HIS STUFF: South African Indian fitness enthusiast Chyvan Mahabeer takes you through his exercise routine to enhance and develop your chest and biceps.
The secret to ensuring a time-efficient 45-minute session in gym requires focus and willpower. You need make the most of any exercise plan with a proper nutrition and a strategic strength-training routine.
WATCH CHYVAN MAHABEER CHEST & BICEP WORKOUT
doing it fast, randomly hitting the gym and cranking out a few sets of the latest “best” exercise isn’t going to help. Instead, you need an overall strategic plan — so read on for some essential exercise tips.
- Train each major muscle group two or three times a week.
- Give each muscle group at least one full day of rest before you strength-train it again.
- Use compound exercises for the most time-efficient workout.
- Work to failure — with proper form — because it matters more than the number of repetitions you do.
When Not to Lift
That doesn’t mean you should work every muscle group every day. The protein synthesis that helps rebuild your muscles in bigger, better form happens during the rest periods between workouts — not during the workouts themselves. As a general rule, make sure each muscle group gets at least one full rest day between workouts.
How Many Repetitions?
Conventional wisdom is that, if you want big muscles, you have to lift heavy with low reps per set — and that’s definitely the most time-efficient approach.
Protein Intake and Hypertrophy
Your muscles can’t grow without proper nutrition — but more protein isn’t always better. Ensure you eat essential healthy vegetables and a protein-controlled meal.
When it comes to the other macronutrients, this is a subject of heated controversy among experts, and if you get seriously into bodybuilding, you’ll need a custom-tailored nutrition plan.
- 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories from protein (which accommodates your 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight)
- 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates
- 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories from fats
Make sure you emphasize healthy, unsaturated fats; less than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake should come from saturated fats.
Your Bigger Muscles Workout
So, once you have your workout and eating plans dialed in, what kind of exercises should you be doing? You’ll get the most return on your effort if you do compound pressing exercises that work your chest, shoulders and triceps together. A few examples include:
1. Barbell Bench Press
This is the most effective exercise for working your chest. But it also works your triceps and shoulders powerfully.
- Lie face-up on the weight bench and scoot up until your eyes are almost level with the racked barbell.
- Place your feet flat on the floor to either side of the bench.
- Reach up and take the bar in an overhand grip, hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lift the bar off the rack and swing it forward so that it’s over your shoulder joint; this will create the necessary space for it to clear the racking pins.
- Bend your elbows and lower the bar toward your chest. Allow your arms to naturally flare out to the sides as they bend.
- Position yourself on your hands and your knees; then walk your feet back until your legs are straight and you’re balanced on your palms and your toes.
- Check your body position: Your body should be a straight line from head to heels. If your hips pike up or sag down below the line of your body, adjust your position.
- Check your hand position too. Your hands should be under the line of your shoulders, but slightly wider apart than your shoulders.
- Squeeze your core muscles to maintain that body position as you bend your arms, lowering your body toward the floor.
- Stop when your shoulders break the plane of your elbows; then straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
Dumbbell Chest Press
If you don’t have a barbell available to you, you can duplicate the motion using dumbbells instead.
- Take the dumbbells with you to the bench and lie down face-up, taking care to keep the weights close to your body. Place your feet flat on the floor to either side of the bench for balance.
- Press the weights straight up over your chest.
- Bend your arms, letting them naturally spread out to the sides as they come down. Make sure your hands stay over your elbows; this means the weights will naturally spread apart too as you lower them.
- Stop when your elbows break the plane of your shoulders; then press the weights back up to the starting position to complete the repetition.
Your Biceps Count Too
It may be tempting to do your presses and call it good — but your triceps are on the back of your upper arm. For a balanced appearance, you also need to work your biceps — the muscle on the front of your upper arm. And according to another ACE study, the No. 1 exercise for the biceps muscle is a dumbbell concentration curl.
- Sit in a chair, upright bench or any other similarly sturdy, stable surface, holding the dumbbell in your right hand.
- Place your left hand on your left thigh or knee, and use it to support your torso as you lean forward from the hips, tucking your right elbow against the inside of your right leg.
- Use that leverage, and your core muscles, to keep your torso stationary as you bend your right arm, curling the dumbbell up toward your shoulder.
- Extend your right arm, lowering the dumbbell back to the starting position.
Keep your right arm snug against your thigh during this exercise, but don’t use pressure from your thigh to help lift the weight. That is entirely the job of your biceps.
Work Your Whole Body
It might be tempting to focus on building up your chest and arms, because they’re impressive muscles and readily visible in the mirror. But for a balanced look and strength — and to reduce the risk of injury or dysfunction from muscular imbalances — you should be training all of your major muscle groups. Here are some examples of highly effective exercises you can do for each muscle group:
- Back: Pull-ups, lat pull-downs, cable rows
- Shoulders: Overhead press, rear deltoid flyes, lateral raises
- Legs: Lunges, squats, leg press, calf raises
- Core: Crunches, bicycle crunches, Russian twists, planks
Source references: LiveStrong