A BUFF BODY IN 4 WEEKS!

IF YOU’RE A BE­GIN­NER, OR HAVEN’T BEEN IN THE GYM FOR A WHILE, YOU CAN BUILD MUS­CLE FAST WITH THIS BACK-TO-BA­SICS ROU­TINE.

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

The real key to get­ting big­ger and stronger when you’re a lift­ing newbie is to do ba­sic lifts with lots of sets. This work­out cov­ers the fun­da­men­tals – moves like the bench press, squat, and dead­lift – all of which you’ll be per­form­ing in fewer-rep sets, with rel­a­tively heavy weight. The combo helps you not only build strength quickly but also mas­ter proper lift­ing tech­nique. Ad­di­tional ex­er­cises in the work­out sup­ple­ment the ba­sic lifts and al­low you to in­dulge your ego with some curls (since we know you’d do them any­way). If you’re not new to train­ing but have been tak­ing a break from the gym, this rou­tine is ideal to start you back up. DI­REC­TIONS Fre­quency Per­form each work­out (Day I, II, III, and IV) once per week. You can per­form Days I and II on back-to-back days and/or do Days III and IV back-to-back. You could also rest a day be­tween each ses­sion. Do it Per­form the ex­er­cises as straight sets, com­plet­ing all pre­scribed sets for one ex­er­cise be­fore mov­ing on to the next. Rest only as long as you need to re­peat your num­ber of reps on the next set. Use the heav­i­est weight that al­lows you to com­plete all the reps plus one or two more, but do only the pre­scribed num­ber.

1 SQUAT Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Stand with your feet a bit wider than shoul­der-width apart and your toes turned slightly out­ward. Bend your hips back and then your knees (push them out­ward as you go down) to lower your body as far as you can. Keep your pos­ture as up­right as pos­si­ble and main­tain the nor­mal arch in your lower back. If you feel you’re be­gin­ning to lose the arch, do not go lower. Squeeze your butt as you come back up. 2 UNI­LAT­ERAL LEG PRESS Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Lie back on a leg press ma­chine and place one foot on the foot plate. Re­lease the safety catch and lower your knee to­ward your chest, stop­ping when it’s bent 90 de­grees. Do not go so low that your lower back be­gins to come off the pad. Com­plete all your reps on one side and then re­peat on the other side. 3 RO­MA­NIAN DEAD­LIFT Sets: 3 Reps: 8 Hold a bar­bell in front of your thighs with a shoul­der­width grip. Bend your hips back and then bend your knees while main­tain­ing the nat­u­ral arch in your lower back. Keep go­ing un­til you feel your back is about to lose its arch. Squeeze your butt and push your hips for­ward to come back up. 4 LEG CURL Sets: 3 Reps: 15 Lie face­down on a leg curl ma­chine and hook your legs un­der the pad. Keep­ing your hips in con­tact with the ma­chine, bend your knees to curl the pad to­ward you. 5 STAND­ING CALF RAISE Sets: 3 Reps: 20 Use a stand­ing calf raise ma­chine or hold a dumb­bell in one hand and stand on an el­e­vated sur­face (such as a box or aer­o­bics step). Lower your heels to­ward the floor, knees slightly bent, un­til you feel your calves stretched. Then drive the balls of your feet into the sur­face, lock your knees, and raise your heels as high as pos­si­ble. 6 DECLINE SITUP Sets: 3 Reps: 12-15 Set an ad­justable bench on a decline and sit on it with your feet hooked un­der the pad. Lie back on the bench. Squeeze your abs and raise your torso off the bench un­til you’re sit­ting up­right.

SQUAT SAFELY Some guys have trou­ble keep­ing their lower backs flat dur­ing squats. To help, stretch your ham­strings be­fore you work­out.

THE PER­FECT PRESS The most com­mon mis­take on the shrug is rolling your shoul­ders for­ward or back. Don’t do it! In­stead, raise and lower the weights in one sin­gle fluid mo­tion.

