Recently got back into working out, a couple of routine/split questions?
Iíve been doing a lot of reading on here, and just wanted some general feed back and or opinionís to see what others think.
I started lifting again in November 2005 ( I havenít hit the weights in about 3 years ) started with a 4 day split, I did this for 3 months. Iíve always lagged on chest so in March I started a 5 day split that did chest twice a week. And it has helped some but the gains to me were about equal with the 4 day split, so I am going back to a four day split.
So starting the first week of May I am going to switch my routine. But what I want to do is get a set routine. I know a lot of people point out the BGB and wannabebig routine 1. Iíve always done certain exercises ( bench, seated rows, dead lifts, squats etcÖ ) on their dedicated days, and thrown in other ones here and there. But what I noticed is that I have no real way to keep track of my overall gain, because half of my routine switches, plus I donít have a set number of exercises that I am doing per week. So that is another reason I want to be able to track my progress more effectively.
I am 5í9 and 230 right now. Iíve always gone up and down in weight, always eat good for the most part, and do about 2-4 hours of cardio a week. I want to bulk up a little not huge though, and lose some weight, again though maybe another 20 pounds or so. I know everything takes time, and I am completely fine with that. Iíve changed a lot of things about me life lately, and am extremely dedicated to working out right now. So now that you know this here are the good ol questions. I know that there are a million and one ways to work out and you have to find out what works for you too, just wanting some feedback though.
1. When setting up a routine, do you think its better to use more compound exercises with a couple of isolation exercises mixed in here and there? Or every week keep the compound exercises and switch up the isolation ones ( like a two week split, week one you do these exercises, week 2 you do these, then go back to week 1 etcÖ )
2. How many sets are really needed?? Iíve always done about 9-12 for arms, chest, shoulders, 12-16 for back and legs ( simply because they are larger muscle groups )
3. Like I stated since chest is an issue with me would it be better to say every week exercise all the chest ( Incline / Flat / Decline ) or split it into two weeks, one doing incline, and flat, the other decline, flat, or what has worked for you. And as for Flyís and cable crossovers how often should they be included?
4. My old 4 day split was as fallows, Back / Biís Ė Chest / Triís Ė Legs Ė Shoulders. I going to put arms on one day ( so I can do super sets once in a while ) but would I be better off with putting chest and back on the same day and having another day dedicated for shoulders, or putting shoulders in with the arm day and splitting chest and back to their own days?
Thatís all I can think of right now, sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for any feed back you may give. Any other suggestions you may have please feel free to say, I am all ears right now.
If you're 5'9" and 230 I'd probably suggest you cut first. Of course, it's hard to tell without seeing pictures, but if you've been out of the game for a while and you're that size, I'm pretty confident you're not some 5'9" 230 lb monster with 7% body fat. Prove me wrong and I'll hate you. Anyways, regarding your questions...
1) Yes, you have the right idea.
2.) You don't need 9-12 sets for arms. This seems to contradict what you stated in (1) about using more compound exercises. Rows, chinups, dips, etc. will hit your arms. Hell, pretty much everything will work your arms. You don't necessarily need 12-16 sets for any of the major muscle groups... find out what type of volume you feel comfortable with and stick with it. Some people find they can handle more, while others find they grow from doing less.
3) You don't need to do chest twice a week and everything else once. If you want to hit chest twice a week, I would suggest doing an Upper/Lower split, like this:
On upper days (select from): Bench Press, Rows, Chinups, Pullups, Military Press, Dips, Pulldowns, Incline Press
If you absolutely need to, throw in a few sets of Biceps/Triceps whenever you feel the urge (but don't feel obligated to, as they are being hit already)
On lower days (select from): Squats (Front of Back), Hack Squats, SLDL, Deadlifts, Calf Raises, Leg Curls, Good Mornings, Leg Press, Seated Calf
Choose 4-6 exercises and do them on each day. There are other exercises I'm probably forgetting too. That's a basic upper/lower split though. This way, you're hitting every muscle group twice a week.
4) See above. I don't see why you would need to superset on arms exercises, but to each his own.
Thanks for the feed back. I've thought a lot about all of this last night and today, and realized that I was focused a lot more on quantity where I should have been focusing more on intensity. Also with not having a set routine I have no idea of my actual gains. I know that I lift a lot more than when I started, and my arms are pretty solid but thatís where it ends. I am going to keep a work out journal as well. This way I can track my gains. Iíve also decided on a new split. I defiantly do not want to do chest twice a week, in my case it was becoming counter productive, its just the thing with me its going to take time, I except that. The new split is below.
Monday Ė Chest / Back
Tuesday Ė Legs
Wednesday Ė Off
Thursday Ė Arms
Friday Ė Shoulders.
Sat & Sun off
If there is anything else you or anyone else can think of to add please feel free to.
If you are planning on doing a four day split I would suggest this:
Day 5:Arms and Shoulders
Day 6 & 7:Off
Doing a day for shoulders is a little excessive, you are better off to devote a day to back so you can do more compounds.
Well, I see you largely ignored my feedback, but it's cool.
Best of luck man.
Im not sure how I ignored it??? I am also cutting back on the number of sets I do, I forgot to mention that in the last post. If your refering to my size I will explain more. I have always gone up and down in wieght over the years. Jan 2005 I was 230, Nov 2005 I was 264 ( from partying / drinking, and eating late at night which I did like 4-5 times a week I mean a whole meal before bed a huge no no ) As of last week I am 230 again, with some muscle gain. I dont have a digital camara other wise I would post a pic, but most people look at me and think I wieght alot less than I do. I wear size 38 pants, and can fit into most large size shirts. Im not a lean body type just a very solid one. I am very comfortable with my weight, if I stayed the same size I would not care, if I lost a little more cool. That is why cutting is not a huge deal to me, if it takes me 6-8 to slowly lose 15-20 more pounds I would rather do that than hit cardio to the extreme over the next 2-3 months.
