The 15 Best Lifts To Get Ripped And Ready
This is the time of year to get shredded and stay that way all summer long. You have busted your ass waiting for the hot weather so that you can show off all of that hard work and can’t allow it to soften up now. So you need to counterbalance all of that partying that awaits you at every weekend barbeque. (Hey, you gotta live a little!)
So what you need to do is not worry about bulking up now (that should have happened while we were shoveling snow) and concentrate on engaging the muscles with detail in mind. Working them with slower and stricter reps with maximum time under tension is the best way to do that, as well as including a good number of isolation movements.
1 – HANGING LEG RAISES (ABS) – 4 Sets, 10 Reps Each
The best exercise to get (or keep) that six pack, hanging leg raises will hit your entire abdominal wall and especially the lower abs. Don’t worry too much about how many reps you do, but rather the quality of the ones you can do. This is a difficult movement and you want to make the most out of every rep.
Adding weight is not necessary and you want to bring your legs straight out in front of you up to a 90-degree angle. Hold it for a second and bring them back down.
2 – HIGH CABLE CURLS (BICEPS) – 3 Sets, 15 Reps Each
“Hey, are you using both sides?” You’ll get that question if your gym is crowded or doesn’t offer many cable stanchions, but this one is worth being selfish for. Do them together and squeeze it at the top of each rep to get the blood directly into the bicep muscles.
Some say that a peak is genetics, while others say that you can work towards one. You’ll never know until you try and this is one of those exercises that will give you the answer.
3 – SINGLE DUMBBELL FRENCH PRESSES (TRICEPS) – 3 Sets, 15 Reps Eac
Integrate at least one overhead movement to engage all three triceps heads and this one will totally isolate them. You have to keep the weight at something that you can handle with one arm and this is a very different exercise than its two-hand counterpart, which allows you to put up some heavy weight.
4 – PEC DEC (CHEST) – 3 Sets, 12-to-15 Reps Each
Pressing exercises are all compound movements that will engage your shoulders and triceps as secondary muscles, so it’s a good idea to isolate the chest (especially the inner portion) with the pec dec.
5 – LAT PULL DOWN (BACK) – 3 Sets, 12-to-15 Reps Each
It’s not easy to isolate the lats so you have to take what you can get. At least with lat pull downs, you can change the grip width up and squeeze it at the bottom of the rep to (hopefully) feel a pump.
6 – SEATED SIDE LATERAL RAISES (SHOULDERS) – 3 Sets, 15 Reps Each
Rounding out your side deltoids is key for widening what you hope is a V-taper and this exercise really isolates and taxes them. Seated is a better choice than standing since you will be using less momentum. And the key here is to not allow the weights to touch your sides at the bottom of the rep, keeping the tension going.