minor: This is an “unofficial” third part to the upper back. These “synergists” (AKA helpers) are responsible for rotating and helping the lats to move the arms outward from the body.
The back consists of: 1. Latissimus Dorsi 2. Trapezius 3. Teres Major / Teres Minor
The Dragon’s Bicep Workout immediately follows the Back Workout. During your back workout your biceps will be getting a warm-up for the work that is to come. They will become a bit “pre-fatigued” by the pull-ups and close grip lat pull-downs. By the time you end the Bicep Workout you will definitely feel a deep full burn. Now let’s learn a bit about them:
Biceps: Biceps are rated the number one muscle that people associate with strength. They are the epitome of “manliness”. When you ask someone to “make a muscle” what do they do? They show off their arms. The key to obtaining bowling balls for biceps is to hit them from multiple angles and focus on a wide variety of rep ranges. Let’s get right into it after this brief introduction to the Biceps muscle. The Biceps Brachii or simply, “Biceps” is a two headed muscle that stretches from the shoulder to the elbow on the front side of the arm. It’s primary function is to bring the lower arm toward the body (flexing). Take a look….
The Bicep Brachii (or simply “Bicep”) Muscle consists of 2 heads. A variety of exercises need to be performed to effectively train both heads.
Now, let’s leave the classroom and go to the gym so we can do today’s workout.
The Dragon’s Beastly Back & Biceps Workout:
Pull-Ups: 3 Sets x 10 – 12 reps
Seated “Lat” Pull-downs: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
Close-grip / underhand “Lat” Pull-downs: 3 Sets x 10 reps
Bent over Barbell Rows: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
Bent over 1 arm Dumbbell Rows: 4 Sets x 10 reps
Standing EZ-Bar Curls: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
Concentration Curls: 3 Sets x 5 – 7 reps
Hammer Curls: 3 Sets x 10 reps
Chin-Ups: 2 Sets until failure
Pull-Ups: 1 Set x 10 reps
Seated Cable Pull: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
T-Bar Rows: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets 5 – 7 reps
Lying Dumbbell Pullovers: 3 Sets x 10 reps
Bent Over Reverse Flys: 4 Sets x 10 reps
Seated EZ-Bar Curls: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
*Negative Repetitions: Start at the contracted part of the rep (the end). Slowly lower your arm to the beginning position. Count very slowly as you lower your arm! Try to make it to a count of 50 for each rep.
Because this workout is lengthier and more intense than the previous ones it is important that you eat well so that you will have substantial fuel for both parts. Eat no more than an hour and a half and make sure you get plenty of complex carbohydrates. As always, be strict about your repetitions. Correct form far outweighs the amount of weight that you lift. No more time to waste. Go train hard and remember…
Dream Fit. Live Fit.
The Dragon’s Monster Mass Building Training Series III: Beastly Back & Bicep Workout
Today’s post is a conclusion to last week’s: “Girl Power! Exposing the three biggest myths about women and strength training” article. This post is an introductory workout for women just getting started strength training. I will give you a circuit training routine to get you through your first month in the gym. Are you ready? Good! Let’s begin…
The Dragon’s “Girl Power! Beginners 4 Week Strength Training Circuit”
Directions: After your cardio warm-up , perform 8-10 repetitions of each exercise in a row. Choose a weight that is somewhat difficult but not impossible (i.e. 10 lbs. for lunges and squats and 5-10 lbs. for the curling & pressing movements).
Try to take rest no longer than 2 minutes between exercises. Perform the entire circuit 3 times.
Warm-up: 3 to 5 Minutes of cardio on your favorite machine (treadmill, elliptical, or “jumping jacks (if at home)”
Exercises (complete as a circuit) 3 rounds:
Lunges: Each Leg x 10 reps
Ballet Squat: 10 reps
Dumbbell Chest Press: 10 reps
Dumbbell Curl & Overhead Press: 10 reps
Crunches: 20 reps
“Plank” Position: Hold as long as possible.
Cool Down: 10 Minutes of moderately paced cardio on your favorite machine.
* Post Workout Stretch: The post workout stretch is extremely important to keep blood flowing to those muscles and to help you from getting too sore! Make sure you stretch after each workout. Refer to my recent post on stretching for instructions. It can be found here:
Well there you have it. Do this workout 2-3 times per week, eat right and within 1 month you’ll notice a significant change in your body. Just look in the mirror and you’ll see everything get tighter and curvier! Stay motivated and remember...
So you’re the “new guy” in the gym. You wanna get ripped but you really have no idea of how to do it. Maybe you’ve asked a few of the bigger guys what they did to “get swole” and they give you the typical answer: “I just lift heavy and eat everything not bolted down, bro!”. Or you went online and found an insanely hard program written by a bodybuilding champ. You try it and wind up feeling like a wimp for not finishing it.
Well, there’s hope! I’m going to set you up with a simple program that will take you through your first 6 weeks in the gym.
If you’re serious about building some muscle and ready to prepare yourself for serious growth then this is for you:
This program is designed to work all of your muscle groups and start you on the path to more complex routines. It is spread out over 3 different training sessions, ideally with at least 1 day rest between sessions.
Chest / Triceps:
Bench Press – 4 sets (warm-up set with bar, 12, 10, 8 reps). Increase weight each set
Incline Dumbbell Presses – 3 sets (8-10 reps). Same weight
Dumbbell Flys – 4 sets (8-10 reps). Same weight
Cable Triceps Push-down – 4 sets (12, 10, 8, 6 reps) Increase weight each set
Bent Over Triceps Kickback – 3 sets (10-12 reps). Use light weight and go slow
Triceps Dips – 1 set until your muscles fail!
Back / Biceps:
Pull-ups – 2 sets (5-10 reps)
Lat Pull-down – 4 sets (12,10,8,6) Increase weight each set
Bent over dumbbell rows – 4 sets (10,10,8,6) Increase weight each set
Seated EZ Bar Curls or Seated Curl Machine – 4 sets (warm-up set with bar, 12,10,8 reps). Increase weight each set