Biceps & Beignets

Dip It Low, Pick It Up Slow

Bonjour! I hope you are all having a wonderful end of summer. Despite the fact that “bikini season” is coming to an end, I am up and about in the gym every day trying to make up for the lost time that college and summer internships took. After all, bikini season can be any season!

Currently, I am trying to burn excess fat, tone my muscles, and regain the strength (especially in my core) that I used to have when I was on track team. Part of me needs to reverse the damage that college has done. However, this definitely doesn’t mean I’m a professional when it comes to setting workout routines! I’m just doing variations of what I’m comfortable with from the past.


Pull-Ups

Introducing one of my favorite workouts on my favorite apparatus at the gym: Pull-Up/Dip (with/without assist). Don’t mind the photos, I know I’m 50 different shades of tan right now and still working on my form.

Current routine: 5 sets of 5 reps with 80lbs assist

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Pull Up (wide-grip)

A pull-up is different from a chin-up in terms of hand grip. In this photo, you’ll see that I’m doing my preferred one, a pull-up.

In terms of grip:
  • Pull-Up: palms face outwards with thumbs looped around the bar, a little more than shoulder-width apart, usually harder than a chin-up
  • Chin-Up: palms are facing you with thumbs looped around the bar, shoulder-width apart.
  • Neutral grip: palms face each other, shoulder-width apart.
    • In that case, you would use the middle handle bars. Note that I hate this apparatus in my home gym because it lacks more handles up top at different angles and widths, making neutral grip and chin-ups next to impossible for an infant like me.
In terms of focus:
  • Pull-Up: shoulder adduction, back/lats, less on biceps
  • Chin-Up: shoulder extension, more on biceps
  • Neutral grip: literally in-between the above two, at least in my opinion.

The narrower the grip, the more your bicep gets trained. The wider the grip, the more your back/lats get trained. Figure out what area you want to concentrate on more when deciding your reps and sets.

In terms of weight:

If you are starting out, definitely use the assist cushion. Set the weight to however much you want to take off your own body weight. For example, let’s say you weigh 125lbs. You know you can’t lift all 125lbs just yet, but maybe you can lift 95lbs. Set the weight to 30lbs. Eventually, you will work your way to not needing the assist and maybe even putting a weight between your legs/ankles.

WARNING: Do not have an overly wide grip OR attempt any pull-ups/chin-ups or even lat pull-downs from behind the neck. You’ll strain that area at an angle that is not suitable for the body. Yo neck is kind, yo neck is smart, yo neck is important.

Dips

Current routine: 5 sets of 5 reps with 70lbs assist

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mid-Dip

Dips work out your triceps, shoulders, and back/lats. To start, rotate the bars (if possible) to whatever is shoulder width apart for you. Make sure your hands are by your hips and under your shoulders. Be sure to keep your arms close to your body with your shoulders squared tight. Squeeze the bar and make sure your wrists don’t bend, causing injury. It definitely helps with increasing proper usage of all your arm muscles when dipping. I bend my knees and squeeze my abs and glutes in to keep my lower back neutral. Lean forward dip till your shoulders are at parallel to your elbows. Rise up till you’re arms are straight again, elbows locked.

In terms of breathing:

Breathing is everything. In fact, it helps you complete the routine much easier. Always inhale at the resting position and slowly exhale as you pull up or dip down. Then inhale as you lower down/rise up to resting position.

In terms of feeling lit:

I tend to listen to very hype songs when on this apparatus. For me, it motivates me and pumps up my adrenaline. Feel free to check it out on my Spotify playlist #Gainz linked in the icon at the bottom of the page.

With that, bonne chance, mes chéries!

 

-E.

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