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 Post subject: My new workout...Help me out a bit thanks!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:51 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:44 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Chicopee, Massachusetts
i've been lifting for a year now. always have been doing splits (chest/tri, back/bi, shoulder, legs or something similar)
i took a week off and now i'm going to try a full body workout split into two days. this is how my week looks tell me what you guys think or what i shouldn't include or if i should include something i'm missing
thanks!
brett

monday
SET A

deadlift
leg curl for hamstring
flat bench press
seated row
bicep exercise (how often should i change which one i do? same with tricep)
tricep work out

tuesday SET B

squat
leg extension
lat pull down
shoulder press
upright rows

do all the above for 2 sets of 15

wednesday
cardio and abs

thursday
do Set A but 3 sets of 12 reps
friday
do Set B 3 sets of 12 reps

sat/sun off


i've only just begun this last week but i feel i'm missing something. not enough for the chest maybe? should i perhaps add in incline bench press on one of the days? i do a little cardio and abs on each day anyway so dont think i'm lacking on the days i didn't put that in? and one other thing. can/should i change up the exercises every week. like instead of doing upright rows could i do shrugs ?
any and all help is appreciated
thanks

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:22 am 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
I just posted this sample routine that's pretty no-nonsense over at another site, but here's something that might help stir things up a bit (I'll get to advice on your current plan afterward!)

Day 1 - Legs and shoulders (two groups that do not interfere with each other)
1. Barbell or dumbbell clean (from floor to shoulders) and overhead press - 1-2 warmup sets, 3x6-8 reps work sets. The clean part is done to warm up the legs and lower back while working the shoulders, which will get you ready for the leg work.
2. Full squats - parallel or deeper, 1-3 warmup sets, 3x6-8 reps work sets
3. Stiff legged deadlifts, knees slightly bent to 15-25 degrees - 3x6-8 reps work sets (no warmup necessary unless you feel it is for the best)

This will take care of your legs and shoulders with no worries about added junk thrown in, all good compound exercises and you can be in and out in less than an hour easily.

Rest 1-2 days

Day 2 - Upper back and chest work
1. Barbell or dumbbell rows - 1-2 warmup sets, 3 work sets of 6-8 reps
2. Pull-ups (assisted if you can't do enough normally) or single-arm pulldowns - 3 work sets of 6-8 reps (no need to warm up here)
3. Incline bench press barbell or DB - 1-2 warmup sets, 3 work sets of 6-8 reps
4. Close-grip flat bench (hands 10-14" apart) - 3 work sets of 6-10 reps

You'll hit your upper back well from 2 angles, and you'll hit your chest and triceps well enough in there as well, again with no filler and a quick workout.

Rest 1-2 days

Day 3 - Lower back work / fun stuff 1. Deadlifts from floor - 1-3 warmup sets, 3 work sets of 6-8 reps
2. Deadlift lockouts in a power rack (from just above knees to a finished deadlift position) - 3 work sets of 6-8 reps with 20-30% more weight than was pulled from the floor
3. From here, pick 2 more exercises that don't conflict with the rest of the week's lifting and have fun with them. If you want to train arms a bit more, hit some dumbbell hammer curls (after the incline and close-grip benching you probably won't have much urge to do any tricep work!). If you feel you need more trapezius work, toss in some shrugs. If you want to do grip or forearm work, throw some in. If you want to try some olypic lifts, do them here. A lot of times I make one day per week the random day where I have one thing I MUST do, such as deadlifts, and the rest is whatever feels good. This keeps you looking forward to getting in there and you still get everything done, but now you get to pick a bit more instead of always following the same routine.

Rest 1-2 days and repeat!

This focuses on quite a few compound exercises, leaves out the isolation work and junk that just takes up time for those who don't necessarily need to put focus into one part, and you'll get the most "bang for your buck" with the things that are listed here.

