Upper Body Chisel


ONE AND DONE You’ll perform only one exercise per muscle group in each workout. However, over the course of a training week, the volume will add up, and so will the intensity.

One-arm Dumbbell Row Keep your shoulders level with the loor and pull the weight to your ribs in a sawing motion. Retract your shoulder blade and squeeze your lat as you row. Your elbow should point behind you, not up to the ceiling, at the top.

STOP TRAINING LEGS. Normally we’d never make this suggestion, as it can lead to an embarrassing imbalance between the upper and lower body. But for a short time, it’s the best way to promote rapid gains in the muscles that’ll be on display most as the summer season comes to a close. This program is all about polishing the so-called “trophy” muscles that garner the most attention—chest, back, shoulders, and arms—so you can carve out a sculpted-from-stonelooking body before fall weather forces you to cover it up. In three weeks, you can peak your upper body for a beach vacation or pool party that will leave your friends wondering why you bother to wear a shirt at all.


By laying off leg work, you’ll greatly enhance your ability to recover from workouts. Squats and deadlifts are tremendous total-body muscle builders, but they take a toll on everything from your joints to your nervous system, making it harder to train intensely again without taking several days to recover. You don’t have that kind of time if you want to get ripped before Labor Day, so we’re telling you to give up heavy leg work altogether for the next three weeks. This will allow you to train your upper body more frequently and with greater intensity, making for the fastest possible gains. However, if you insist on training legs, do one workout per week of light lower-body exercises, such as leg extensions and leg curls—but no barbell training.

In fact, we’re banning the conventional barbell completely during this period. Instead, you’ll use dumbbell and body-weight exercises that stimulate muscle without unnecessary nervous system and joint stress. By training with so-called “easier” exercises, you’ll be able to handle progressively more volume, pushing your muscles further and further (albeit safely) over a three-week period, forcing them to grow to keep pace. However, more volume doesn’t mean doing 15 sets for chest in one day. By hitting each target muscle— chest, back, shoulders, bi’s and tri’s—each workout, you’ll train them two or three times as often as you do now. It doesn’t matter that you’re doing only three or so sets for one area per session—they’ll add up over the course of the week. Furthermore, you’ll train them in a fresh or near-fresh condition every time, so they can handle maximum poundage and therefore give your muscles maximum stimulation.

Dumbbell Bench Press Lower the weights until you feel a stretch in your pecs and then press them up to lockout. You may turn your wrists 45 or even 90 degrees so that your palms face each other if this helps to alleviate shoulder pressure. Stop all sets one to two reps shy of failure.

SET BY SET Each week, you’ll add sets to the workouts at your discretion. So if you feel that your chest is lagging, you can increase the work you do for it, but you must also increase the volume for muscles that act as a counterbalance, such as the upper back. Your body grows fastest when it’s in perfect alignment.