Build Upper-Body Muscle With This Two-Day Workout | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Build Upper-Body Muscle With This Two-Day Workout

November 29, 2012 | Bill DeLongis

Must See Strength Training Videos

As an athlete, you don't need to spend three hours in the gym when attempting to build muscle. It's simply not practical, and when combined with your sport practices and games, it can actually lead to overtraining and chronic fatigue.

However, this doesn't mean you can't bulk up. Try the following two-day upper-body superset workout instead of working your chest, back, shoulders and arms on separate days. By pairing two exercises together, you get twice as much work done in the same amount of time. (Discover the 5 best supersets for athletes.)

This is possible when you superset exercises that work opposing muscle groups. For example, perform a set of Bench Presses and follow it up with Bent-Over Rows. Although you won't rest between exercises, your muscles will have a chance to recover when you perform the opposite exercise.

Not only is this time-efficient, but working more muscle groups releases additional muscle-building growth hormone, improving your overall conditioning and creating better balance between muscles.

Guidelines

  • Rest only as long as it takes to get from one exercise to the other, then rest one minute between supersets; e.g.,  perform 1a, then immediately perform 1b and rest one minute before repeating.
  • Since the goal is to build muscle, time under tension (how long a rep takes) is crucial; make sure to take three or four seconds to lower the weight on each exercise.
  • Attempt to increase the weight used or reps performed each week. Write down what you did each workout, so the next week you have a benchmark you can try to exceed. If you cannot get at least eight reps with proper form, decrease the weight; if you can hit 12 reps, increase it.
  • Make sure to warm up before all workouts. Check out this article on common warm-up mistakes.
  • Each workout should last no longer than an hour, including your warm-up and eight to 10 minutes of core work.
  • Another two days should be devoted to your lower body. Take 48 to 72 hours off between upper-body days and lower-body days.

Your week can look like this:

  • Monday: Upper
  • Tuesday: Lower
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Upper
  • Friday: Lower
  • Weekend: Off

Day 1

1a. Push Press or Shoulder Press: 3x4-8
1b. Pull-Ups: 3xMax
2a. Push-Up Variation: 3x8-12
2b. Incline Row: 3x8-12
3a. TRX Inverted Row: 3x12
3b. Band Pull Apart: 3x20
4.   4-Way Shoulder Raise: 2-3x12 each
5a. Bicep Curls: 2-3x12
5b. Triceps Pushdowns: 2-3x12

Day 2

1a. Bench Press: 3x8-12
1b. Lat Pulldown or Chin-Ups: 3x8-12
2a. Incline Chest Press: 3x8-12
2b. Single-Arm Row: 3x8-12
3a. TRX W Raise: 3x15
3b. Band or Cable High Row: 3x15
4.   Shrug Pull: 3x8
5.   Forearms/Grip

See a sample forearm workout and check out STACK's Build Muscle Guide for more ideas on how to build muscle mass.

Bill DeLongis
- Bill DeLongis, CSCS, is the assistant director of speed, strength and conditioning at Stony Brook University, where he works with baseball, volleyball, men's lacrosse, women's...
Bill DeLongis
- Bill DeLongis, CSCS, is the assistant director of speed, strength and conditioning at Stony Brook University, where he works with baseball, volleyball, men's lacrosse, women's...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Top 5 Baseball Strength Training Myths

Superstition is as synonymous with baseball as pine tar and Cracker Jacks. Some superstitions, like not washing your lucky socks, are harmless (although...

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts

5 Softball Catcher Drills for Throwing Power

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

Build Full-Body Strength With 5 Suspension Trainer Exercises

4 Sure-Fire Ways to Build a Strong Core

Kyle Lowry's 12-Week All-Star Training Program

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

Get Faster by Improving Your Core Mobility

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

Blast Through Plateaus with Tempo Sets

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

A Better Way to Train Your Core

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

4 Lifts to Build Wrestling Strength

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy