If you’ve ever wondered how cover models train or prep for magazine shoots, it differs from person to person. (Sorry, did you expect some BS blanket answer that applied to everyone at every age, gender, and fitness level?)

That said, this is how former M&F cover star and celebrity trainer Don Saladino prepped for his cover in 2018. And it’s the approach he uses with many of his clients — Sebastian Stan, Ryan Reynolds, etc. when their goal is to get camera-ready.

Use free weights or just your own bodyweight if you don’t have the equipment, says Saladino. He adds that you should be able to pivot when needed — a movement or a suggestion should never be the be-all-end-all. In short, listen to your body and aim to move like an athlete.

 

Chest Warm-up:

1: Bottom-up kettlebell press
Why: Works on shoulder stability and lat length.

2: Hip airplane
Why: Utilizes the hip and helps sore backs and knees.

3: Child’s pose
Why: Focuses on breath work, adds positive extension in the thoracic spine, and stretches the hips.

Cover Model Chest Workout:

A series of chest exercises focusing on strength and hypertrophy and moving blood into the muscle.

Bench press: Start at a comfortable weight and increase. If your goal is to put on size you first need to tie in mind-muscle connection. Feel the weight that’s being used. Strength and power helps with muscle density, but form is critical.

Weighted chest press with bands: overload the position of the movement. Great way to strengthen the top of the chest.

Incline fly: if you don’t have this machine, do a dumbbell fly or cable fly, anything where you can get a good stretch.

Seated machine chest press: go from lighter to heavier, you don’t want to go too heavy too quickly. Go heavier each set to try and maintain the sweet spot.

If there is a critical drop-off point in weight, it’s time to move on. Always end with a bit of calisthenics: pulls ups, push-ups, tricep dips, etc. It’s important to get a good stretch and the heart pumping.

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