Workout Plans
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Per Bernal
Per Bernal

Reveal an elite upper body in just 4 weeks.

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Sculpting a well-proportioned upper body takes serious work. And certain techniques help put top figure competitors like two-time Figure Olympia winner Latorya Watts—who demonstrates the moves in this workout—over the top. Progressive overload, for example, is a key training principle in which the body is challenged with an increasing workload (more volume or weight) so your muscles get more efficient at doing the same exercise.

This workout will do just that—overloading every aspect (deltoids, biceps, triceps, lats, chest, and back)—to help visibly etch your top half in a shorter amount of time. And it also focuses on keeping your waistline sleek and trim, says figure and bikini contest prep coach Laura Marenco. “You have to focus some of your upper-body strategy on maintaining a small waist relative to a wider back,” she says, so at the top of your flex, your upper body forms an eye-catching V shape. “We will also focus on developing roundness and fullness in the deltoids, and targeting the chest and arms.”

Marenco designed this four-week, three-day workout split specifically for those women who want to go from scrawny to sculpted. Whether you’ve entered your first competition or just want to experiment with your physique, this calibrated workout plan will help you get there.

How to do it: The first two weeks you’ll lift higher reps with challenging weight. The other two you’ll increase workload by adding weight as you lower reps. Volume will also increase in number of sets.

Note: Sets and reps listed are for beginners. If you are an advanced lifter, use the sets and reps listed in the notes of each exercise. 

The 4-Week Next-level Upper-body Plan

Weeks 1-2

Weeks 3-4