Step 1: Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
Step 2: Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
Step 3: As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
Step 4: As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms.
Step 5: After a second at the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
Seated Hammer Row: 2×10
Step 1: Sit down on the bench, place your feet on the provided pads, and rest your upper body on the upright pad.
Step 2: Grab hold of the upright parallel bars so that your palms are facing each other. This is the starting position.
Step 3: Begin exercise by squeezing your lats and pulling the weight toward your chest. Focus on using your back and NOT your arms to pull the weight.
Step 4: Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top movement and slowly lower weight back down to starting position.
Shoulder Press: 2×10
Step 1: Set your seat height so that the shoulder-press machine’s pulley is even with the middle of your shoulder.
Step 2: Hold onto each of the front handles.
Step 3: Pull your abdominals in tight, but allow a slight natural gap to remain between the small of your back and the back pad.
Step 4: Press the handles up without locking your elbows.
Step 5: Lower your arms until your elbows are slightly lower than your shoulders.
Side Lateral Raise: 2×10
Step 1: Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position.
Step 2: While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until you arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top.
Step 3: Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
Step 4: Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Machine Bicep Curl: 2×15
Step 1: Adjust the seat to the appropriate height and make your weight selection. Place your upper arms against the pads and grasp the handles. This will be your starting position.
Step 2: Perform the movement by flexing the elbow, pulling your lower arm towards your upper arm.
Step 3: Pause at the top of the movement, and then slowly return the weight to the starting position.
Step 4: Avoid returning the weight all the way to the stops until the set is complete to keep tension on the muscles being worked.
Step 1: To get into the starting position, hold your body at arm’s length with your arms nearly locked above the bars.
Step 2: Now, inhale and slowly lower yourself downward. Your torso should remain upright and your elbows should stay close to your body. This helps to better focus on tricep involvement. Lower yourself until there is a 90 degree angle formed between the upper arm and forearm.
Step 3: Then, exhale and push your torso back up using your triceps to bring your body back to the starting position.
Step 4: Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
Step 1: Grasp a straight bar cable attachment that is attached to a low pulley with a pronated (palms facing your thighs) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The bar should be resting on top of your thighs. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.
Step 2: Use your side shoulders to lift the cable bar as you exhale. The bar should be close to the body as you move it up. Continue to lift it until it nearly touches your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the bar, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
Step 3: Lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
Step 4: Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Close Triceps Push Ups: 2×10
Step 1: Lie on the floor face down and place your hands closer than shoulder width for a close hand position. Make sure that you are holding your torso up at arms’ length.
Step 2: Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale.
Step 3: Using your triceps and some of your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to the starting position and squeeze your chest. Breathe out as you perform this step.
Step 4: After a second pause at the contracted position, repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
Bench Sit Ups: 2×10
Step 1: Slide your feet underneath the foot pads, knees over the peak of the bench, and slowly lie back on the bench until your back nearly touches the padding.
Step 2: Flex at the hips until your torso is vertical again.
Step 3: Keep your abs tight throughout the motion.
First off, I want to give a BIG thank you to you for reading my second set from my fitness series with Be Gauntlet Fit! Today the boys really worked me out. Being a runner, my lower body has always been my strong suit. Which means I’ve neglected my upper body. It was pretty evident today. Thanks to get nutrition tips from BGF and workouts that are kicking my ass I’ve already started to see results. Definitely think I’ll be beach body ready for my trip to Florida at the end of May! I’ll see you next Wednesday for our next set.
Note: All these workouts can be performed at home with dumbbells.
Sweaty and Stylishly Yours,
The Kentucky Gent
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