In the area of strength training, there are as many workout routines as there are body builders, weight lifters, power athletes, and strength coaches. Every strength expert seems to possess the perfect training program for maximizing muscle development.
Fortunately, several respected professional associations have come to consensus on recommended training procedures for safe, sensible, and successful strength exercise. These include the AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, and the YMCA of the USA. The training guidelines, which include the following, are designed for average adults who desire a higher level of strength fitness.
1. Training Exercises: Eight to twelve strength exercises that address all of the major muscle groups.
2. Training Frequency: Two to three nonconsecutive training sessions per week.
3. Training Sets: One or more sets of each exercise.
4. Training Resistance: Approximately 70 to 80 percent of maximum resistance.
5. Training Repetitions: Approximately eight to twelve controlled repetitions.
6. Training Progression: Approximately 5 percent increase resistance whenever 12 controlled repetitions are completed.
7. Training Speed: Slow to moderate movement speed--for example, two seconds lifting and four seconds lowering.
8. TrainingRange: Whenever possible, full range of joint movement.
When it comes to strength training, some of the most powerful moves involve more than one muscle group and more than one joint movement. These kinds of moves can enhance your training, allowing you to lift more weight while giving you the extra calorie-burn that comes from involving the large muscle groups of the body. Not only that, compound movements are often more functional, working your body the way it actually moves on a daily basis.
· Barbell Squat
· Wood Chop with Dumbbell
· Bent-Leg Dead lift (Barbell or dumbbell)
· Clean and Press
· Hang Clean
· Walking Lunge with Arm curls
Pyramid weight training
Pyramid Power Strength Training Workout — The Pyramid Workout has been around a long time and is still the most popular way to train the Bench Press according to one of my on-line polls. In addition, it can be an effective way to train your Squat, Incline Bench Press or Shoulder Press. This type of training is considered somewhat advanced and as a result is not recommended for novice or young lifters. Always use a spotter and/or spotting equipment with this workout.
This is just one of the many ways a pyramid workout can be designed, but the underlining principles remain the same. Warm-up with a light set, perform progressively heavier sub-maximal effort lead-in sets up to a 100% set, and if that goes well, add 5 pounds and try to establish a new 1-rep max. The workout finishes with four progressively lighter, but challenging work sets. The complete pyramid workout can usually be performed twice a week. However, anytime you feel you have not recovered from your previous workout, go lighter by doing just the first half of the pyramid ending at 1 x 95%, or take an additional 1-2 days of rest.
1. Warm-up with 8 reps at 50% of your 1-rep max. Don't be hesitant to warm-up more if you feel you need to. Some people like to do a light 10 rep set with just the empty barbell as their first warm-up set.
2. Follow the prescribed reps and percentages right up to your 100% or 1-rep max set. Take a 1-2 minute rest between warm-up and lead-in sets. Take a 2-3 minute rest before the 1x 95% set and between every set thereafter. Don't hesitate to take longer rest periods if you feel you need to.
3. Based on how your 1-rep max set felt, decide whether or not to try to establish a new max by adding 5 pounds. If you attempt a new max, it is a good idea to skip the 95% down set.
4. If you establish a new 1-rep max, that becomes your next workout.
5. When you are no longer able to make progress because of reaching a plateau or over-training, you should re-cycle your program. Reduce the weight (your current 1-rep max) you use to determine your workout by 10%. For example: If your current 1-rep max is 300 lbs., use 90% of that as your workout max (270 lb.) for your first workout when you re-cycle. Build up your weights again gradually by adding 5-10 lbs per workout to each previous workout max. By backing off in this manner and building up again, you will allow your body a chance to recover and possibly break through your previous plateau.
- The idea of pyramiding is so your muscles keep using more weight. The more weight you use the stronger you become, the stronger you become the more weight you can use.
- The pyramid principle is based on ONE REP MAX (the amount of weight you can perform the exercise with properly one time). Than you use the chart below to figure out how much weight to use for each set.
- Each week you need to increase the amount of weight you use based on your ONE REP MAX for that exercise. After 6 weeks its time to recalculate your 1RM
- It is VERY IMPORTANT that you use a spotter, And make sure you are warmed up properly before trying to perform your 1RM
Over time you must increase the of weight you use based on your One 1 Rep Max
So what is Split Training?
We have already learnt the Major Muscle Groups. Now let’s see how Split Training relates to them.
Split Training is a system of dividing your training in such a way that you train different body parts on specific days.
Many famous splits are 2 day, 3 day, 4 and even 5 day splits.
Now that you know what Split Training I would like you to find which is best for you. Before deciding which one to adopt lets analyze the advantages and disadvantages of both.
