Modern Physique: Week 1, Day 1 - Upper Body and Cardio

Building your modern physique starts with this epic upper-body workout. Hit it hard. Get strong.

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One of the most important pillars of a modern physique is strength. From Day 1 (as you're about to see), you're working toward a stronger body. We do this because strength flows into everything else we do. Think you can build symmetry or power without strength? If trained properly, stronger muscle will eventually be a bigger muscle.

Modern Physique Pillar Strength
Watch the video - 2:50

At the beginning of each week, you'll perform lower-rep, compound exercises to build strength. Later in the week, you'll get into isolation and hypertrophy-inducing workouts.

Today's workout includes a 1-1/4 close-grip bench press. To do it, lower the weight for a 4-count, push the weight 1/4 of the way up, bring it back down to your chest, and then push it all the way back up.

The slow eccentric portion and the extra quarter-rep will increase the amount of time your muscles are under tension, bringing strength and size gains to your chest!

Day 1: Upper body and cardio

1-1/4 close-grip bench press

4 sets of 6 reps (4-count lower, 1/4 up, all the way up)
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

Face Pull

4 sets of 10 reps (AHAP)
Face Pull Face Pull
Note: Rest 2-3 min.


Weighted Chin-Up

4 sets of 6 reps (4-count eccentric)
Chin-Up Chin-Up

Seated Lateral Raise

4 sets of 10 reps
Seated Side Lateral Raise Seated Side Lateral Raise
Note: Rest 2 min.

Giant set:

Machine incline bench press

3 sets of 8-12 reps
Leverage Incline Chest Press Leverage Incline Chest Press

Lat Pull-down

3 sets of 8-12 reps
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

Chest dip

3 sets of 8-12 reps
Dips - Chest Version Dips - Chest Version

T-bar chest-supported row

3 sets of 8-12 reps
T-Bar Row T-Bar Row
Note: Rest 30 sec. between exercises, fail in the rep range, rest 2 min. between giant sets.

If you can't use all four pieces of equipment, look for suitable substitutes, or perform straight sets with short rests.


Incline treadmill sprint

10 rounds: 20 sec. work, 1 min. rest (#12 incline, work speed PR mile pace)
Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill

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