1 BENCH PRESS Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Lie on the bench, grab the bar un­der­hand, and pull your torso up and for­ward, rest­ing your head on the bench be­fore the rest of your body. This should cause your knees to bend 45 de­grees so that your feet are planted far back – it’s OK if your heels are in the air. Now switch to an over­hand, shoul­der-width grip. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it di­rectly above your chest. Squeeze the bar and arch your up­per back. Lower the bar to just be­low your nip­ples, tuck­ing your el­bows about 45 de­grees to your sides. Once the bar touches your chest, push your feet hard into the floor. Press the weight up. When the bar is half­way up, begin flar­ing your el­bows out­ward to lock it out. 2 IN­CLINE DUMB­BELL PRESS Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Set an ad­justable bench to a 30- to 45-de­gree in­cline, grab a dumb­bell in each hand, and sit on the bench, hold­ing the weights at the sides of your chest. Press the dumb­bells straight over­head. 3 TRI­CEPS PUSHDOWN Sets: 3 Reps: 15 At­tach a rope han­dle to the top pul­ley of a ca­ble sta­tion. Stand fac­ing the ma­chine and grab one end of the rope in each hand. Keep­ing your el­bows tight against your sides, straighten your arms, press­ing the han­dle down­ward. 4 DUMB­BELL ROW Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Hold a dumb­bell in one hand and place your op­po­site knee and hand on a bench. Let the arm with the weight hang. Re­tract your shoul­der blade and row the weight to your side. Com­plete all your reps and then re­peat on the op­po­site side. 5 DUMB­BELL SHRUG Sets: 3 Reps: 12 Hold a dumb­bell in each hand and al­low your arms to hang at your sides. Shrug your shoul­ders as high as you can.

1 DEAD­LIFT Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, your toes fac­ing straight ahead. Reach down and grab the bar with an out­side-shoul­der-width, palms-down grip. Keep­ing your lower back in its nat­u­ral arch, drive your heels into the floor and push your hips for­ward, lift­ing the bar as you rise un­til it’s in front of your thighs. Keep the bar in con­tact with your body at all times. Lower it back to the floor in the same path. 2 DUMB­BELL LUNGE Sets: 3 Reps: 8 (Each leg) Hold a dumb­bell in each hand and step for­ward with one leg. Lower your body down un­til your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is par­al­lel to the floor. Push off the front leg to re­turn to the start­ing po­si­tion. Com­plete all your reps on one leg, and then switch legs and re­peat. 3 BACK EX­TEN­SION Sets: 3 Reps: 12 Lock your legs into a back ex­ten­sion ap­pa­ra­tus. Al­low your torso to bend for­ward so that your hips are bent al­most 90 de­grees. Ex­tend your back so that your body forms a straight line. 4 LEG CURL Sets: 3 Reps: 15 See the de­scrip­tion in Day I. 5 SEATED CALF RAISE Sets: 3 Reps: 15 Use a seated calf raise ma­chine or sit on a bench with a pair of dumb­bells on your knees and your feet on a box or step. Lower your heels un­til you feel a full stretch in your calves and then press your feet into the step and raise your heels as high as pos­si­ble. 6 HANG­ING LEG RAISE Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Grab onto a pullup bar and hang. Raise your legs as high as you can (at least to waist level).

BACK IT UP If your lower back rounds dur­ing a dead­lift (you can’t keep it flat or in its nat­u­ral arch), per­form the ex­er­cise in a power rack, rest­ing the bar on the safety rods. Set the rods to a height that’s as low as you can safely go and com­plete the dead­lift from there. Over time, you can lower the rods and even­tu­ally lift from the floor.

1 DUMB­BELL OVER­HEAD PRESS Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Hold a pair of dumb­bells at shoul­der height. Squeeze your abs and press the weights straight over­head. 2 PUSHUP Sets: 3 Reps: One less than your max Place your hands on the floor about shoul­der-width apart. Keep­ing your abs braced and your body in a straight line, “pull” your­self down to­ward the floor by re­tract­ing your shoul­der blades. Go un­til your chest is about an inch off the floor. Then, press your­self back to start­ing po­si­tion. 3 TRI­CEPS PUSHDOWN Sets: 3 Reps: 15 See the de­scrip­tion in Day II. 4 LAT PULL­DOWN Sets: 5 Reps: 10 Sit at a lat­pull­down sta­tion and brace your legs un­der the pads. Grab the han­dle with a shoul­der-width grip. Pull the bar down to your col­lar­bone. 5 BAR­BELL CURL Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Hold the bar with a shoul­der-width grip and palms fac­ing up. Keep your el­bows tucked against your sides and curl the weight up. 6 HAM­MER CURL Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Hold a dumb­bell in each hand with palms fac­ing your sides. Keep­ing your el­bows close to your sides, curl the weights up.

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