As for my suggestions regarding what you've posted for your routine -

1. I know that if I give 100% to every workout there's no way that I can squat or deadlift within 3-4 days of each other, much less could I do each one twice in one week. If your squats and deadlifts don't leave you on the floor once you're done with your last set, then improving the time spent on intensity for these exercises is recommended. If you can't go heavy enough yet to safely only grind out only 6 reps as a max in one set and peak on that last rep, then keep the reps a bit higher but on that last set, don't leave ANYTHING left to do more. I frequently have to lie on the ground after a particularly brutal set, because standing up just takes too much work afterward. Think in terms of this for making the most for your gains - if you can still hold a conversation without gasping for air when you're done with the hardest exercises in your week, then you can always be going harder. The difference between putting on 5 lbs. in a year and 20 lbs. isn't only in the exercises you do, but how you do them!

2. You've got back exercises 2 days in a row, which I don't really recommend. They are performed in different planes of movement, but they still target the majority of the same muscles and therefore should be done on the same day or a bit further apart. I've never really been big on splits where you do more than 2 parts in a day because if you give everything you've got, the last parts you train will always be lowered in effectiveness for all that you've done beforehand. Perhaps splits like chest/back and legs/shoulders are better suited (the first with antagonist muscle groups, the second because they simply don't get in the way of each other). Sometimes simplifying a routine is the best thing you can do to get progress fired up to new levels.

3. If you want to do more for chest you don't necessarily have to add other things, but perhaps a more evenly-based method like incline benching and flat bench with a close grip (to put more emphasis on triceps) would be a good way to go as I outlined in the above program. This way you're hitting your chest with extremely effective exercises (and your triceps, too!) without taking the time to go the isolation route. I recommend 2 major movements for each large body part (sometimes one for shoulders for me, as long as I nearly die doing that lift) and I almost always avoid doing anything that isn't going to produce maximum results. If you do your compound movements well enough, you can often find that secondary stuff for triceps and biceps can be excluded or done infrequently since they are often well involved in the major lifts.

4. Have you been training this type of routine all year so far? If so, you might see that a "less is more" approach will do wonders for you. When I cut my training down from 5 days/week to 3 and gave myself more time to recover is when the progress really started. Don't get me wrong - I love to spend time in the gym and used to try and find reasons to go there at every chance, but quality doesn't equal quantity and if you don't get enough rest then you won't get great results no matter how well-suited the program is for your body. This is why I have more rest days listed in the sample program - it is great for those with limited time or who have been training more frequently and could use a change that's suited for optimal recovery.

5. How much cardio are you doing? I guess that before I ask this, I should ask, what is your main goal that you're trying to accomplish? If you're looking purely to add size and strength, excessive cardio will keep this from happening as well as it could. If you are looking to keep cardio up for the fact that you like to run, participate in sports, etc. then that's great, but if you simply want to get big and strong then you may want to at least temporarily lessen the cardio work while putting focus into building yourself up. Don't get me wrong - you can still do both, but every mile you run will make it slightly harder to add that extra bit of size you lifted to achieve just the day before. Some people believe that you MUST do cardio at all time otherwise you'll get fat, but as long as you watch your body and control your calories you can still mange fat levels quite well with minimal cardio.

6. I wouldn't necessarily change exercises every week - at least, not all of them. Typically, I'll always keep the main focus lift consistent (squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and a rowing movement) but if I feel like changing things up after the essentials are done, so be it. There's no written law that playing around with varying your secondary exercises will cost you your progress, so if one week you feel like doing pull-ups instead of cable rows, then do them as you wish. However, I do recommend keeping the main lifts stable at least for a good cycle of 6-10 weeks before swapping them out for something else as otherwise you really aren't giving them proper time to make the most of them. And, if you were to change out squats for leg presses, for example, you'd be taking a step backward and that's not the way to go. Just listen to your body, see how you feel when you get in (not every day will go according to plan) and make the most of each workout.

Sorry for the long rant - just thought I could put in a bit of advice and see if it might help a bit!

Ryan


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