In addition to supporting fat loss, one of the best kept secrets to achieving a healthy body composition and toned aesthetic is a solid and streamlined strength routine that focuses on building muscle and strength.
In my experience with clients, I’ve found that for those who have a primary goal that is related to their physique, splitting up their weekly routine by body part is the best way to increase the volume of work for each muscle group while still allowing for enough recovery time to help avoid overtraining or injury.
I developed the 6-Week Shred program, one of the offerings in Life Time’s suite of digital weight loss and training programming, complimentary for members, with this in mind. The program uses in-club machines and equipment and features 60-minute workouts, five days per week for six weeks, in an easy-to-follow and progressive split routine.
To give you an idea of what the program is like, try this workout that you might do on your biceps and triceps day.
- Light resistance band
- Dual cable machine
- EZ bar
Complete five to eight minutes of your choice form of cardio. For example, use the treadmill, elliptical, or rower. Increase the intensity and speed every two minutes, ending at an intensity where your breathing is heavy and you feel like you’re working hard.
Then, do these two movements back-to-back for the recommended number of repetitions. Complete three rounds with both movements.
- Resistance Band Reverse Fly (keep it light): 10 reps
- Resistance Band Kneeling Chest Press (keep it light): 10 reps
Resistance Band Reverse Fly
- Stand facing a rack or anchor point for the resistance band, wrapping the middle of the band around the rack at chest level.
- Get into the starting position: Hold each end of the band in each of your hands with your palms facing in towards each other, and step back to add slight resistance on the band.
- Bend your elbows slightly and extend your arms in front of you, parallel to the floor.
- Keeping your torso still, reach your arms out to the sides until they’re perpendicular to your body, then return to the starting position with control.
- Try to keep your shoulders down and focus on squeezing your shoulder blades down and back.
Resistance Band Kneeling Chest Press
- Wrap the middle of the resistance band around the rack so it’s at chest level when you’re on your knees.
- Face your back to the anchor point and remain kneeling. Hold each end of the band in each of your hands at your shoulders, palms facing down with slight tension.
- Press your arms forward until they’re extended in front of you, parallel to the floor, then return to the starting position with control.
- Try to keep your torso still and shoulders relaxed.
Do the movements in each block, one after the next, for the recommended repetitions, then take the recommended rest. Repeat each block three times before moving on to the next block.
|Dual Cable Bicep Curl||8–12||60 seconds||3|
|Dual Cable Tricep Pushdown||8–12|
Dual Cable Bicep Curl
- Position the arms of a dual-cable machine at the lowest point vertically and just outside of shoulder width horizontally. Secure the handle attachments.
- Stand with your back to the machine, legs shoulder width apart, and hold the handles with your palms facing forward.
- Keeping your torso still and holding your elbows close to your hips, bring the handles up towards your shoulders, then lower your arms with control to the straight bottom position, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
Dual Cable Tricep Pushdown
- Position the arms of the cable machine at the highest point vertically and perpendicular to the machine horizontally. Secure the handle attachments.
- Get into the starting position: Face the machine holding one handle in each hand, with your elbows bent and at your sides and your hands at shoulder level with your palms facing down.
- Press the handles down, keeping your elbows close to your hips, until your arms are extended and hands are at the sides of your thighs. Be sure to keep your shoulders back without rounding them forward. Return to the starting position.
|Dumbbell Seated Biceps Curl||8–12||60 seconds||3|
|Dumbbell Seated Overhand Triceps Extension||8–12|
Dumbbell Seated Biceps Curl
- Sit at the edge of a bench or chair with your hips and knees at 90 degrees, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Start with your arms extended at your sides with your palms facing forward.
- Keeping your elbows in and at your sides, lift the dumbbells to shoulder height before lowering with control.
Dumbbell Seated Overhand Triceps Extension
- Sit at the edge of a bench or chair with your hips and knees at 90 degrees, holding a dumbbell with both palms around the bar.
- Frame the bar part of the dumbbell, placing your palms flat, making a diamond or spade shape.
- Get into the starting position: Lift the dumbbell up and over your head, bending your elbows so the dumbbell is behind your head and elbows are in close to your head.
- Keeping your upper arms and elbows in place, extend your arms to lift the dumbbell straight over your head, then lower back to the starting position.
|Dumbbell Hammer Curl||8–12||60 seconds||3|
|Cable Tricep Pushdown With Rope||8–12|
Dumbbell Hamer Curl
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended down at your sides with your palms facing in towards your body.
- Keeping your palms facing in, bend your elbows, keeping them close to your side, until the dumbbells are at shoulder height.
- Return to the starting position.
Cable Tricep Pushdown with Rope
- Begin by securing the rope attachment to a cable machine and adjusting the starting position of the cable to be at the highest point.
- Face the cable machine with your feet shoulder width apart, holding one end of the rope in each hand with your palms facing in, elbows bent at your sides, and hands directly in front of your shoulders.
- Keeping your torso still and elbows at your sides, push the rope and cable down, extending your arms down to just outside of your thighs with your palms facing backwards. Ensure your shoulders are back and do not round forward. The movement should stretch out the rope horizontally.
- Return to the starting position.
|EZ Bar Biceps Curl||8–12||60 seconds||3|
|EZ Bar Floor Tricep Extension||8–12|
EZ Bar Biceps Curl
- Start by standing with your legs shoulder width apart.
- Grip an EZ bar with your hands placed just outside of your thighs, arms extended down, and palms facing out.
- Keeping your torso still and elbows in place at your sides, bend your elbows to lift the bar to shoulder height, then lower with control to the straight bottom position while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
EZ Bar Floor Triceps Extension
- Start by laying on a mat on your back, with your elbows down and at your sides, gripping an EZ bar across the middle of your chest and sternum, with your palms facing down and placed slightly narrower than shoulder width.
- Extend your arms up lifting the bar until your arms are straight, keeping the bar directly over your shoulders.
- Keeping your upper arms and elbows in place, bend at your elbows to lower the bar with control until it’s just over your forehead. Return to your arms to the extended position and repeat.
Do these movements, one after the next, for one minute each. Complete two to three rounds.
World’s Greatest Stretch
- Begin in a lunge position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and placed on the floor with your front leg just outside of the hand on that side.
- Lift the hand on the side of the lunged leg up forward and then up towards the ceiling, opening up your chest, then circling it forward and down to the floor again. Repeat for one minute.
- Repeat on other side with opposite foot lunged forward.
Yogi Squat and Reach
- Sit in a deep squat with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart and hips lower than your knees.
- Extend your left arm straight so it passes in front of your left knee, with your hand resting on the floor about six inches in front of your left foot.
- Reach your right arm up towards the ceiling, rotating your chest to the right to open it up. Follow your hand with your eyes and breathe into the stretch. Return your right arm back to the ground. Repeat for one minute.
- Repeat on the other side.
Child’s Pose with Lat Stretch
- Begin by sitting back on your hips with your knees bent. Reach forward to pull your chest towards the ground with your arms extended overhead on the ground and palms down.
- Slowly walk your hands to the left side by six to 12 inches — you should feel a stretch along the right side of your body. Take a few deep breaths. Return to middle position. Repeat for one minute.
- Repeat on the other side.