Is a routine necessary? Is it beneficial to have a consistent routine, a plan of exercises to be followed precisely each time I work out? Here's a couple choices, just give me the best answer.
Keep the same exact, steady routine...same exercises for each muscle and switch it up after a month or so.
Same routine, but switch it up after 2+ months.
Have two routines and do a specific routine for one cycle (back, arms, shoulders, chest, legs) then do the second routine exactly, for one cycle, and continue to alternate.
Don't worry about having a precise, steady routine, as long as your lifting weights. Just get to the gym and do the first 3 or 4 exercises you can think of for each respective muscle.
Routines are good for ensuring consistent training and progressive overload. I don't think they're necessary. I went a long time just doing what felt right on any given day. I think that style of training is great since you can miss a day when you're feeling run down without throwing your schedule out of whack. But, you've got to have a decent grasp of training philosophy and keep track of what you're doing.
Some coaches do think that you need to switch exercises regularly to keep consistent gains coming. So, that's not a bad idea, either.
Last edited by Jorge Sanchez; 08-20-2008 at 09:00 AM.
When I go to the gym I have a general idea of what I want to do, usually the first 1 or 2 exercises are planned and I'll have a goal weight that I want to hit. After that it's whatever I feel like I need to do.
Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:520 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220
When I was bodybuilding,I trained pretty instinctively.I always knew what bodypart I was training,but the exercises and rep scemes were subject for change.I always made good gains doing it that way.But with strength training,I believe in concrete routines.Its the only way to gauge progress.
And where might I find the routine outline for this Rippetoe's Starting Strength??
The Gods taught us to forge Iron so that we would not be slaves-----old Germanic saying
buy a chin up bar, sell the arm curl bar---Roddy
To me, the difference between working with a routine or not is like the difference between getting in my car and driving to my destination or just aimlessly joy riding out on a cruise. You'll get where you want to go a lot quicker following a planned route. Sure it's fun to take joy rides now and then. They're good for a mental recharge once and a while. But in the big picture of things you have to have goals established and a laid out plan for achieving them. Using a proven routine is the shortest path from point A to B.
And like Jorge said, you should stay with a program until you no longer make progress on it. Not until some magical number like 4, 6, or 8 weeks comes around. To do otherwise is to shortchange yourself from seeing all the gains that can be had from that routine.
It is currently a fad, at this writing, for boys to think they need a "six pack", although most of them don't have an ice chest to put it in.
Give chalk a chance.
49 years old
Keep with a routine until you stop making gains - that could be 2 months, that could be 8 months, you have to be the judge of that.
Give chalk a chance.
49 years old
I have a few exercises that are always performed on their given day (Squats/DL/Bench/Military/Pull ups), then I have 2 or so exercises that I swap every week or two with other, similar exercises.
Cable Pull Downs (pronated grip)
Back day the following week:
Cable Pull Downs (supinated grip)
Age: 23 - Weight: 237 lbs - Height: 6'1''
S(atg) - B - DL
375 - 335 - 515
"Gaining weight and having bigger body will make you look great on any clothing. Men with strong body are very attractive to women. General people tend to admire big muscle too." -mbijay
I used to be very pro keeping a routine and keeping everything the same, writing down my lifts etc etc... Reason being, you then had something consistent you could measure your progress against.
For years I battled on and never really enjoyed things and got so worried if I missed something out or did something in a different order.
I am much more flexible nowadays. Sure, i tend to roughly keep things the same, but I don't sweat it if I do some extra stuff, or drop some stuff or do things in a different order. Sometimes I just go off track and do some stuff I feel like doing. The variety has made things more fun and I am making much more progress this way.
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