Capitalizing on Cables


One of the best ways to squeeze a workout into a short period is not to move. Not your body, silly. We’re talking about staking out one small area of the gym and doing your whole workout there. Take, for example, the cable station. In our gym, they’re always busy, full of people doing crossovers and pressdowns. So, to challenge ourselves, we created this 15-minute full upper-body workout that uses just one single cable and a D-handle. To keep it quick, we alternated sides with no rest in between sets.

1) One-Arm Cable Chest Press: Position the cable just below shoulder height and stand facing away from it with your right shoulder aligned with the pulley. Press the handle straight out in front of you, keeping a slight bend in your elbow at the finish position.

2) One-Arm Cable Row: Lower the cable to just above waist height and face it. With your right arm extended in front of you, grasping the D-handle with an overhand grip, keep your elbow close to your side and pull the handle back as far as possible.

3) One-Arm Shoulder Press: Lower the cable once more, to about knee height, and stand facing away from it. Press the handle straight up over your head and then lower it down until your upper arm is parallel with the floor.

4) One-Arm Biceps Curl: With the cable in the same spot, stand facing it and curl the handle up, keeping your elbow pinned to your side.

5) One-Arm Triceps Pressdown: Raise the cable to about shoulder height and face it, aligning your right shoulder with the cable. Keep your elbow pinned at your side and press the handle down until your arm is almost fully extended.