Celebrity trainer Don Saladino with Blake Lively on his left and Ryan Reynolds on his right

Celebrity trainer Don Saladino has worked with everyone from Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively, to Ryan Gosling and Hugh Jackman, as well as some of today’s hottest athletes. As a trainer for Cosmopolitan’s fitness and lifestyle channel, COSMOBODY, he blends the best of both the star-studded and sport-focused worlds of personal training down into info we can all use. Whether they’re hitting the red carpet or the winning shot, Saladino is training clients to acheive peak condition – and he’s sharing a few of his insights with us!

One of Don’s go-to methods is called split training. Instead of hitting every body part in one session, split training dedicates one full workout to each set. Not only does this give your muscles ample time to recover, it means you can devote all your attention to each body part without worrying the clock will run out – get out of the gym faster! Try Saladino’s upper body workout – focusing on your chest and biceps – throughout the holiday season for enviable arms and a decolletage you’ll want to show off come New Years Eve. Here’s Don…

This is a workout I do with Liev Schreiber, star of the Showtime hit TV series, Ray Donovan, to keep him in tip-top shape all season long. For Liev’s workout, the focus of Day One is chest and biceps. Day Two is legs, Day Three is shoulders and triceps, Day Four is back, with abs thrown in twice a week. Steal this weekly split the next time you hit the gym – here’s how to get started on Day One:


Warmup for 10-15 minutes to prime and prep your body.

Foam rolling: Foam rolling is a cylinder-like foam roller. Think of it as using a rolling pin to roll dough. Lie on the roller and roll any area that is tender. Do not roll bone – it is to be used on the fleshy areas of the body like the hips, hamstrings, quads, glutes and calves.

Jump, Throw and Carry

Perform 2-3 rounds of this circuit. This is a great way for to stay athletic and mobile.

Jump: Lateral bounding, 10 reps both directions. Jump sideways explosively from your left foot, landing on your right foot. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Throw: Med ball slams, 10 reps. Grab a med ball and reach high over head with it. Use your entire body to slam into the ground explosively. Be cautious of the change of direction of the ball. Repeat.

Carry: Farmer walks, 50 yards. Grab a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. Walk the distance while keeping perfect posture.

Chest and Biceps

Incline bench press: 5 reps, 5 times. This focuses on strength but because of the increase in volume, we are also hitting some hypertrophy. Keep your strength focused on the first lift of the day. Next, focus on getting a lot of blood into your muscles. Lie down on an incline bench anywhere between 30-45 degree incline with the dumbbells extended above the upper chest. Descend the weight slowly until it comes down to where the dumbbells almost touch the upper outer chest. Press back up to the starting position.

Flat db press: 10 reps, 4 times. Lay on a flat bench with the dumbbells fully extended in front of your chest. Lower the weight to the outside of the chest inline with your nipples. Pause for a split second then press to the starting position.

Incline db fly superset with cable fly: 10-12 reps, 4 times. Lay on an incline bench. Grab a pair of lighter dumbbells than used for the incline pressing. Begin the movement with the palms facing each other and a slight bend in the elbows. Slowly bring the hands outward to where you feel like you are stretching the chest. Stop when the arms are fully extended to what your range of motion allows. Pause for a split second then bring the weights back up in the same path they were lowered.

Stability ball pushups: 2 times, until failure. Place your hands on a stability ball as wide as they can be. Feet at whatever width is needed to maintain stability. Lower your chest to the ball while squeezing the glutes – this will help maintain a neutral spine, which is essential. Then press your body back up to the starting position.

Barbell curl: 6-8 reps, heavy, 4 times. Standing with a barbell in your hands and elbows pinned to your side, just bend the elbows and bring the hands to your upper chest. Pause for a split second and lower the weight back to the starting position.

Incline hammer curls: 10-12 reps, 4 times. Stand holding a pair of dumbbells with palms facing each other just outside your hips. Bend the elbows and do not move the shoulders until the weights come all the way up. Pause for a second and lower the weight until the arms are fully extended.

Cable curls: 20 reps, 2 times. Go to the cable machine and connect one of the bar attachments to the lower cable pulley. Grab a handle width which is in line with the shoulders. While keeping the elbows pinned to your sides bend the elbows while not allowing the shoulders to move until the weight travels up to the upper chest. Pause for a second then lower along the same path.

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