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Chest and shoulders

January 15, 2010

Well, it’s back to the gym. The short “layoff” was just what I needed.

Yesterday was “chest and shoulders” day, with an ab superset at the end. No cardio.

First, let me try to answer that pesky question: Why should you work your chest anyway?

  • to strengthen your entire body so you have no muscle imbalances
  • to put on a little bit of muscle, which boosts your metabolism (making it easier to maintain your weight as the years pass) 
  • to improve the look of your chest–a little muscle firms the chest area and boosts circulation to that area, so even the skin covering your chest may look more supple and youthful

You may read here and there about working your body parts twice a week. I don’t do that, or recommend it. I have adrenal burnout and I believe LOTS of you who are roughly my age, if you don’t actually have fatigued adrenals, have been weakened from years of chronic stress. You’re probably exhausted. Which is not a reason to choose inactivity–but to choose activity WISELY.

Here’s my suggestion: Spend your time focusing on your muscle groups individually…let these muscle groups rest and recover…then go back in the gym next week and work these muscles again.

This should help you build muscle–a great thing, especially after age 50–while not overtaxing your body, its organs and systems.

Here’s what my workout looked like. It was short and sweet. I worked hard (performing anywhere from 6-10 reps on each set), then got the heck out of the gym! Doing this helps me be eager to get to the gym on my next scheduled workout day.

(The photo depicts a flat press using a BB.  Sorry! Didn’t have DBs available to illustrate!)

CHEST:

Flat DB Press

1 warmup set

3 work sets

Incline DB Press

3 work sets

Flat DB Flyes

3 work sets

SHOULDERS:

Standing BB Press

3 work sets

Seated DB Press

3 work sets

Standing DB Side Laterals

3 work sets

NOTE: My chest and shoulder routine described here really nails the front and medial delts (shoulder muscles). I’m saving rear delts (the posterior portion of the shoulder muscle group) to work with back. By the way, “medial delts” describes the portion of the shoulder muscle that sits on top of your shoulders. Building a bit of muscle here contributes to a fuller, more rounded shoulder–helping to make your waist look smaller and “balance out” your lower body.

Abs superset  (3 total supersets):

  • Kneeling rope crunches
  • Hip thrusts: Lie supine (on your back) on a bench, your legs straight up into the air. Grip the bench behind your head for stability. Using your abdominal muscles, lift your glutes off the bench and thrust your feet towards the ceiling. Slowly lower your glutes toward the bench: do not rest them on the bench–keep tension on the abdominals. Repeat for as many reps as you can manage while keeping good form!

Tomorrow…my back and rear delts workout. Plus interval cardio—whoooboy!

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