Build Muscles in 20 Minutes

Workout for V-Taper and Wide Shoulders

By Thomas Fahey, Ed.D. and Steve Blechman

This program takes 20 minutes, two times per week and will help you develop the broad shoulder, V-back, thin waist look.

Are you willing to spend 20 minutes, two times per week building a body that will turn heads and give you a more fit, confident look? Muscles in 20 Minutes will do just that. This concentrated workout builds broad, round shoulders that make your waist look smaller and clothes fit better. If you want results, but don’t have time for hours of training, then this workout is for you.

Healthy, fit-looking guys with large shoulders exude confidence. Consequently, people notice them wherever they go. You can improve the way you look with surprisingly little effort. You must train intensely, but you can build larger shoulders in two short workouts per week. This program will help you look good wearing an Armani suit in the boardroom, a tailored workout shirt in the weight room, or nothing at all in the bedroom.

Many of the workouts you’ll find online are for hardcore fitness enthusiasts. They require 30 to 90 minutes of cardio almost every day and monster weight workouts that leave your muscles feeling like Jell-O. Many guys are unable or unwilling to devote that much time to exercise. Daily challenges involving family, job and friends have a higher priority than peak fitness. Some men are more interested in climbing the ladder of success than achieving success on the stair climber.

The Muscles in 20 Minutes workout may be what you need to move up to the next level and run with the big dogs. You can build your shoulders without taking valuable time from your other priorities. Follow the Muscles in 20 Minutes workout for deltoids, lats, arms and abs outlined here and you’ll soon be sporting round, large shoulders and a V-like back that will send a powerful visual message to everyone around you.

Shortcut to Wider Shoulders and a Thinner-looking Waist

Muscles in 20 Minutes is a well-focused, scientifically designed weight-training program that targets the deltoids, arms, lats and abs. It builds broad shoulders and a V-tapered torso that makes your waist look thinner. You can build a “designer body” through this short, intense workout if you do the right exercises. It includes exercises selected on the basis of scientific studies to target and build these muscle groups. The program also includes a cutting-edge program design that helps you max out your muscles quickly.

Scientists study muscle activation during exercise with electromyography (EMG). They place electrodes over key muscles and measure electrical activity during various exercises. We chose the exercises for this program based on EMG studies. This workout targets the muscles that give you the T-shaped body that men want and women admire.

Supersets are one of the best ways to achieve broad shoulders and a V-tapered torso in the shortest time possible. This technique involves working each area – shoulders, lats and waist – in rapid succession. The exercises are arranged in pairs that target key muscle groups. Do the first exercise followed immediately by the second. Rest for one minute, and then do the next pair of exercises.

Supersets Produce Fast Results

Supersets involve working a muscle group, then immediately working another muscle group – giving the first muscle group exercised a rest. Muscle growth depends on high muscle tension and the length of time you apply the tension. Scientists aren’t completely sure how this works, but they have a few ideas. Weight training damages the muscle fibers, which makes the muscles grow as they repair themselves. Stressed muscles grow important structures called “satellite cells” that cause the genetic material in the cells to make new muscle tissue. Most experts agree that muscles get bigger by increasing the size of existing muscle cells rather than building new ones.

Supersets place the target muscles under intense stress, then immediately stress another muscle group, followed by a one-minute rest. The exercises are arranged in pairs and the entire program is sequenced in a circuit. Unlike other methods that involve training one muscle group at a time, supersets stress a muscle group and then let it rest while you go on to stress another muscle group. This allows you to exhaust several groups during a workout.

Supersets satisfy the most important stimuli for building muscle – high levels of muscle tension applied for a long time. At the end of this workout you’ve stressed your shoulders, lats, arms and abs to the max. The hard work not only builds muscles, but also burns a lot of calories during and after the workout. Increased caloric expenditure helps control body fat and makes you look cut and buff.

Not all muscle fibers are alike – some are slow and others are fast. The nervous system chooses which fibers to contract according to the load on muscle and the speed it contracts. When your body lifts a light load it chooses small, slow-twitch fibers. It calls on the larger, fast-twitch fibers when you want to lift a heavy weight or move quickly. You recruit the larger, stronger, fast-twitch fibers as the slower fibers fatigue. The best way to stress both the fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers is to push both types of fibers to the max using supersets. As muscles fatigue, they call on other muscle fibers to produce force.

Muscles in 20 Minutes Workout

This program takes 20 minutes, two times per week and will help you develop the broad shoulder, V-back, thin waist look. Do both exercises in each superset without rest. Rest one minute between supersets. After completing superset three, rest one minute and repeat the circuit. Train hard for best effect!

