[WOTM, 04/2015] Beef Up Your Chest & Shoulders With The Hulk Smash Upper Body Workout
GET ANGRY AND HULK SMASH SOME WEIGHT. We’re 2 months out from summer. AKA when your body emerges from hibernation and gets put on display for the entire world to see.
Okay, maybe not—you’re not Karlie Kloss—but that’s probably what’s running through your head. And thoroughly freaking you out.
R.E.L.A.X. There’s still plenty of time to make a few upgrades — if you start busting ass, ASAP. Take it from the top.
One defining characteristic of an elite beach body is a towering, hulking, ripped-up UPPER BODY. Specifically, a tank-like chest, striated delts, a wide back, and powerful arms.
You’ve got a hearty two months to work with. April’s WOTM—The Hulk Smash Upper Body Workout—is set up as a sprint to help pummel your upper body relentlessly, in a way that catalyzes new growth and forces the body to add mass. Fast.
It’s a high-powered compilation of our favorite upper body blasters, organized in such a way that’s extremely intense—it bounches between supersets, dropsets, dipsets, and heavy lifting—quick-hitting, and poised to pummel your muscles into the ground.
Go heavy, progressively lift heavier, and follow it religiously — you’ll quickly see the shirt-bursting GAINS pile up.
And if you’re a lady, don’t sprint away. You’ll actively construct toned arms, defined shoulders, and a rippling, gorgeous back. And develop a ton of strength in the process. GETTTTTTTT IT.
[WOTM 04/2015] The Hulk Smash Upper Body Workout
Do the Hulk Smash Upper Body Workout 2x per week, with at least 2 days in between each session. We HIGHLY recommend supplementing it with (A) a killer ab workout, (B) something that demolishes the legs and butt, and (C) HIIT cardio.
It’s unacceptable to sport toothpick legs in a bathing suit. A few rules:
- Rest 1-1.5 minutes in between sets.
- Use the heaviest weight possible for the given rep range and gradually increase it over time. Once you’re able to bang out the prescribed number of reps, increase the weight during your next set and/or workout.
- CLEAN. UP. YOUR. DIET. Use our guide to fix it.
- New to the whole workout thing? Read this primer first.
A printable recap of the full workout is available here.
*Click on each exercise name for a full pop-out video demo.
Protocol: 3 sets — 8 reps + 12 reps
Target Muscle(s): Chest
- (1) Do 8 heavy reps of the Dumbbell Chest Press. Lower the weights down until they’re in-line with your chest.
- (2) Immediately do 12 Dumbbell Flies. Squeeze your chest together at the top of each rep. Use a light weight, focus on form, and maximize the contraction.
Protocol: 3 sets — 8 reps
Target Muscle(s): Back, Legs, Core, Arms
- (1) Start in a low squat position and grab the bar with an overhand grip (A). Sit back in your hips, push through your heels, ascend upward, and raise your torso until you’re in a full stand (B) — maintain a tight core and straight back throughout the motion.
- (2) Slowly lower under control by dropping your torso and hips down until the bar touches the floor (A). Repeat for 8 heavy reps.
Protocol: 3 sets — 10 reps
Target Muscle(s): Shoulders, Triceps
- (1) Sit upright and bring 2 dumbbells up to shoulder height.
- (2) Keep your core tight and press both dumbbells directly overhead. Contract your delts, squeeze, and hold the contraction at the top for 1 second.
- (3) Lower down slowly until your triceps are PARALLEL with the floor. Repeat for 10 reps.
Protocol: 3 drop sets — 12 reps + 12 reps + 12 reps PER DROP SET
Target Muscles: Lateral Deltoids, Shoulders (All)
If you forgot, drop sets are a group of sets performed back-to-back—without rest—where you reduce the weight on each subsequent set. It’s also known as “running the rack.” And it produces INSANE pumps.
So for instance, one drop set could look like:
- Set #1: 12 lateral raises x 15 LBs →
- Set #2: 12 lateral raises x 10 LBs →
- Set #3: 12 lateral raises x 7.5 LBs
That’s 1 drop set. We’re doing THREE of those. Don’t worry if you fatigue and can’t bang out every rep — push it and get as far as possible.
Protocol: 2 supersets — 10 reps/arm + 12 reps
Target Muscle(s): Back, Biceps
- (1) Hold onto a bench and do 10 Dumbbell Rows per arm. Pull the weight up to chest height and contract your upper back — keep your core tight and lower back straight.
- (2) Immediately do 12 Biceps Curls.
Protocol: 1 dipset — 7/6/5/4/3/2/1
Target Muscle(s): Chest, Triceps
The Dipset is a superset variation that combines dips (or bench dips, if needed) and push ups. The only difference: you’re aiming to complete SEVEN supersets as quickly as possible, subtracting 1 rep from each as you go.
Here’s how it goes down:
- (1) Do 7 dips → immediately do 7 push ups →
- (2) Do 6 dips → do 6 push ups →
- (3) Do 5 dips → do 5 push ups
- (7) Do 1 dip. Immediately do 1 push up.
All-in-all, you’ll do 28 dips and 28 push ups.
Plow through as many reps as possible, resting as needed. It WILL burn profusely. Your ultimate goal: finish the entire thing without resting.
7. Pull Ups
Protocol: 2 sets — AMRAP
Target Muscle(s): Lats, Back, Biceps
- (1) Do a full set of Pull Ups — bang out as many reps as possible (AMRAP).
- (2) Rest and repeat a second set. DONE.
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto.
I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP
, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid
, and all-around fitness junkie.
I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine
When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses
and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.
Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO)
& Snapchat (BRYDISANTO)
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