High Intensity as you will have enough rest between workouts.
Better Muscle recuperation as muscles get more time to heal and repair.
You train your body as a single unit.
Does not sufficiently hit all the major muscle groups.
Dispersed attention and low efficiency workouts.
Precise training to reshape total body is difficult.
Total Muscle Isolation gives more time to hit muscles harder.
Can work to define particular muscle groups.
Inadequate rest and recuperation in between workouts.
What is the Best Weight Training Method for you?
The Best Routine is WHAT WORKS FOR YOU and your BODYTYPE.
Don't be fooled around by what other people think is right. If you are having fitness maintenance goals then whole Body workouts are enough for you. But if you are looking to build Muscle, or lose weight and get fit then I suggest that you split your training.
The best way is to divide your body in to muscle groups and train them on specific days.
Here you divide your body in to 2 parts - Upper Body and Lower Body and train them on separate days. This allows the body to fully recuperate between workouts.
Perfect for - Beginners
Day 1 - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps - Triceps are used in chest and shoulder exercises so train them together.
Day 4 - Legs, Back and Biceps.
Abs can be done on either days.
You can work them any 2 days of the week - Mon/Tue , Tue/Fri or wed/sat.
I suggest that you do them every alternate days.
Mon - Upper body, Wed - Lower Body, Fri - Upper Body and Mon - Lower Body and so on.
You get the picture right.
This is the famous Push/Pull split routine. This method alternates between pushing and pulling exercises. It’s very logical and has worked very well for many people. If you are busy or have very fast metabolism then I suggest that you go with this routine.
Perfect for - Hard gainer ectomorphs and Bodybuilders returning after long layoffs or breaks.
Day 1 - Chest, Deltoids and Triceps
Day 3 - Back, Biceps and forearms.
Day 5 - Thighs and hamstrings with Calves.
Abs can be trained any 2 routines.
You can do this in 2 ways - Mon/Wed/Fri or Tue/Thurs/Sat with complete rest on Sundays.
An advantage is that push-pull workouts are believed to be non-overstressing to the body and when used properly can reduce chances of overtraining. A weeks rest for muscle groups ensures they have rested and recuperated and are ready for next workout.
The disadvantage of the push-pull workout is that as you concentrate on major muscle building exercises like Bench Press, Military Press, squats and deadlifts, the minor muscle groups might not get the required attention of intensity of training. Another disadvantage is that some people find themselves out of energy very soon in their workouts and performing the second major exercise may be daunting. Although it is a individual ask I suggest you concentrate on your pre-workout meals and ensure you eat enough carbs and some protein before hitting the gym, preferably 30-45 minutes before.
Got more time than 2 day splits but cannot manage 5 days a week? Then 4 day splits are great way to go.
Here all you are dividing chest and shoulders so that you hit them hard separately. After all a good upper body looks much more impressive, on the beach and in the bed
Day 1 -Shoulders, abs
Day 2 - Chest and Triceps
Day 3 - Back and Biceps
Day 4 - Legs and Calves
Work on abs on any 2 non-consecutive days.
As for which days to work, use your imagination.
You can work 2 days on, 2 days off and then 2 days on with rest on Sundays. OR
You can work 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on with rest on Sundays.
Here you basically train arms - Biceps and Triceps together on 5th day.
Rest is the same as 4 day splits.
So you are mesomorph training for a competition? Gaining mass has never been tough for you but its beating the other competitor you are after. Then why not emulate the great Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
Arnold is a great fan of 6 day splits as he says it makes his training easy to manage as he says he easily knows what workout 1, 2 and 3 mean to him.
But you got to be very consistent with this schedule as if you miss a day whole rhythm is lost.
Double Split Training Routines
NOT recommended for anyone except professionals who want to compete.
The double split routines are intense and very hard on your muscles. Good nutrition and supplementation is a must. A bodybuilder’s ability to listen to his body is crucial.
The best example is to train upper body like chest or shoulders or back in the morning and legs later in the evening.
You train legs every alternate day on a 2 day double split and every 2 days on a 3 day double split.
What is the Best Split Routine for you.
Time availability is going to decide which routine to follow but I will give some general guidelines.
For Mesomorphs - A 4 or 5 day routine is best as mesomorphs find it easy to build muscle and strength.
For ectomorphs - A 3 day routine is excellent with plenty of rest for muscles to recuperate.
For endomorphs - A 3 day split works well as cardio is equally important.
Did I bombard you with too many choices? I believe that I have given you all the choices to make a decision for yourself.
Do what is the best for you.
As for me I find the 5 day split is best with rest on weekends. The reserve day makes up for any emergencies. Also daily exercising is easy for me as it becomes a habit.