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Womens Upper Body Workout
By Michael Berg, NSCA-CPT
9/11/2013 8:25:00 AM  
Women's Upper Body Workout

An upper-body workout for women who want to sculpt an athletic body while burning serious fat.

What's the most powerful tool in the gym for stripping away body fat? The treadmill? Elliptical? Stair climber?

Actually, none of the above.

Surprisingly to some, the best, most efficient way to lose unwanted pounds is not through cardio workouts at all. The best weapon in the war on fat is resistance training, using plain old barbells, dumbbells and machines.

Of course, cardio exercise can burn calories, but only during the time you're training, plus a bit of a metabolic boost that continues afterward. Not bad. Now consider the muscles of your body, which — get this — burn fat and calories 24/7. Whether you're sleeping or awake, your own lean muscle tissue is working hard for you, like a metabolic engine that never takes a break.

That's where resistance training comes in. For every pound of muscle you build, you burn that many more calories, not to mention give shape and definition to your body in all the places you want it.

If you haven't put in enough time in the weight room lately, and far too many hours on your favorite cardio machine, it's time to flip the script. Save cardio for 15-30 minute bursts here and there throughout the week, but put your focus squarely on lifting, aiming for at least four workouts a week of 45 minutes to an hour in duration.

One oft-used strategy is to split the body into upper- and lower-body workouts. For instance, you can do the upper body workout here Mondays and Thursdays, and a lower-body workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In just a few months, you'll be well on your way to a leaner, stronger body ... with less need for that old trusty treadmill after all.

The Plan
Body Part Exercise Sets Reps
Back Pulldown to Front 4 10-15
Back Standing Rope Cable Row 3 10-15
Shoulders Standing Dumbbell Press 4 10-15
Shoulders Cable Lateral Raise 3 12-20
Chest Incline Dumbbell Press 3 10-15
Chest Pec-Deck Flye 2 12-20
Biceps Standing Curl (straight bar) 5 12-20
Triceps One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension 4 12-20
Core Back Extension 4 25
Core Double Crunch 4 20

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