Building your body to look like an upside down triangle entails making your chest, back and shoulder muscles much bigger. Using moderate to heavy weights for four to six sets of six to 12 repetitions is best when you want to build big upper body muscles. Refrain from lifting heavy weights when you do your leg exercises to further augment that upside down-triangle figure you would like to achieve. Big leg muscles minimize the visual effect of such a physique.
Barbell bench press
Cable pulley machine
Maintain a workout journal to ensure you are using progressively heavier weights and that you are reaching the intended number of sets and reps for your upper body muscles, building your upside down-triangle body.
Lifting heavier weights, changing the total volume of sets and reps you incorporate and changing the exercise order does increase the likelihood you will experience extreme muscle soreness. Start with light weights and three sets per exercise to reduce the extent of your muscle soreness.
Work your chest and back muscles within the same workout at the beginning of every week, such as on a Monday. Train your shoulders with your legs or with your biceps and triceps at the end of your exercise week, such as on a Thursday or Friday.
Utilize the superset method of resistance training by pairing exercises for two different muscles together, enabling one muscle to rest while you are working on the other muscle.
Begin your chest and back workout with multi-joint, fundamental upper body exercises such as flat barbell bench presses and incline barbell bench presses for your chest; do barbell rows and lateral pulldowns first for your back muscles. Start your shoulder workout with barbell military presses or dumbbell shoulder press.
Incorporate flat dumbbell presses, incline dumbbell presses, flat dumbbell flies or incline dumbbell flies for your chest muscles and one-arm dumbbell rows, seated cable roads or assisted pull-ups for your back during the middle of your chest and back routine. Add dumbbell lateral raises, reverse flies and front dumbbell raises for the middle of your deltoid routine.
Save cable flies and push-ups for the end of your chest routine. Do dumbbell pullovers and one-arm cable rows toward the end of your back workout. Incorporate lateral cable raises at the end of your shoulder workout.
Start the first two sets of each exercise with a light enough weight that you can complete 10 to 12 repetitions. Gradually increase the resistance you are using such that it becomes quite difficult to finish six to 12 repetitions for each of the remaining sets.
Things You'll Need
- American College of Sports Medicine: Progression Models in Resistance Training for Adults; William J. Kraemer, Ph.D., et al.
Paula Quinene is an Expert/Talent, Writer and Content Evaluator for Demand Media, with more than 1,500 articles published primarily in health, fitness and nutrition. She has been an avid weight trainer and runner since 1988. She has worked in the fitness industry since 1990. She graduated with a Bachelor's in exercise science from the University of Oregon and continues to train clients as an ACSM-Certified Health Fitness Specialist.