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  1. #1
    Registered User kairama15's Avatar
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    How to improve this workout? I want muscle.

    I am interested in developing muscle volume and strength faster than the rate I currently am (like everyone I suppose). My problem is, I sometimes work out for two weeks in a row and still am only able to do the same reps/weight as before. Only after a lot of effort and time can I increase my rep/weight. I'd like some expertise and tips to improve the rate at which I gain muscle/strength.

    I currently weigh 182 pounds and am 6 foot. I have slender to medium build. My goal is to gain muscle volume in my chest, shoulders, arms, and back. I've been lifting for about 4 months. I don't care too much about leg muscle strength/width. I'm interested in developing my upper body physique.

    I have been basing my compound muscle weight lifting off of the youtube video: The 4 Best UPPER BODY Workouts for Mass (Chest/Shoulders/Back/Arms)

    I do 'workout 1' on the first day, rest on the second day, 'workout 2' on the third day, and rest on the fourth day. Then I repeat. 2 minutes between all sets. Every I set I do to failure until I can't do even one more rep. When I get to about 7 reps in my first set of any excercise, I increase the weight the next time at the gym.

    I do the following exercises in order

    Workout1:
    Smith machine benchpress
    165 pounds 7x
    165 pounds 5x
    155 pounds 7x
    155 pounds 4x
    145 pounds 6x
    Seated lateral cable row (V-grip)
    150 pounds 7x
    150 pounds 4x
    145 pounds 6x
    145 pounds 4x
    135 pounds 7x
    Seated Smith machine overhead press
    115 pounds 7x
    115 pounds 4x
    105 pounds 6x
    105 pounds 4x
    95 pounds 7x
    Lat pulldown (wide grip)
    150 pounds 7x
    150 pounds 4x
    145 pounds 6x
    140 pounds 5x
    135 pounds 5x

    'Workout 2' is similar 'workout 1' except the overhead press and lat pulldown are done first (and at higher weight because my muscles aren't as fatigued), then the benchpress and seated cable row (done at a little lower weight than work out 1) are done next.

    So, how can I improve this workout to help me progress to higher weights faster? I'd like some constructive criticism.
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    You personally may not find this to be constructive but you can improve your routine by not doing it and picking a novice routine from the stickies. As you noted, you're not consistently progressing so not sure why you'd want to keep doing it anyway.

    Also, many "lower body" exercises help your upper body as well. And stop using the smith machine unless there's a specific reason for you to do so.
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  3. #3
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    There is another program you can do called Coolcicada PPL. Just google it to find the program. You can omit the L part of the PPL, if that's what you want to do.
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  4. #4
    Registered User kairama15's Avatar
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    I read up on the "fierce 5", "beginner powerbuilding routine" on the stickies before posting. They are sticked for a reason - they must be useful. I also just researched the coolcicada workout plan. A few questions:

    I noticed on most of these workout plans, each exercise is listed as 3x5. Why do these well known workout plans only having us do 3 sets of each excercise? Why not more? Also, I usually have trouble doing 5 reps of the same weight; I tend to peter out on the second set with 4 reps, and the third set I usually get only 3 reps. Is there a benefit of doing the same weight for 3 sets even if the first set seems relatively easy?

    Also, I heard from friends that lifting the heaviest load I can for up to about 7 reps and decreasing the weight as needed for the next few sets is the best way to build muscle. Because you are always lifting a decent volume of reps with as much weight as you can. Is this true? Notice, in my workout plans, this is what I generally do.

    Basically, I'm interested in learning WHY my workout plan is inefficient compared to the others on the stickies. I am by nature, very curious. If I understand the mechanism, I can implement improvements in all aspects of my workout.

    Thanks for the input everyone, it is appreciated!
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  5. #5
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    paulinkansas is offline
    Originally Posted by kairama15 View Post
    I read up on the "fierce 5", "beginner powerbuilding routine" on the stickies before posting. They are sticked for a reason - they must be useful. I also just researched the coolcicada workout plan. A few questions:

    I noticed on most of these workout plans, each exercise is listed as 3x5. Why do these well known workout plans only having us do 3 sets of each excercise? Why not more? Also, I usually have trouble doing 5 reps of the same weight; I tend to peter out on the second set with 4 reps, and the third set I usually get only 3 reps. Is there a benefit of doing the same weight for 3 sets even if the first set seems relatively easy?

    Also, I heard from friends that lifting the heaviest load I can for up to about 7 reps and decreasing the weight as needed for the next few sets is the best way to build muscle. Because you are always lifting a decent volume of reps with as much weight as you can. Is this true? Notice, in my workout plans, this is what I generally do.

    Basically, I'm interested in learning WHY my workout plan is inefficient compared to the others on the stickies.
    Good for you for reading the Fierce 5 sticky, that puts you ahead of about 90% of the people in your situation.

    To answer your questions. More sets/reps isn't necessarily better than fewer sets. If you peter out on your 2nd set, you should reduce the weight in the first set. There are an infinite combination of weights, sets, reps, frequency, rest, etc. You just need to experiment and find something that works good for you.

    I won an over/under shotgun a few years ago. About once a month people come to my house and we shoot clay pigeons for money. I could not hit any of the clay pigeons with the gun I won. The sheriff was there, and I let him shoot the gun. He ended up winning money with the gun that I could not hit anything with. That was 3 years ago, and I don't think I've shot the gun since then.
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  6. #6
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    air2fakie is offline
    If you have no interest in going with proven novice programs, and are only looking for others to waste time convincing you of all the ways your routine made without knowing any basic fundamentals or having any experience is inefficient so you can improve this "smith machine, no legs, no progress" program, good luck!

    Once you're done spinning your wheels after a couple of years, try F5 or another of the novice routines from the stickies.
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  7. #7
    Powerbuilder all pro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kairama15 View Post
    How do I improve this program?
    Throw it out and run a proven program! Good grief!
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