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  1. #1
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    Wanted to be first poster: workout program for critique.

    Gentlemen,

    After much reading, trial and error, I'd like to offer up my training routine for critique from the more knowledgeable and experienced.

    I am 40 years old, 5' 10" tall, and weighed 155 pounds since I was 16. Fast metabolism - I've eaten like a pig all my life and was astounded to have put on 5 lbs of fat in my late thirties as my metabolism slowed with age.

    Having suffered lower-back pain after a long period of inactivity and stress, I started with lower-back exercises recommended by the Canadian Back Institute, for 4 months. These involve no weights.

    That was followed by Chris Aceto's Full-Body Blast exercise regime every third day for 6 months to build a base. During this time, I pushed somewhat, but not too hard so as to build this base and avoid injury.

    I accompanied this with a change in diet. Refined sugar and all things made with it were banished. Breads, cereals and pastas must be made with whole-grain un-adulterated flour; alot of chicken and lean roast beef; fresh fruit and vegetables every day; 8 large glasses of water per day; eat six meals a day; and the only supplement I've added is soy protein in the morning and whey protein for mid-afternoon snack and before bed for a total of about 200g protein per day including regular foods.

    In that time, I lost some fat and gained 7 pounds, for a net lean-mass gain probably around 9 pounds. Obviously, having started from zero it was easy to double and even triple the weights I could lift over that initial six-month period. I feel strong and solid and the change is visible.

    With holidays and the kids the routine took a beating for about six weeks this summer, but now it's back at it.

    Which brings me to the new routine. I felt that I could no longer work out each muscles enough with a full-body routine. But - (a) between work and family I've limited time to enjoy exercising; (b) I love cycling, swimming, roller-blading, hiking, canoeing too much to give them up.

    So, I've devised a two-day split routine. After much reading, I'm largely convinced by the "less is more" school of thought, but I'm not ready to risk the stress necessary to go just one or two sets to failure. So, I've devised what I think is a compromise. I should note that all the following exercises, with the exception of deadlifts and squats, are performed with dumbells as I think they enlist more supporting muscles in keeping them under control. The principle is: 3-sets for 10 reps for each muscle, varying the exercise slightly to hit each muscle differently in each set. So, for example, of the three sets of bench press, the first set is flat, the second incline, and the third decline to hit middle, upper and lower pecs respectively. In the same vein, for the shoulders it's one set of upright rows, one set of shoulder press, and one set of bent-over rows with elbows out, to hit the side, front and rear delts respectively. I've split it into upper and lower body, just figuring that will concetrate the blood in one half or the other and combine through cross-effort to increase local intensity. I took biceps and triceps out of the upper body workout so they could get a good workout alone, rather than trying to work them when they are already tired from bench presses and chin ups.

    Here it is:

    Day 1: Upper body
    flat bench press 1x10
    upright row 1x10
    chin ups 1x10
    ab crunches (weighted) 1x10
    incline bench press 1x10
    shoulder press 1x10
    bent-over row 1x10
    ab crunches (weighted) 1x10
    decline bench press 1x10
    bent-over row, elbows out 1x10
    shrugs 1x10
    ab crunches(weighted) 1x10

    Day 2 - Lower Body & Arms
    deadlifts 1x10
    lying triceps extension (skull crushers) 1x10
    standing curls 1x10
    weighted calf raises 1x10
    ab crunches (no weights) 35
    squats 1x10
    sitting one-arm curls 1x10
    sitting triceps extension 1x10
    weighted calf raises 1x10
    ab crunches (no weights) 35
    deadlifts 1x10
    lying triceps extension 1x10
    standing curls 1x10
    weighted calf raises 1x10
    ab crunches ( no weight) 35

    Not including warm up (clesthenics then two cycles with light weights), this takes just under an hour.

    My schedule is:
    Day 1 - upper body
    rest
    aeorbic day (1/2 hour of cycling or roller-blading, swimming, etc.)
    rest
    Day - 2 Lower Body & Arms
    rest
    aeorbic day (1/2 hour of cycling or roller-blading, swimming, etc.)
    rest
    Repeat

    I will admit to being selfish and wanting it all: I would like to reach 180lbs (~163 now) by next summer, while maintaining my endurance and cardio so I can paddle my canoe for hours on end as I like to do in summer.

