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appy holidays from Semper Fitness.

It's time to add some beautiful muscle to those shoulders and hamstrings. Well, let's get busy. The exercises we'll be doing for shoulders (deltoids and trapezius) will be military presses, side lateral raises (dumbbell), bent over lateral raises and dumbbell shrugs. To finish off day five's workout, we'll do two exercises for hamstrings; leg curls and stiff-legged deadlifts. For today's workout you're going to need a lifting belt and gloves. Lifting straps to help hold onto the weight is optional. Now it's time to get started.

We're going to start off with barbell military presses. The set/rep scheme will be one warm-up set, two heavy sets to total failure. Make sure you have a spotter. If you can't find a spotter, be sure to use a Smith machine. When doing military presses, we will be doing them behind the neck, lowering the weight to just below the hairline in back. When you press the weight back up, flex your shoulder muscles as tight as you can at the top.

Remember, your first set will be a warm-up. The warm-up will consist of 8-10 repetitions, done slowly with moderate weight. Once you have completed your warm up set you'll take about 2-4 minutes rest and begin your two heavy sets. The two heavy sets should be done to total failure, between 5 and 7 reps.

The next exercise you'll be doing will be dumbbell lateral raises. This exercise will target the medial deltoids (delts/shoulders). The same set/rep scheme as the first exercise. There are a few guidelines to follow while conducting lateral raises. The repetitions should be done with the strictest form possible. Grabbing the dumbbells and letting them hang from your sides is the start position. You are going to raise the weight out to your sides with your thumbs and palms facing and pointing towards the ground. At no time should your palm face forward while raising the weight.

Also try to keep your arms from bending at the elbows. A slight bend is almost inevitable, but some people tend to exaggerate this bend. Keeping the thumbs pointing downward should help with the form in case of cheating. You will be raising the dumbbells to about shoulder level. Again, one warm up set and two heavy sets to total failure will be the set/rep scheme. If you can do ten reps without a spotter for your heavy sets, you need to move up in weight. This completes the first lateral raise exercise.

The next lateral raise exercise will be bent over lateral raises. These will target the rear delts. It will be done in the same fashion as the previous exercise with the exception that you will be bent over at the waist with your back parallel to the floor. You must remember to keep your thumbs and palms facing downward. Also, the dumbbell should remain parallel to the floor as well. One warm-up, two heavy sets.

Finally, to give those trapezius (traps) muscles a nice workout, we’re going to do dumbbell shrugs. If you have lifting straps to help hold the weight, it would help your grip so you can concentrate on the lift. You are going to be grabbing a nice heavy weight for your shrugs. We will be doing three heavy sets of 8-12 reps or total failure, whichever comes first. When you shrug your shoulders up, make sure you squeeze your traps as tight as possible to get the maximum effect. Lower the weight as slow as possible also. That's it for shoulders. You should be feeling a nice burn right now. It’s time to move on to hamstrings.

Some people tend to overlook the hamstrings and concentrate only on quadriceps (quads). If they only knew how much of a part hamstrings play in that nice full look in the legs, they would definitely work them more often. The first exercise we're going to do is stiff-legged deadlifts. The reason we're doing this one first is to give the hamstrings a really good stretch. Of course, anytime you're going to be working legs, you should be doing about ten minutes of good stretching beforehand.

When you do your stiff-legged deadlifts, it would be smart to use your lifting belt and lifting straps. You will be using a barbell. The set/rep scheme will be one warm up, two heavy sets, 8-10 reps. There will be no forced reps from a spotter on this exercise due the nature of it (the lower back is a terrible muscle to injure). Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Keeping your legs fairly straight, but not locked out, bend over and grab the bar. Grab the bar with about a shoulder width grip. Lift the barbell using your hamstrings and not your back and arms. When you bend over again lowering the weight to the floor, make sure you keep your back straight, sticking your chest out to help with the form.

For your first set, do ten nice slow reps to get a good stretch in the hams. For your last two sets, go up to a fairly heavy weight. You will be doing 8-10 reps. As you raise the weight, squeeze your hamstrings and buns as tight as you can. The last exercise for hamstrings will be leg curls. This will be done on a lying leg curl machine. The way we are going to do these is going to be a little different from the rest of our exercises. We will be pyramiding the weight.

First, start with a weight that you can do right around 10 reps with. after you do 10 reps, immediately increase the weight about ten lbs and do 5 reps slower and squeezing tighter than before. After you complete this first 5 reps, again increase the weight by 10 more lbs and do 5 more reps. This is one set. You will be doing three sets. The only difference from the first set will be that the last five reps will be done to total failure. You should not be able to complete 5 reps on the very last set.

Well, that does it for the five day workout. Of course there are lots of other exercises that you can substitute for some of the exercises we presented here at Semper Fitness. Good luck on your workouts and stay tuned. In the next couple of issues we'll be talking about supplements of all sorts. Muscle building, dieting, etc. I'll see you soon. For now, good-bye, stay motivated, stay pumped, Semper Fidelis and OO-RAH!

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