Originally Posted by Tofer
I know they always cut then bulk, I chose to do it a little bit at the same time. maybe I wrong, I guess it all depends on how you look at it. Im not proud of the wieght I gained last year. I enjoy going to the gym, I enjoy being there **** I love being there, I have the motivation inside, I just relaized I had a very unconsistant routine and it needed to be changed big time. Anytime I get into something I try to read and learn about as much as possible, and it seems like as soon as you know alot, you find out there is a ton more info to learn, and I am still learning. As to doing more compound exercises, yes that is what I am going to focus on, with some isolation thrown in here and there.
If you see flaws in my way of my thinking please feel free to point them out, like I said I am all ears. I dont really have a set goal, but lets say by Nov 2006 which would be one year from when I started, I would like to drop about 15-20 pounds. Yesturday I flat benched 115 3x8 ( no spot and on the last set I could have pulled maybe 1-2 more and that would have been it ) so lets say maybe adding 5 pounds or so a month to my overall bench ( Is this realistic?? ) so by Nov be able to bench 145 give or take 3x8. Know this what would you recommed if you were in my shoes??
I thought about this too. I was wondering if I do chest / back on the same day if its a little to much??
Originally Posted by RedSpikeyThing
I'm sorry, I was referring to the split you decided on. It always bothers me when people dedicate an entire training day to arms and I thought I mentioned that. I just felt like what I wrote about an ideal split and exercises to use had been ignored (I feel that the split I gave you is better, personally, but some would probably argue against that, which is why there is no "best" split that everyone agrees on).
My reasoning for the upper/lower split is that you should hit everything twice a week. If you're pretty weak overall I just feel like you should do a workout that leads to overall body growth, rather than isolated exercises that waste both your gym time and energy. You'll get a much more efficient workout with compound exercises, and thusly, you'll use your energy more efficiently. If you are benching 115, for example, then you probably aren't at a level where you need to do any sort of isolations, because you need to get much stronger overall. Dedicating an entire day to arms seems silly to me, because you're basically working biceps/triceps twice a week and nothing else (Back day work on biceps, Chest on triceps). You can use your gym time more effectively, which what I was trying to get at.
I think that for beginners, the upper/lower split (or a variation of that) is ideal, which is why I always recommend it.
Anyways, I think it's a safe bet to say your bench will go up by about 5 pounds a month (just think, in ten years you'll be benching 715 lbs. Only joking). Realistically, you will probably add on 5+ lbs for the first little while. Everyone tends to hit a plateau after a while, but at your size I think you'll probably keep adding on the weight for some time. The best way to do this? That's subjective. Some people swear by the 5x5 method (read up on it if you're interested). I haven't tried it myself, but it seems like a reasonable idea. I think regardless of what you do, as long as your training and eating properly, you're going to bench more and more each time over the next few months, so I wouldn't focus on it too much. Worry more about getting stronger overall (that means you need not worry about silly isolation exercises).
Last edited by Tofer; 04-25-2006 at 10:45 PM.
@Tofer - Thanks again for all the info. I found a book today ( Truth by Frank Sepe ) and he had a complete list of Compound and Isolation exercises. I have a pretty general idea of exercises overall, but there was quite a few that were opposite of what I thought they were. So knowing what is what will help in choseing the exercises that I need to do like you said ( no isolation since I want to grow mass right now).
I haven't decided on a split just yet, me and a friend wrote out 5 different 4 day splits at work ( he works out alot ) and the one you pointed out came up as one of them. I am not going to do the one that I put up there is a different one that I liked better, but what you said makes alot of sense so I may go that route as well. I just need to chose, if one doesn't work I can always switch to the other.
I read up on the 5x5 method I may try that in the future proably not right now though. Some exercises like deadlifts and squats I do sets of 4x6, just because I find my form breaks down if I try doing them 3x8.
Well we shall see what happens.
Again thanks for taking the time, and giving me some knowledge.
You stay classy San Diego.
Im still in disbelief, what is your precent bodyfat, cause im 5'11 and 185, and I want a round image of your weight with body fat or muscle lol.
How do you measure bodyfat, I know there is several ways, but is there a way to do it where I dont have to go go buy something??
Originally Posted by Ron Burgundy
If this helps I have a nylon measuring tape ( the kind they use for sewing ) and heres some measurements. Waist = 42 inch / Chest = 42 3/4 / Arms 14 1/2 ( not flexed arm straight out ) legs where 26 1/2. I measured at the widest parts. I do have a gut, but even when I was 180 I had a small one, nobody in my family has a flat stomach, they all tend to be average or solid, we dont have any big big people in my family.
Also I dont see why I would lie about my size as you are suggesting??
Last edited by View 1; 04-27-2006 at 02:25 PM.
Almost forgot I have some pics on good ol my space. The one on the main page was taken last week. The one in the tuxedo was taken at the end of 2004. But I am the same size now. You have to have a myspace account to see the tux one. Sorry this is the only way I can put pics up.
Last edited by View 1; 02-05-2008 at 09:53 PM.
You stay classy San Diego.
You have to get a skin fold calliper, are you a memb er to a gym, because im sure if you go to any gym they can measure you there. But seeing from the one tux pic, you arn't that large (fat) you could do realy well, but try to get a pic with a regular shirt, or no shirt.