Get Fit with Marta Montenegro: The Standing Ovation Workout

Almost every day we come across something new in the fitness world. Working out in a fast-moving circuit has become a popular way to shred fat and get toned fast. Combining exercises such as pull-ups, squats, lunges, and squats-to-press has its merits, but it’s difficult to truly exhaust each muscle to see substantial results in one specific body part.

Today, I’m giving you a whole routine just for the upper body. This way you can make sure that you’re exhausting these muscles, which will bring greater results to your upper frame. For guys, this means a more proportional relationship between the chest and the back (not everything is working out the chest) and for the ladies, this means when you clap, your arms will look firm, not jiggly!

That’s why I call this the Standing Ovation Workout.

Let’s Get Started

- Perform this routine twice a week alternating days and/or alternating with lower body routine. (Next week I’ll be posting a workout just for the lower body.)

- Perform this routine in super sets, which means two exercises, one after another, with no rest. You can rest at the end of each super set. They’ve been grouped to work opposite muscles in each super set. So, you’ll rest the triceps while working on the biceps.

- Do one day of heavy lifting, keeping the reps between 8 to 12, and another day light, doing between 15 to 20 reps. This way you’ll work on strength and endurance components.

- Always make sure that last repetition is hard to perform.

- Make sure that you warm up lightly and stretch at the end of the workout

The routine (done in super sets)

1. Chest press to dumbbell row: heavy day (3 sets, 8-12 reps); light day (3 sets, 15-20 reps)

2. Push ups (decline) to bent over row: heavy day (4 sets, 8-12 reps); light day (3 sets, 20 reps)

3. Flies to front and lateral shoulder raises: heavy day (3 sets, 8-12 reps); light day (3 sets, 15-20 reps)

4. Bicep curl (hammer and regular) to tricep extension (in and out): heavy day (4 sets, 8-12 reps); light day (3 sets, 15-20 reps)

Rest time between each superset: heavy day (60-90 seconds), light day (less than 60 seconds)

Equipment: two pair of different dumbbell weights (one from heavy day and another for light day) a bench or a Swiss Ball.

The exercises: 

Chest press
Dumbbell row
Pushups (decline)
Bent over row
Front/ lateral shoulder raises
Bicep curl (regular)
Bicep curl (hammer)
Tricep extension (in)
Tricep extension (out)

Marta Montenegro inspires people to live healthy lives by giving them the tools and strength to find one’s inner athlete through her website She created SOBeFiT, a national fitness magazine for men and women, and the Montenegro Method DVD workout series – a program she designed for getting results in just 21 days by exercising 21 minutes a day. Marta is a strength and conditioning coach and serves as an adjunct professor of exercise physiology at Florida International University.