Ask me for an upper-body workout, and I’ll give you one exercise: the standing single-arm overhead press.
No other exercise comes close to offering that many advantages.
If you already have the overhead press in your workout, great. But I bet you don’t have it programmed like this. It’s called the 2-3-5 method, and I use in my book Mass Made Simple. The rep scheme follows a simple “ladder” formula that allows you to handle a lot of volume. You can follow it no matter what your goal—sports, hypertrophy, fat loss—because the training effects carry over to all of them.
How to do it
Left arm overhead press, 2 reps
Right arm overhead press, 2 reps
Left arm overhead press, 3 reps
Right arm overhead press, 3 reps
Left arm overhead press, 5 reps
Right arm overhead press, 5 reps
If you still have gas in the tank, do a set of 10 reps on the left and then repeat on the right. You’ll complete a total of 40 reps if you manage to get through the additional sets of 10. However, it won’t “feel” like 40. That’s because you’re constantly changing reps, and switching sides throughout.
(If you’re looking for more ways to burn fat and work every muscle, check out The Anarchy Workout. One guy lost 18 pounds of fat in just 6 weeks.)
I suggest most people do the entire workout with only one weight. Let the volume be your limiting factor, not your technique under a heavy load. If you do want to go up in weight, I suggest you do this: Perform a 2-3-5 ladder on each side like outlined above. But do up to three rounds of the ladder, increasing your load each time. Skip the sets of 10 while doing this variation since your goal is to use the biggest bell or load you can in the last round.