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Number of exercises per bodypart?


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Hi everyone -

 

I have been vegan for 25 years. Working out for about 20 years, but only seriously trying to build mass for about a year or two. My questions are about number of exercises to do per body part. I really enjoy working out. When I am doing back, there is probably 9 or more exercises I like to do. My concern is I don't want to overdo it. I want to put on muscle mass, but not planning to compete. Just get bigger. I try to limit my workout to 60 - 90 minutes.

 

My current routine for back:

  • 3 sets bodyweight overhand pull-ups
    Cable or machine rows
    Cable or dumbbell reverse flys or rear delt rows (any advice on one over the other?)
    Bicep curls (cables or barbells or dumbells)
    Cable pushdowns
    Close grip neutral pullups
    Chinups
    Lat Pull Downs
    Close Grip Rows

 

On Chest/Tricep/Leg day, I do


  • Bench Press
    Flys
    Tricep pushdowns
    Leg press or squats
    Leg curls
    Leg extensions
    Calf raises

 

On shoulder day,


  • Overhead press
    Lateral raises
    Front raises

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

Edited by VeganZak
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Hey buddy, well if your main goal is to get bigger I wouldn't be looking at spending 90mins at a time in the gym (even more so if you are a natural lifter). You should be able to get a great session done in 40-50mins, 60mins tops if you keep the intensity up and train with focus and purpose.

 

Back looks really overcooked if I'm honest !! I would pick three exercises, four at the most and three to four sets of each. Stick to compound exercises for the main bulk of the workout, the last exercises can be more of a 'finishing' touch so to speak such as a flye movement for chest, concentration curls for biceps etc. A couple of sets for that one is more than enough. If these are the exercises that you like or you feel they're the best, just pick three or four out for a session and hit different combinations of them each time you train that bodypart. Cable pushdowns probably should be in with chest and triceps as it isn't a back or bicep movement (or maybe you're thinking of a different exercise but wrote the wrong description)?

 

I'd be doing something like this if I were to keep your grouping of the bodyparts the same:

 

BACK/BICEPS

Deadlifts ~ the #1 exercise for back. Learn good technique, it's tough so do this one first

Chinups OR pullups

Seated rows (alternate between close grip and wide grip)

Rear delts (alternate between reverse pec deck, cables etc)

Barbell curls

Hammer curls

 

CHEST/TRICEPS

Bench press/Incline bench

Flat/incline Dumbbell chest press

Dumbbell flyes

Close grip bench press

Dips

 

LEGS

Leg extension (as a warmup, lighter weight with higher reps)

Squats/Box squats

Leg press (mix up your foot positioning)

Barbell Good mornings

2-3 sets of calf work

 

SHOULDERS

OHP

1 x arm dumbbell shoulder press

Side OR front raises (alternate between a plate or dumbbells)

 

Other points to consider:

 

a) make sure you are meeting your caloric needs

b) eating consistently/never feeling hungry

c) quality of food is high

d) you're training optimally with enough rest between sessions

 

If you're doing all of the above as well as hydrating well and getting enough sleep, the rest will soon start to take care of itself. Maybe you could start up a training log in the 'Online Journals' section of this site, I'm sure you would get a lot of useful and invaluable feedback. All the best and welcome to the forum buddy MF.

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Wow! Thanks so much MF. This is great info.

 

I have a couple of follow-up questions.

 

1) I have lower back issues so have stayed away from deadlifts and good mornings. Heavy squats would be risky. I realize those are better than the more isolation exercises, but that is the situation at this time. If those were removed from your recommendations, would you add or change anything?

 

2) You list both Chest Press and Dumbbell chest press. How do they work the muscles differently?

 

3) What is 1 x arm shoulder press?

 

4) Cable pushdowns are similar to dumbbell pullovers (high cable, arms straight, push down to thigh level). Is that better on chest day? I thought it worked back more.

