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Upper Body Strength

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  • Upper Body Strength

    I struggle with weighted upper body workouts. I am able to do pushups (65 in 2 min) and pull-ups (18 in 2 min) without a problem but when I do weighted workouts such as benching and other upper body focused workouts I struggle with the reps and weight. I have tried lowering the weight and rep count but I cannot seem to increase either of the two over time. Any Suggestions? Thanks!

    My chest/tri day exercise plan is the following...

    Bench Pres- s 3 sets of 10
    Incline Bench Press - 3 sets of 10
    cable cross - 4 sets of 10
    tricep press - 3 sets of 10
    pectoral fly - 3 sets of 10
    tricep rope - 3 sets of 10
    Dips(non-weighted) - 3 sets of 12
    Last edited by murraysean960; 1 week ago.

  • #2
    What kind of exercise plan are you doing at the gym? Find a good hypertrophy program to start and stick with it. Sounds like you're just going to the gym and doing whatever chest exercises come to mind. You need a structured program, and proper nutrition, to build muscle and strengthen it over time.

    Comment


    • #3
      My chest/tri day exercise plan is the following...

      Bench Pres- s 3 sets of 10
      Incline Bench Press - 3 sets of 10
      cable cross - 4 sets of 10
      tricep press - 3 sets of 10
      pectoral fly - 3 sets of 10
      tricep rope - 3 sets of 10
      Dips(non-weighted) - 3 sets of 12

      Comment


      • #4
        I suggest you read the thread at the top of this page: "Strength Training: Start Here".

        What you describe is pretty much the definition of overkill and inefficiency. How about one set of chest press (dumbbell, bench, flat or incline) and one set of dip or tricep press? Then get on with the rest of your workout, and move on to run or swim training.

        This is a lot of push - what about pull? What do you do for the rotator cuff or scapular muscles?

        Even if you feel you need to do multiple sets, why 10 reps exclusively? Why not other rep targets, say between 6 and 15? What sort of effort do these sets represent?

        Do you do the same type of thing for lower body? What about core?
        Mike Caviston
        Director of Fitness, NSWCEN

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mike Caviston View Post
          I suggest you read the thread at the top of this page: "Strength Training: Start Here".

          What you describe is pretty much the definition of overkill and inefficiency. How about one set of chest press (dumbbell, bench, flat or incline) and one set of dip or tricep press? Then get on with the rest of your workout, and move on to run or swim training.

          This is a lot of push - what about pull? What do you do for the rotator cuff or scapular muscles?

          Even if you feel you need to do multiple sets, why 10 reps exclusively? Why not other rep targets, say between 6 and 15? What sort of effort do these sets represent?

          Do you do the same type of thing for lower body? What about core?
          I do Push day on Monday/ Thursday and pull day on Tuesday/Friday. Legs and Core are Wednesday and Saturday.
          I feel my leg day is strong as well as my core since those numbers are increasing.
          For pull day I do...
          Barbell Rows
          Seated Rows
          shrugs
          Military Shoulder presses
          Barbell Curls
          Preacher Curls
          ...all are 3 sets of 8-10

          Do you recommend I focus more on the amount of weight or the amount of reps? Thank you

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by murraysean960 View Post
            Do you recommend I focus more on the amount of weight or the amount of reps? Thank you
            I recommend you read "Strength Training: Start Here".

            I would advise against separating training into separate pushing and pulling days. Alternate each push exercise with a pull. Also, FYI, shoulder press is a push, not a pull. Good luck.

            Mike Caviston
            Director of Fitness, NSWCEN

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is a recent research study looking at the effects of number of sets on strength and hypertrophy:

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30153194

              This is only an abstract and I don't give full credence until I've seen all the study details, but the results are consistent with other research studies (some of which I've referenced in "Strength Training: Start Here"). Bottom line, you can gain significant strength with only a single set. You can get hypertrophy with a single set, though you may get more hypertrophy with more sets. You need to examine whether you need more mass and what it will cost you in terms of time spent in the weight room and time taken away from other training (i.e., run and swim).
              Mike Caviston
              Director of Fitness, NSWCEN

              Comment

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