Do this program two days per week, with at least two days rest between workouts.

Superset 1

Pull-Ups*, 10 reps

Move immediately to the next exercise

Hanging Straight-leg Raises, 10 reps

Rest One Minute

Superset 2

Seated Dumbbell Presses, 10 reps

Incline Reverse Dumbbell Raises, 10 reps

Rest One Minute

Superset 3

Seated Front Deltoid Raises, 10 reps

Move immediately to the next exercise

Seated Side Raises, 10 reps

Rest one minute between supersets then go to the first exercise and repeat the circuit.

*Substitute lat pulls if you can’t do pull-ups.

This is not a comprehensive exercise program. Try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day. This doesn’t have to be part of a formal exercise program. For example, park farther from the building and walk 15 minutes in the morning to work and 15 minutes in the evening to your car. Diet is important. You can’t live on fast food and expect to look like Mr. Olympia. Watch your calorie intake and eat a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, lean meat and fish, healthy oils, nonfat dairy products and whole grains. You can get the kind of body you want with surprisingly little effort.

The Exercises

This program involves six exercises arranged in pairs. Exercises include pull-ups, hanging straight-leg raises, seated dumbbell presses, incline reverse dumbbell raises, seated front deltoid raises and seated side raises. Do each pair without rest between exercises. Rest one minute, then do the next pair (again without rest between exercises). After you finish the six exercises, repeat the circuit. This program should take 20 minutes (10 minutes to go through the circuit once). Do this workout two times per week with at least a two-day rest between each session.

You can do this exercise program at home if you have a pull-up bar and dumbbells. Most sporting goods stores carry pull-up bars that you can attach to interior doorframes. You may have to hunt around for dumbbells; most sporting goods stores carry them. In a pinch, you could even substitute rocks or soup cans for dumbbells – especially when you’re on a business trip or on vacation. So with all that said, there’s little excuse not to do this program.

Pull-ups. This is one of the best all-around exercises. It works the lats and the biceps, but stresses other muscles – such as the abs – as stabilizers. Accentuate the “V” look by doing pull-ups with a wide grip. Do wide-grip, behind-the-neck pull-ups if you really want to push it. Hang weights from your belt if you need more resistance. If you can’t do 10 pull-ups, use an assist machine or a spotter to help you do the workout. Substitute lat pull-downs if you’re starting from “ground zero” and have trouble doing any pull-ups.

The technique: Hang from a bar, your elbows fully extended, your hands facing forward (pronated grip), gripping the bar as wide as you can. Pull your body up until your chin passes the bar; then return to the starting position. Don’t swing your legs during this exercise, and be sure to fully extend your elbows after each repetition. Do hanging straight-leg raises as soon as you complete 10 reps.

Hanging Straight-leg Raises. This exercise develops the rectus abdominis, quadriceps and deeper hip flexor muscles.

The technique: While hanging from a bar with your legs straight, bring your feet to waist level until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Do this exercise with bent knees if you aren’t strong enough to do them with straight legs. Rest one minute before doing chin-ups.

Seated Dumbbell Presses: This exercise builds mainly the deltoids, triceps and traps. Doing this exercise seated isolates the deltoids.

The technique: Sit on a flat bench (with angle set at 90 degrees). Get the dumbbells to the starting position by kicking them with your knees to your shoulders. Press them overhead, either one or two at a time. After completing 10-12 repetitions, immediately begin incline reverse dumbbell raises.

Incline Reverse Dumbbell Raises. This exercise develops the rear part of the deltoid muscle.

The technique: Lie facedown on a standing incline bench set at 45 degrees. Stay high with head down. Keeping your elbows straight, hyperextend your shoulders (backward arm raise) and move the weights as high as you can and then return to the starting position. You can do this exercise two arms or one arm at a time.

Seated Front Raises. This exercise builds the front part of the deltoid muscles.

The technique: Sit on a flat bench or incline bench (with angle set at 90 degrees) and extend your arms fully while holding a dumbbell in each hand. With palms down and arms straight, raise your arms in front of you until they’re parallel with the ground. Return the dumbbells slowly to the starting position. You can do this exercise with two arms or one arm at a time. After completing 10 repetitions, immediately begin seated lateral raises.

Seated Lateral Raises. This exercise builds the middle part of the deltoid muscles.

The technique: Sit on a flat bench or incline bench (with angle set at 90 degrees) and extend your arms fully while holding a dumbbell in each hand. With your palms down and your arms straight, raise your arms to the side until they’re parallel with the ground or completely overhead. Return the dumbbells slowly to the starting position. You can do this exercise with two arms or one arm at a time. Rest one minute and do the entire circuit again.



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