 

5) From the back/bicep day, it looks like there are no bicep specifics. I am guessing this is because they are worked sufficiently with pull-ups and rows?

 

6) This wasn't in my earlier post, but something I wanted to check out with you....what are your thoughts about BCAAs and creatine for someone at my level of training and for my goals?

 

I will look at the logs and consider starting one.

 

 

Thanks!

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I'll answer in red...

 

Wow! Thanks so much MF. This is great info.

 

I have a couple of follow-up questions.

 

1) I have lower back issues so have stayed away from deadlifts and good mornings. Heavy squats would be risky. I realize those are better than the more isolation exercises, but that is the situation at this time. If those were removed from your recommendations, would you add or change anything?

 

You could substitute squats for leg press, deadlifts are kinda hard to replace though! I have lower back issues as well, but I have found that my pain is less and my general back condition is actually better when I am regularly deadlifting. I guess you could start off really light and see how you find them, form and technique are crucial though. If you have lower back concerns then I would look at making sure your hips are low at the start of the move, keep your head up and make sure your shoulders stay back as you pull up. The higher your hips are then the more work your lower back will be doing during the pull. This is the way you want to be be pulling, nice low hips at the start and drive through your legs:

 

 

This is a 'high hip' deadlift, you can probably see how much more load the lower back has to take to move this weight:

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gYoADC9E-6Y/Tq4HA7l88DI/AAAAAAAAAQ0/7Osh9l-4z6w/s400/Richard%2BHawthorne.jpg

 

2) You list both Chest Press and Dumbbell chest press. How do they work the muscles differently?

 

The first movement is with a barbell, the second is a press with dumbbells. This is working each side independantly, unilateral movements are quite different in nature to compound movements and offer unique benefits. I would do one as a flat and the other exercise as an incline.

 

3) What is 1 x arm shoulder press?

 

Using a single dumbbell in one hand you perform a shoulder press. You can do this seated, or quite often I like to stand and use the other hand to hold on to the top of a bench (around chest height is good).

 

4) Cable pushdowns are similar to dumbbell pullovers (high cable, arms straight, push down to thigh level). Is that better on chest day? I thought it worked back more.

 

Oh now I know what you mean ~ straight arm pullovers/cable pullovers. They will work back, chest and core. So realistically I guess you could incorporate them into either your chest or back day. Good exercise and one that you don't need a lot of weight with to feel the muscle groups working.

 

5) From the back/bicep day, it looks like there are no bicep specifics. I am guessing this is because they are worked sufficiently with pull-ups and rows?

 

You're right, but I did forget to add biceps in! Pullups will serve as a great warmup exercise for the biceps, and they are a secondary muscle group on the rowing movements as well. So you are right, they will have already gotten a bit of work before you get to train them.

 

6) This wasn't in my earlier post, but something I wanted to check out with you....what are your thoughts about BCAAs and creatine for someone at my level of training and for my goals?

 

Creatine is always good as is a protein shake after training if you are someone that isn't hungry straight afterwards. BCAA's I've never really used, I tried them a few times and felt like they weren't doing a lot. Protein, creatine and a good quality, well absorbed multivitamin/minerral is what I would be spending my money ~ the rest should go towards food

 

I will look at the logs and consider starting one.

 

 

Thanks!

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I like to do two or three heavy compound exercises for any given day, then exercises to individually target each muscle, then another compound lift to finish. So back day for me is pull ups, bent over rows, one arm dumbbell rows, reverse flys, deadlift. chest and tris day is incline dumbbell press, tricep dips, decline bench press, reverse tricep pressdowns, incline flys (for weak point training), one arm cable pressdowns (for weak point training), one arm incline cable crosseovers (for weak point training) and push up-plus (shoulder rotation at the end of the pushup for serratus activation.)

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I usually to about 5 to 7 exercises per body part. Obviously for legs it will be more like 7 to 10 and four calves and forearms will be more like 3 to 5. But the average is probably five different exercises with three sets per exercise.

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