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  1. #1
    Registered User ChrisG555's Avatar
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    5 day split weight loss and toning workout program

    Hi everyone, just need a bit of advice. A friend of mine is just starting the gym and she's quite nervous about it cause she's got no idea what to do. She asked me to help her write up a 5 day routine for weight loss while also getting toned up. I'm no gym expert or personal trainer so hence why I'm here for help haha. I don't know her exact measurements but she is roughly 5ft4 and weighs between 50kg and 60kg i think. She does have quite an unhealthy diet which I said will have to change for progress, but that's a different story.

    I did some research and found 4 possible ways to split the routine:

    1. Full body workout. Lots of people were saying that full body workouts comprising primarily of compound exercises is the most effective routine for beginners. The plan goes as follows; Monday starts with the full body workout, Tuesday is intense cardio, Wednesday is full body, Thursday intense cardio and finally Friday is full body. Obviously I would assume that for each day there would be a change in the exercise so it's not a repeatiton all the way through the week. 

    2. Split into upper and lower body days. This was also very popular when I was reading up about the routines. There were two types of plan, the first one consisted of Monday doing upper body workouts along with 20mins of cardio, Tuesday doing lower body and 20mins cardio, Wednesday rest day, Thursday back on the upper body (with different exercises) and the 20min cardio, Friday lower body (with different exercise) and 20mim cardio, and finally Saturday is the full body, or strength day. 

    3. The third also splits it into upper and lower similarly to the second one above, however, instead of doing cardio every session, it is brought down to one day, which would either be the Wednesday or the Saturday.

    4. Last but not least is separating out the week by muscle groups. So Monday might be legs, Tuesday chest and back, Wednesday arms, Thursday core. A don't really know if I'm honest haha. And then there's the question if this option is the best, would cardio be implemented everyday or separate days? Not a clue.

    So basically what I'm asking is if any one of these routine structures are the best, and if so which one. If not, does anyone know a simple yet extremely effective 5 day routine that just can't go wrong

    Finally, the hardest part was what exercises. I know I'm going to stick with compound over isolated, but which exercises should i put into the different days. That's obviously goes in part with the type of routine. Hope anyone can help, many thanks in advance.
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    Registered User cmacken's Avatar
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    Have her do 1. Explain to her (nicely) that her success will be driven by her nutrition, not her workout.
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    3 day novice lp with 2 days of 30m cardio.

    A consistent, tracked, calorie deficit.
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    Registered User ChrisG555's Avatar
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    Yeah I've said to her already, she has quite an unhealthy diet at the moment haha. She's got the motivation but so I believe in her. I assume it'd be best to change up what exercises she does Monday, Wednesay and Friday?
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    Registered User ChrisG555's Avatar
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    Here's what I had written up so far, it's only a rough but please be critical. I want to to have the most appropriate workout scheme, thanks.

    Monday:
    10min warm up
    Barbell squat 3 sets 12 reps
    Romanian deadlift 3 sets 12 reps
    Dumbbell bench press 4 sets 10 reps
    Dumbbell shoulder press 3 sets 12 reps
    Lat pull down 4 sets 10 reps
    Tricep pushdown 3 sets 10 reps
    Hammer curls 3 sets 10 reps

    Tuesday:
    10min warm up
    10 push ups
    15 crunches
    15 squat jumps
    Choose any cardio machine (alternate per pay)
    5min warm up
    10sec max intensity
    30 sec moderate
    Repeat over 20min period

    Wednesday:
    10min warm up
    Dumbbell lunges 4 sets 10 reps
    Leg press 3 sets 12 reps
    Leg curls 3 sets 10 reps
    Chest press 3 sets 12 reps
    Bent over row 4 sets 8 reps
    Chin ups 3 sets 10 reps
    Standing calf raise 3 set 15 sets

    Thursday:
    10min warm up
    10 burpees
    10 leg raises
    20 Russian twist
    Choose any cardio machine (different one from Tuesday session)
    5min warm up
    Part 1: 1min steady, 1min rest - repeat over 10min period
    Part 2: 30 second sprint, 30 sec rest - repeat over 10min period
    Steady cool down for 10min

    Friday:
    10min warm up
    Goblet squat 4 sets 12 reps
    Leg extension 3 set 12 reps
    Stiff legged deadlift 3 sets 12 reps
    Incline barbell bench press 3 sets 10 reps
    Pull up 3 sets 8 reps
    Seated cable row 4 sets 8 reps
    Push up 3 sets 10 reps

