In the beginning of my fitness journey, my workouts were exhausting and cardio heavy, supplemented with weight training. I had lost some weight, but to my frustration, my physique was not changing. It was during a body fat test at Max Muscle Pearl District, that Sanjana Pahalad Mancuso gave me advice that would change my workouts forever. She told me about a trainer in our city who trained bodybuilders and bikini competitors and could transform anyone. I went in the next day, and that was the day I hired Noel Fuller.
He changed my routine from cardio heavy to weight focused and reduced my cardio. I had a really hard time believing this would work. I was afraid that weight lifting would make me bigger, and I wanted to get lean.
So trusting him, I started intense weight training with heavy weights and perfect form, with limited rest in between sets. It worked. Not only was I getting stronger, but I started rapidly losing inches and fat.
Noel explained to me the importance of training the back. In addition to gaining muscle strength, a sculpted back makes the waist appear smaller, creating that V taper you see on athletes. When I started training I had no idea about sculpting; I trained all muscles equally. But I soon learned that targeting specific muscles could create the physique that I wanted.
I want to emphasize that you will hit a plateau, and your results will stall. Don’t give up when the results aren’t coming. Let that be your motivation to find a different method that will work for you. When I hit my plateau, I went out and found a trainer. With this new style of training consisting of heavy weights and limited rest, I started seeing results immediately, and I noticed I had more energy.
Back and biceps are my favorite muscles to train now. I love the results, the increased energy and how good I feel after this intense back/biceps routine.
Load the end of the bar with plates heavy enough that the weight is challenging and you can safely achieve the full range of motion. Straddle the T-Bar so that your legs are on either side of the bar. Bend from the hips so that your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Grip the handles on the bar. While keeping the natural arch in your lower back, raise the bar up until the plate reaches your chest. Slowly lower the bar back down until your arms are extended. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Downs
Adjust the weight on the lat pull-down machine to a level where it’s challenging but you can safely achieve the full range of motion. Grip the bar wider than shoulder-width apart, palms facing away from the body. Pull the bar down, with a slow controlled movement until it reaches chin level. Pause for a moment at this position, and slowly raise the bar back up while keeping control of the bar. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
On the floor next to the flat bench, rest a dumbbell heavy enough to be challenging, and will allow you to safely achieve the full range of motion. On the flat bench, place one knee up on the bench and place the other foot on the floor for support, with a wide stance. Keeping your back parallel to the floor, slowly pick up the dumbbell, using your free hand for support on the bench. After you have the dumbbell in your grip, lift the weight up slowly with a controlled movement up to your side. Slowly lower it back down until your arm is fully extended. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Preacher Bench Curls
With the arms positioned against the preacher bench pad, hold an EZ grip bar on the inner curves. Keeping your torso resting on the chest pad and elbows stationary, raise the bar up to the shoulders. Slowly extend the arms back down, keeping a slight bend in the elbows. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Two-Hand Cable Curls
This move is performed with a bar on a floor level pulley. Stand with your feet should-width apart. With an underhand grip (thumbs under the bar), begin with arms relaxed and slowly pull the bar up to your chest, keeping your elbows stationary. Pause at the top of the movement, and slowly lower the weight back to starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Incline Dumbbell Curls
Adjust the incline bench to a 45-degree angle. Grab two dumbbells that are heavy enough to be challenging but will allow you have full range of motion, arms hanging at your sides. Keeping your head back on the bench, back straight and feet flat on the floor, slowly curl the dumbbells up to shoulder level, keeping your elbows still. Slowly lower the weight back down. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
By Arpana Prassad, Photos by JamesPatrick.com