    Thank you taking the time to read this novel, and thanks in advance for all serious replies
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  2. #2
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    Using a full body workout will undoubtedly hamper any gains you could otherwise get with a body part a day. Why do you work the full body type or regime? It will work for weight loss but to gain is useless.
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    Thumbs down I agree with Dorian

    Brian,

    I agree with Dorian. I was doing my own version of a full body workout and my gains were severly limited. I even overtrained because of it. (shoulder pain) You may not think your workout is a full body workout, but it sort of IS. (half anyway)

    I went back to 3/4 workouts a week working no more that 2 bodyparts a sesson. And......

    .......RESULTS BACK........WAMMMMMMO.

    I to agree less is more. I give a min 5 days sometimes 7 before I hit that bodypart over again.

    Anyway, IT WORKS FOR ME.


    Chi_town
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  4. #4
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    Brian, congrats on your efforts. I wanted to reply to your post because I tried the same thing for a little while. I am not that experienced, I am forty years old and have been going at it for around eight months now, learning something new every day. Back to your new workouts............I tried this around two or three months ago, trying to free up some time and get the workouts to work for me more as far as recuperating, and not feeling so tired. To summerize, it just didnt work. I went back to fifteen to twenty sets per workout, per body part,, studied my diet for a few weeks closely and upped my calories. I also added a few supplements to help enhance recovery. I feel alot better and I am starting to gain some quality muscle My diet is 40-40-20, 2600-3,000 cal., six meals a day,I use a blended whey after workouts, MRP 30 min after my nighttime ZMA, dessicated liver, multi vit, tribulis,extra vitamin "C" total 2,000 mg a day.,min. one gal of water a day,and if i really need it i use a thermogenic for my workouts "only". I have recently added yohimbe. MY stats currently are 6', 215#,16.5 %bf. us "old guys" have to be a little more careful than the younger guys, we dont heal as quickly, but one thing i can tell you for sure..........we can damn sure still gain muscle! good luck! Rich PS: I take 5-7 g of creatine a day also.
    Last edited by awesomeguy39; 10-18-2001 at 03:20 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I am growing on a 2 day split programme so don't knock 'em till you've tried em.

    I don't think doint arms seperately to upper body is a good idea.

    I use an upper body, lower body split and it works great.
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  6. #6
    Age 50 contest year! kendo's Avatar
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    overtraining too many sets or sessions will catch up with you you lose interest feel tired and pack it in. I started competing at 36 after switching to low volume intense training 3 days per week and love giong to the gym dont burn yerself out man!
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  7. #7
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    Kendo, you "started" competing at 36 ? That is awesome, have you always trained? Rich
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    Age 50 contest year! kendo's Avatar
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    ive been training seriously 10 -11 years just took a while to decide to compete and getting the bodyfat down has done me a world of good my pic is in the pics thread
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    spare tire?/ AHHHH!!!

    I have a question for some of you older BB's. A few months ago I upped calories to gain, my BF% was 16%. It has been around eight weeks now, I checked BF today and it is 13% !! My wieght has gone up ten pounds , but it all seems to have gone around my waist( some of the wieght i have gained is new muscle ), but, what the hell is up with that??!! I have been pounding the wieghts!!So , how do I handle this? cardio or cut back on calories again? Rich PS I just started a new PH cycle yesterday, diet is clean , and adjusted to about 500 to 800 cal over maintenance, I also use creatine.
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  10. #10
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    Hey, thanks to all.

    The question of structuring one's split seems to be the mobius strip of body building.

    I have to agree that a two day split does still somewhat ressemble a full-body workout. And, in effect, having to do cover half the body parts in each session means that either the session lasts forever, or each body part gets less attention, neither of which is good.

    On the other hand, 15 to 20 SETS per body part per workout? At a typical rep range for growth of 6 to 10 reps per set, that makes up to 200 reps per body part per workout session. From my reading I had understood that we were seeking to make the muscle exert as much force as possible, overload it, in order to make the growth mechanisms kick in during repair. Any weight I could do 200 reps with in an hour and a half workout isn't a weight that's stretching my strength (as in power) to the max. Rather, I've adopted the approach of working with weights that take me to failure and total exhaustion of the muscle after 4 sets of 10 reps. After that, with the weights I'm using, at most I can manage a drop set or two.

    That said, perhaps we're just getting mixed up in terminology. If you consider "15 sets per body part" to mean "5 sets per exercise and 3 exercises per body part, each of which hits the muscle differently", then perhaps I could see it. Like 5 sets of upright rows for the side delts, 5 sets of shoulder presses for the front delts, and 5 sets of bent-over rows with elbows out for rear delts.

