Upper Body Muscle Building session

Upper Body Muscle Building session

This week’s video is all about building upper body muscle with a focus on shoulder rehab. For the first time in my career I hurt my shoulder this season, and had an issue with my Ac joint. Stupidly I decided to ease of the weights as it was so sore I wasn't able to do my normal training. Instead of finding out other things I could do, or working on surrounding tissues, I took the easy option of not doing any upper body.

Obviously my goal at the moment is not to put any muscle on or try and have a bigger upper body, its not really going to help me with my rugby. However I need to constantly keep up my strength and current muscle mass throughout the season. That is why I always do one leg session and one upper body.

It was only when my shoulder started getting worse did I realize that my lack of upper body work had meant that instead of helping it, I had reduced some muscle mass and weakened my strength and surrounding muscles. It was only when I went to see my mate and trainer Travis Allan, did we start to get to grips with it all again.

Rehab is never fun, and always long and boring. If you don't do it though, you have short-term gain for long-term pain.

Here is a session that I did during a break a few weeks ago. I was staying at a hotel so had to make do with what equipment they had and modify it accordingly. I have filmed each set of my workout to show you the pace, technique and tempo. I have found that these videos are the best way of explaining the sessions, so you can follow them at home. I used to just show you small flashes of the session but this is definitely the best way. I make no apologies it's a little long, but the Devil is in the Detail.

As the introduction says, this session is all about building upper body muscle with a focus on the shoulders. Everything is about time under tension work here, so all the lifting is slow and at a good tempo. This work out is hypertrophy based, and the tempo we are asking you to use is 3 seconds lowering, 1-second pause, 3 seconds raising.  3-1-3.  We are always doing 10 reps on every exercise.

Before this type of session make sure that you are warmed up properly and are ready to lift. I always take my pre trainer Hades before a session like this, as it’s longer than I would normally work and I don't want my energy to fade. It is the best pre trainer on the market and will give you a sustained boost of energy without making your go all funny. I know I am biased, but the feedback we get on a daily basis is amazing. Click Here to find out more about it. 


- Watch the video to get an understanding of what technique to use, and what exercise variations you are doing.


Set 1 - Super set

Exercise 1A - Incline press x10 reps

Exercise 1B - dumbbell flies x10 reps

Rest for 1 minute after the superset, and then return to Ex A. Perform 3 sets

In total of the super sets


Set 2 - Super set

Exercise 2A - Reverse cable crossovers x10

Exercise 2B - straight-arm cable pull downs x10

Rest for 1 minute after the superset, then return to Exercise A. Perform 3 sets in total of the super sets


Set 3 - super set

Exercise 3A - Alternate Front Raise x10 each side

Exercise 3B - Lateral Raise x10

Rest for 1 minute after the superset, and then return to Exercise A. Perform 3 sets in total of the super sets

Set 4 - super set

Exercise 4A - Prone external rotation and press

Exercise 4B - Straight-arm pull over

Rest for 1 minute after the superset, and then return to Exercise A. Perform 3 sets in total of the super sets


Set 5 – Tri-set

Exercise 5A - Single arm dumbbell row 10 each side

Exercise 5B - High cable bicep curl 10 each side

Exercise 5C - Single arm tricep pushdown 10 each side

Rest for 1 minute after the Tri-set, and then return to Exercise A. Perform 3 sets in total of the Tri set

Long-term training plan

I talk more about this kind of training in my lean muscle bodybuilding guide that has just gone live on my website Here. The book has extensive images and descriptions of all the exercises mentioned above.

The guide is a 12-week plan to help you build muscle and develop the body you want. Forget fat loss, its all about building quality muscle so you can look in the mirror and be proud of what you see. The training in today’s video is an example of some of the training you would face on the 12-week plan. If you have any questions about the reasons I advocate this type of training or you want to understand how to do the various exercises, then click the link above and download the guide now.

Everything is taken care of for you, when to train, how to train, what to eat, when to eat. Everything is set out in a way that will guarantee that you get amazing results after the 12 weeks. It’s taken me a year to right but I have poured all the knowledge of the last 13 years into it. It's the training I did, to get the body I have now.


Please share your thoughts with us through our social media channels. Twitter and instagram @JamesHaskellHF we want to hear your stories and see your progress. We always Re-Instagram any wicked pictures we get or fan interaction.

Make sure you spread the word and stay tuned for our next video release. We always aim to do two a week, you can catch up with all the content we put out on our website www.jameshaskell.com or for all video content www.youtube.com/thejameshaskell.

– Entry was posted on February 23rd, 2016 by James Haskell

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