    Saturday & Sunday: rest
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    Its not bad but I wouldn't write my own program. Pick a beginner program from the stickies and have her run that.
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    Ok thanks. Any ones that are specific to weight loss and toning?
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    Registered User cmacken's Avatar
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    Nope, weight loss is a product of nutrition. Toning just means losing fat whilst maintaining muscle mass, a product of a calorie deficit and resistance training
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    Registered User ChrisG555's Avatar
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    So essentially resistance/ strength training is all that counts as long as nutrition is in the bag? Is cardio still applicable?
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    Originally Posted by ChrisG555 View Post
    So essentially resistance/ strength training is all that counts as long as nutrition is in the bag? Is cardio still applicable?
    Cardio will burn a few extra (using a trifling amount) of calories. So from a pure body composition perspective, it's not very efficient. However, it does have positive health benefits so if she is amenable, she could do 1-2 cardio sessions a week of her choosing.
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    Honestly, IMHO...and I’m going against forum norm here...if she is totally new to the gym, and wants to lose weight and “tone”, I would have her do some form of machine circuit.

    I mean, I look at your program and think of how I (an experienced, motivated, gym lover) feel after 3 sets of squats...if I was new, and didn’t want big muscles, and wasn’t passionate about lifting...I’d hate it and want to quit after the first week (maybe the first workout...or even first set)! Especially once the DOMS set in.

    A circuit will be “easy” (to learn and do) and fun and will help her body get used to excercise...and it will burn some calories and “tone” muscles as well. Hell, it might be all she ever wants or needs.

    There is always time to get hardcore later if she finds this whole lifting thing fun and wants to move to the next level. But starting a newbie woman who just wants to get “toned” off on a pretty aggressive program is just asking for failure IMHO.

    Better to do 50mph for the long haul than 100mph for one week.
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    Originally Posted by ChrisG555 View Post
    Ok thanks. Any ones that are specific to weight loss and toning?
    They all are...

    Weightloss...eat less than your maint level

    "Toning"... low body fat with significant muscke mass.

    Aka...strength training while in a deficit...years of consistency
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  13. #13
    Registered User ChrisG555's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    Honestly, IMHO...and I’m going against forum norm here...if she is totally new to the gym, and wants to lose weight and “tone”, I would have her do some form of machine circuit.
    So, going by what other people have said and your own advice, have her do a simple circuit routine perhaps 3 days a week with 2 cardio sessions implemented into the week as well. Then after she has created a foundation for herself, or maybe doesn't enjoy the circuit start doing more weight orientated workouts?
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    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ChrisG555 View Post
    So, going by what other people have said and your own advice, have her do a simple circuit routine perhaps 3 days a week with 2 cardio sessions implemented into the week as well. Then after she has created a foundation for herself, or maybe doesn't enjoy the circuit start doing more weight orientated workouts?
    I might be reading between the lines...but this sounds like a “new year resolution”. 90% of these end in failure because people who have no passion or desire for excercise try to do too much too soon. IMHO, this is the issue here...making it enjoyable enough for long enough to make it a habit and a necessity and a desire.

    I don’t see any problem with alternating a circuit and cardio. I also don’t see a problem combining to two in an intelligent way. It shouldn’t be too hard to find educated articles online.
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    Registered User ChrisG555's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    It shouldn’t be too hard to find educated articles online.
    Finding articles is too easy, it's the fact that everyone has such different ideas and opinions. A few articles stated that beginners should always do full body routines. Others said that full body is inefficient and will lead to little success, only splitting it to upper/lower or muscle groups will work. Circuits was another one, also mentioned by you. But I think I've got enough info now, thanks to everyone. Any other advice please do not hesitate as it would be greatly appreciated, thanks again.
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    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    It's true that it's hard to distinguish good from bad information on the internet. Usually if nothing is being sold (supplements, training services, programs, diet schedules, books etc) then that indicates the least amount of bias.

    But don't read too much into any of those articles. You will get the most diverse opinions on the things that matter the least... The big important things are usually agreed on by all. Those are: calories, protein and challenging your body to do more weight, reps, sets etc. over time.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    But don't read too much into any of those articles. You will get the most diverse opinions on the things that matter the least.
    So stick to the simple? Essentially, the foundation information I guess
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