    OR, another possibility - are you including warm up sets? I too do two complete warm up sets with ~20% of the work out weight.

    I can't believe that working with any weight with which I could do 200 full-weight reps is going to do me any good. But I will agree that a two day split may mean I'm hitting each body part less than I should.

    So, how about a compromise - a 3 day split. On, off, on, off, on, off, off.

    So what have I got to hit?

    1. Chest (pecs: sternal, clavicular, minor heads)
    2. Shoulders (delts: front side, rear heads)
    3. Arms (biceps, triceps, forearms)
    3. Upper Back (Lats, Upper Traps, Middle Traps, Lower Traps, Rhomboids)
    4. Waist (Abs, Obliques)
    5. Lower Back (Spinal Erectors)
    6. Legs (Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Calves)

    So, how about a three day split of: Chest & Upper Back / Legs, Lower Back & Waist / Shoulders & Arms.

    Day 1 - Chest & Upper Back
    pecs, sternal ==> Flat Bench Press, 2x10
    pecs, clavicular ==> Incline Bench press, 2x10
    pecs, minor ==> Decline Bench Press, 2x10
    lats ==> Chin-ups, 1x10; pull-ups 1x10
    upper traps ==> Shrugs, 3x10
    middle & lower traps & rhomboids ==> Bent Over Rows, 3x 10

    Day 2 - off

    Day 3 - Legs, Lower Back & Waist
    spinal erectors, glutes & upper quads ==> Deadlifts 2x10; squats 2x10
    lower quads ==> leg extensions, 4x10
    hamstrings ==> cable extensions 3x10
    calves ==> standing calf raises, 4x10
    abs ==> weighted crunches, 4x10
    obliques ==> incline twisting sit-up, 4x10

    Day 4 - off

    Day 5 - Shoulders & Arms
    delts, front ==> shoulder press, 2x10
    delts, side ==> upright row, 2x10
    delts, rear ==> bent over row, elbows out, 2x10
    biceps ==> curls, 4x10
    triceps ==> lying triceps extension, 4x10
    forearms ==> wrist curls 2x10; wrist extensions 2x10

    Days 6 & 7 - off.

    SetsxReps does not include two warm up sets with ~20% of work out weight.

    The only thing that troubles me with this split is that the arm muscles get hit as secondaries in alot of the back exercises, so they're getting hit alot.

    Your learned opinons would be most welcome.

    Finally, a dumb question: is it better to do all the sets for a given exercise one immediately after the other with just a short (~1 minute) break between them, or to cycle through one set of each exercise at a time, then start the cycle over untill all sets are done? If all sets are done consecutively, then my 4x10 is likely to become 10, then 9, then 7, then 5.
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    Brian, That looks like a well thought out program! I can only comment for myself because I havent been in the game long, but I find that unless I am doing "at least" 15 sets per body part I dont seem to make any progress, plus certain muscle groups get hit within a few days also. drop sets, supersets, forced reps are utilized when at the end of an exercise I dont feel I have "worked" the muscle enough. I think everyone is just different that way and has to find through trial and error what works best for him. I also feel intensity has alot to do with growth, and everyones interpretation of intensity may be different, that is why certain programs work for some, and not for others. Rich
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    Hi Brian.......I think your diet sounds great.....thats
    how I've been eating for the last year with excellent
    results...One thing I noticed is you're pretty active
    with an interest in a variety of activities. I'm the same
    way and spend a lot of time hiking with a heavy pack,
    bicycling,kayaking,running,rpoe skipping, and
    hitting a heavy bag.....For me spilt body routines
    were useless. I've made great gains by using a full
    body routine-2 days/week. I'm not familiar with
    the particular routine you mentioned but one
    book I would recommend is "Beyond Brawn"
    by Stuart McRobert....The emphasis is on brief
    but intense workouts staying mainly with the basics.
    Squats /deads/chins/bench........I'm 50 but
    I've made some pretty good progress based on
    what I learned from this book..........thanks---Ralph
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    Diet looks pretty clean, keep at it and youll see success thats the most important thing is to stay consistant. IMO
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    Originally Posted by D&G View Post
    I am growing on a 2 day split programme so don't knock 'em till you've tried em.

    I don't think doing arms separately to upper body is a good idea.

    I use an upper body, lower body split and it works great.
    Agreed.

