The shoulder and biceps area is where many exercisers particularly hope to build their muscles while eliminating excess fat, also known as getting cut. To develop well-defined muscles, combine strength-training and fat-burning workouts while eating properly to encourage new muscle growth.
Speak with your doctor before you begin a new exercise program.
Perform shoulder isolation exercises such as raises. Perform a front raise by holding a barbell in front of your upper thighs, then raising it to about eye-level while keeping your arms straight. Do lateral raises by holding dumbbells in front of you, then lifting your arms to each side until they’re extended and parallel with the floor.
Isolate your biceps by doing curls. Hold dumbbells by your sides -- or a barbell in front of you -- with your arms extended, then lift the weights to your shoulders to perform standing curls. Set your arms on top of a preacher bench, then curl a barbell or dumbbell up toward your head to perform preacher curls.
Perform exercises that work both your shoulders and biceps. Do an upright row by holding a barbell in front of your upper thighs with your arms extended, then lifting the weight straight up while pointing your elbows away from your sides. Perform a rear delt row by bending from the waist so your torso is horizontal, holding a barbell with your arms extended and hanging down, then lifting the weight straight up to your chest. Do a shoulder press by standing erect and lifting a barbell from the front of your upper chest until your arms are extended over your head.
Do three to five sets of eight to 12 repetitions for each exercise, or work up to that level. Lift about 75 percent of your one-rep maximum weight. Rest from 30 to 90 seconds between sets, and try to decrease your rest periods over time.
Perform a cardio workout after resistance training to burn excess fat. After a longer weight-training workout, perform a high-intensity cardio session for about 10 to 12 minutes. Alternatively, do strength training for 20 to 30 minutes, followed by an intense cardio workout.
Eat a post-workout meal featuring a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 ratio of carbs to protein, between 30 to 45 minutes after your strength-training workouts, to stimulate muscle growth. Also try to get around eight hours of sleep per night so your body can produce the maximum amount of human growth hormone.
Things You'll Need
- ExRx.net: Shoulders
- ExRx.net: Upper Arm
- ExRx.net: Barbell Upright Row
- ExRx.net: Barbell Rear Delt Row
- American Council on Exercise: Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
- American Council on Exercise: What Exercises Should I Perform if I’m Trying to Gain Weight?
- Core Conditioning: Maximize Fat Burn by Adding a Metabolic Finisher to Your Workout
- Military.com: Cardio Vs. Resistance
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.