My Monday Gym Routine: Upper Body Day!

As promised, I’m finally sharing with you guys my second workout of the week! (Check out my last post in this series for the first routine if you like). On Mondays, I like to begin the new week with some weights and upper body training. The whole session lasts for about an hour and a half, but there are breaks in between so that I can push hard throughout the whole exercise.

I love it when there’s that visible line in your arm from the contours of the muscles, it’s so sexy when people unintentionally flex it while doing physical work 🙂 Having visible back muscles also appeal greatly to me, they just look so good when wearing a backless top/bikini. So to get those toned biceps and triceps and back muscles, I do a variety of exercises. Each exercise goes a little something like this: 35s work, 25s rest. Repeat 4 times. The rest time is really important in giving your muscles a quick break so that you can continue to carry on with the same load or even heavier load in the subsequent rounds. It’s completely up to you to adjust the work and rest time according to your comfort level. I picked this set of timing up when I was training at F45, and since then it just stuck with me.

Without further ado, let me present the set of arm exercises I do on Arms Day:

  1. Chest press
  2. Assisted pull ups and chin dips
  3. Lateral pull
  4. Chest machine (front and back)
  5. Tricep extensions (6kg)
  6. Dumbbell Row (6kg per arm)
  7. Bicep curls (4kg per arm)

For the chest press machine, I’ll typically adjust it until it’s inclined at a 30° angle. In terms of the load, I will choose a weight that’s not too heavy but not too light either. It’s such that I’m able to do about 8 reps during the 35s work period. Of course, you can choose whether to get a lighter load and do more reps, or choose a heavier load but do fewer reps. Both options give different results depending on what your goals are (either build endurance or bulk) so it’s good to have a plan and decide what is your ultimate aim. I find that the chest press machine is really useful in helping to strengthen the muscles at the boob area, and the APUCD (this is my own acronym haha) machine is really good for helping beginners build stronger back muscles since they provide support according to one’s comfort level.

The lateral pull machine also helps to train the back muscles, but having that mind-muscle connection is very important when using this machine. Sometimes when I’m not paying attention, I realise I’m relying more on my forearm muscles to pull the load instead of activating my back muscles which is supposed to be the target group. The pectoral machine works 2 types of muscles: if you’re facing the load, it works your back muscles and if you’re away from the load, it works your chest muscles (similar to the chest press machine).

Next up, we have the dumbbell series! For bicep curls, I work with 4kg weights per arm and try to do as many reps as possible. For dumbbell rows, it’s 6kg per arm. When doing this move, it’s important to keep your back straight and shoulder down as you’re rowing those weights, to make sure that you won’t injure yourself / work the wrong muscle. This exercise targets the back muscles as well, but since you’re doing one arm at a time, it allows for better control and mind-muscle-connection in my opinion. For tricep extensions, I continue on with the 6kg load, and hold it with both hands. As of now, these are my current loads for the various dumbbell exercises, but I am hoping to increase them over the next few weeks as my body gets accustomed to these weights.

After doing all the above exercises, I like to incorporate my two workout essentials:

  1. 30 minute incline walk
  2. 10 min ABS routine (from Youtube)

I always always always do these 2 as part of my workout routine, regardless of whether it’s a cardio or weights session. It gives my arms and back muscles a good rest while working the rest of my body.

Aaaand that is all for my upper body Monday routine! I hope that this was an interesting and helpful read for all you gym enthusiasts out there. I’m definitely not a sports professional – this is just a routine that works for me so I thought I’d give it a share and maybe someone will find this helpful for them as well! Next post of this series would be what I do on my last workout of the week …. Lower Body Weights Day!

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