Summer is just around the corner – yes, really – and when the sun finally shows up you need to be ready to whip your shirt off without a second’s thought. And that’s exactly what you’ll be able to do if you follow this fat-blasting and muscle-building training plan, devised by the experts at Coach’s sister title Men’s Fitness.
This four-week workout is designed around supersets and tri-sets. These will create the stimulus for your body to add maximum muscle mass across your torso, while also producing the intensity for your body to burn away excess body fat. The result will be a wider chest, back and shoulders, and bigger arms, with a smaller belly and narrower waist, giving you that coveted V-shaped upper body.
How the plan works
Following this plan couldn’t be easier. There are three workouts a week: workout 1 targets your chest and back, workout 2 your legs and shoulders, and workout 3 your biceps and triceps. Do the three workouts in that order, leaving at least a day’s rest between sessions to give your muscles enough time to recover so that you can build new lean muscle mass as well as burning away your spare tyre.
Workouts 1 and 2 both begin with a superset, with the two exercises labelled 1A and 1B. Do all the reps of exercise 1A, rest for no more than 30 seconds, then do all the reps of exercise 1B and rest for 60 seconds. Repeat this for a total of five supersets. Then move on to the second part of the workout: a tri-set made up of three moves, called 2A, 2B and 2C, which are performed back-to-back. Do all the reps of move 2A, rest for ten seconds, do all the reps of 2B, rest for ten seconds, then do all the reps of 2C and rest 60 seconds. Repeat this for a total of three tri-sets.
Workout 3 is a bit different and made up of two tri-sets: the first works your biceps, and the second targets your triceps. Stick to the sets, reps and rest periods detailed.
To get the full effect from these workouts you need to stick to the 2010 tempo code for each exercise. This means you take two seconds to lower the weight, don’t pause at the bottom of the move, take one second to lift the weight again, then no pause at the top before lowering. Each rep will take a total of three seconds, and this accumulation of time under tension increases your heart rate to burn body fat and break down muscle tissue so it’s rebuilt bigger and stronger. Keep each rep smooth and controlled so your muscles – not momentum – do the work, and move through a full range of motion.
Workout 1: Chest and back
1A Bench press
Sets 5 Reps 8 Rest 30sec
Lie on a flat bench holding the bar with an overhand grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and press your feet into the ground, then lower the bar towards your chest. Press it back up to the start.
Sets 5 Reps 8 Rest 60sec
Hold a pull-up bar using an overhand grip with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core, then pull yourself up until your sternum touches the bar. Then lower until your arms are straight again.
2A Incline dumbbell bench press
Sets 3 Reps 12 Rest 10sec
Lie on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Brace your core and press your feet into the ground, then press the weights up until your arms are straight. Lower them back to the start.
2B Incline dumbbell flye
Sets 3 Reps 12 Rest 10sec
Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand above your face, palms facing and with a slight bend in your elbows. Lower them to the sides, then bring them back to the top.
2C Single-arm row
Sets 3 Reps 12 each side Rest 60sec
Place one knee on the bench and plant the other foot wide. Brace your core and lift the weight to the side of your chest, keeping your elbow tucked in, then lower slowly. Complete all reps on one side, then the other.