High rep upper body day comes around about once every week and a half. We incorporate this day because it works the muscle fibers differently than heavy days or medium rep days. It also varies the intensity on my body and fits in with our daily undulation program.
We are coming down to the home stretch of training. About four more weeks of hard training and a few extra days of diet and recovery in the final days before the show. My training is about to switch up soon as we transition into pre-competition training. In the meantime, I am about to deliver my upper body high rep strength workout and still have the corresponding conditioning, as well as the entire mid range rep series to deliver to you!
I generally start a high rep upper body (HRUB) day with a “band warm up.” This is a series of five exercises (20 reps per exercise) using a medium weight JC Band. I incorporate pulling movements first, followed by rotational work and finish with pushing exercises to prep my muscles for what’s to come.
On HRUB workouts, we often incorporate drop sets, supersets and complexes. To start the workout off, I perform two rounds of a push up drop set series. It’s killer and starts with decline pushups, followed immediately after with regular push ups and finished with incline push ups.
- This is a great way to start strong and gradually reduce the difficulty of the exercise however your already gased so the intensity remains the same.
- You will see in the video below that I have added a 20 pound weight vest to the exercise to again, add intensity.
- When performing these reps, our goal is to perform until you feel as though you have about TWO “left in the tank.” What I mean by this is, complete almost to fatigue but move on to the next exercise before failure.
In between each round of the Push Up drop set, I performed a set of external shoulder rotations for shoulder health.
Following the pushups and external rotations came:
- A superset of Medicine Ball vertical tosses (for shoulder endurance) 30 reps
- With a drop set of neutral, wide grip Lat Pull Downs — 8-12 reps per drop
- We did this superset for two rounds
Last, before conditioning, I finished with a Row Complex. This was created by Nick and includes three stances:
- A standing row (6-10 reps)
- A lat pull row (6-10 reps)
- A combination movement row (6-10 reps) **Make sure to keep knees soft, not locked and maintain a neutral spine when hinging forward at the hips.
- Use a split stance. These are unilateral so the opposite foot is forward relative to the arm pulling
- Complete two rounds per side
So there you have a great upper body high rep workout full of challenging drop sets, supersets and complexes. Stay tuned tomorrow for my upper body interval conditioning!