    I've been doing only one day a week for last 7 years (approx) and only 2 day per week for 7 years (approx) before that, and 4-6 days per week for 7 years before that.

    I saw my greatest gains on 2 day per week. Was benching 4 sets of 5-8*315 for a period of about 5 years in late my 20s early 30s doing 1 or 2 day per week (got up to 3 * 365 at one stage all on 2 day per week).

    Actually in the last 7 years its been more like one workout every two to three weeks (sometimes months) off, but even that's been enough to maintain my strength (thanks to part time study I was doing). When ever I get back to one day per week consistently, like now, I steadily make gains gain.
    For example I have been back to an unbroken run of one day per week workouts since 25th March, when i was doing (on bench)

    8?135 (lb), 9?225, 4?245, 4?245, 6?225, 5?225

    Every single week (while only doing one day per week) I have seen an improvement in performance over the previous week. Last workout on 17 June I did

    8?135 (lb), 8?225, 6?269, 8?247, 8?225, 7?225

    (Not bad for a soon to be 41 Y/O)

    So yeah in my experience you can gain on one or two day per week.

    One thing I will say, I have never found a single set to failure like in your program (Mike Mentzer style) of any exercise to be very effective (I did try that way but it didn't do anything for me - except lose a lot of endurance which took forever to get back. i.e. gained no peak strength but lost lots of endurance, won't try that again).
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    One other thing, sets of 10 reps will produce hypertrophy but not strength increases. Its fairly well established that you need to be lifting above 85% (+/- 5%) of your 1 RM to see strength gains. Bottom line is 1 - 6 reps is more for strength (1-3 is more just nervous system though), 6-8 and up for hypertrophy. (6-8 is good mixture between strength and hypertrophy).

    The point is you need to see strength gains for long term hypertrophy. Reps of 10 and above will increase you mitochondria mnumber etc, the energy storage component of the cell and that will cause...sorry have to go will finsih latter
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  16. #16
    Registered User Do_Somethin's Avatar
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    Question ?

    Did anybody notice the dates of the first few posts? 2001?
    Exodus 20:12
    "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."

    Jeremiah 29:11
    "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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  17. #17
    Registered User Reality_Check's Avatar
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    Doh...
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  18. #18
    my cats watch me have sex 789789's Avatar
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    what's so aesthetic about him?
    Formerly the infamous SausageMassage: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?p=639804123

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  19. #19
    I'm your real dad! IronCharles's Avatar
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    Interesting that half of the posters in this thread so far are banned... and probably have been for years....
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  20. #20
    -||||||||-------||||||||- NitroStigs's Avatar
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    Iron! Looking great forcyour age bro. I'll be a good sport n say that I already lost

    Wait....WTF I posted in the wrong thread, I swear I clicked the other one lol my bad
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  21. #21
    RETIRED UniversityMisc's Avatar
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    Bumping the first thread in bodybuilding.com history.
    Coupon Code MISCMONTHFREE gets you your first month of hosting for $0.01 at HostGator.com.
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  22. #22
    Banned hideyowives's Avatar
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    lol@ usernames ITT

    D&G

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    legendary miscers...
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  23. #23
    Banned lukeaye's Avatar
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    now im a legend. Lol at half the ppl being banned
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  24. #24
    in - drin - ga Indringa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IronCharles View Post
    Interesting that half of the posters in this thread so far are banned... and probably have been for years....
    They probably got banned for stuff that occurs daily in the MISC
    REP BACK PEOPLE with 6K+, and a link, brah.

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  25. #25
    10k+ IanR1205's Avatar
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    The new 92b thread.
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  26. #26
    Registered User JAKESFIELD's Avatar
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  27. #27
    Banned mrmrbill's Avatar
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    Very close to being "Teh Furst" thread. This one is 80 min earlier: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=12

    .. but yes, it was a monumental day overall. Title has strong humour for first thread ever.
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  28. #28
    Progress not Perfection cowboybiker's Avatar
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    Thread is full of banned posters.
    Obviously cursed.
    Lets see which one of you is next.
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  29. #29
    Lil Tuco Drips617's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cowboybiker View Post
    Thread is full of banned posters.
    Obviously cursed.
    Lets see which one of you is next.
    You mad, cowboybiker?
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  30. #30
    ......................... The_Sho's Avatar
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    Ummm...bumping first thread ever?!?
    Last edited by The_Sho; 08-11-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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