Upper Body

Right, i have my running under control at the moment. I need to crack on with my upper body strength now. Again, this will be the first time i'll be doing upper body work, i was wondering considering i am new at this how should i start off? What would you reccommend? I do have access to a gym, although naming the machines would be :? to me. How about the rowing machine, does that help at all? Oh and i am female i'm afraid so obviously no bodybuidling stuff. If you can help, thanks alot anyway :D
Quick question - What are you intending to build your upper body strength up for? For assessment or just because you wish to?

Any form of resistance machine in the gym would be a good start, chest press, fly machine, bicep curls. You want to work at a weight where you can do up to 15 reps in one go but not much more, wait for a minute or two,m then go again.

Rowing machines are fantastic as they work your upper body, torso, legs and CV all at once.

If you have a specific target to achieve (ie. x press ups in x minutes) then the only way to do it is to start doing them. When I was training for RCB I built up my press ups and sit ups by doing 15, then rest a minute, then my max, rest a minute, another 15.

Hope this helps

Howdo Alexis,

Use of the rowing machine is a good place to start. In your position I'd start with 5 mins of continuous rowing at a medium setting, steadily increasing as you get more accustomed to the exercise - not being female, I cannot say whether you should go up to the highest level (though there's no reason you shouldn't, given time), so I'll leave that decision up to you, but stick with the medium pace initially. You'll find that quite soon you'll be able to push out to 10-15 mins continously.

In your gym you should ask one of the staff or instructors for some advice - don't be shy about this, as it's what they're there for. Stay clear of the real 'torture devices' (the huge siege engine-like things covered in wires and weights) which will probably have been taken over by the resident Venice Beach wannabes anyway. For now, in conjunction with your rowing, content yourself with various arm exercises on the machines where you can either draw the weights toward you (like a drawbridge) or draw them inwards in front of your face. Start gently and increase gradually whatever you do. Once you have built up yourself in the upper body department, you'll find press-ups and pull-ups easier (though practising them is the only real way to master them).

what i do

10mins of rowin.. level 7.. keepin the strokes per min above 30

15mins of treadmill... 1min intervals, 1min of 10kph jog then 1min of 14kph run speed.. for 10mins with a 3min cooldown, incline set to 0.5

then work on the upper body machines.. bicep curl, rear deltoids etc

then a bit of free weights...

best bet is down the gym ask 1 of the instructors to make a programme up for ya... explain that youre joinin the army an need a specific upper body workout

try circuit trainin aswell.. that helps improve stamina aswell as muscle mass
Thanks so much for all your comments, definately helped me out!

ManOnTheMoon said:
Quick question - What are you intending to build your upper body strength up for? For assessment or just because you wish to?
For assessment yes, i'm doing my running at the moment to get my time down, then i can go for interview, but upper body strength would definately be a weak point for me, and after talking to some people and seeing those army vids at the careers office, most of the girls failed the upper body part. So just a few tips on how to get started has helped me out. Cheers :)
Hi, im also female and trying to get fitness up to join. To get my upper body up I started off doing weights at the gym 4 times a week. I choose 4 machines (varying them on each gym trip) and do 2 sets of 15 reps on each one. When I 1st started I really struggled to do the 1st set on 15 reps on 10kg, but after a few weeks you will soon improve, I can now do 35kg on most no problem and iv got arms like match sticks!

(Varying the machines each time does mean it will take you longer to get your weights up but it will improve your entire upper body strength rather than just sticking to the same machines and only improving certain areas)

I found my upper body strength came much quicker than my run time, plus I enjoyed it more (opening jam jars is no longer a problem for this Tinker!) If you keep at it and knock your weights up gradually you’ll soon get there.

Good Luck!

Ps if you find out how to do pull up please let me know, I don’t know ANY females that can do one, I can do half of one and then just hang there like a deranged monkey!
For your pull ups, start by increasing bicep strength with loose weights. Then progress to pull-downs using one of the machines at the gym.
Once youve got a bit of strength you can start doing real pull-ups.

Start with an underhand grip. ie palms facing towards you.
When youve got the hang of that, and can push out a few good sets, progress to an overhand grip which is much harder and alternate overhand and underhand sets.

Soon have arms like mine!

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