How many exercises does one do per muscle group? For example
would you do only one exercise for chest or the three listed
body workout card?
a full body workout (performing all major body parts in one session
on 3 non-consecutive days per week), it is suggested you only
perform one exercise per muscle group. When you are starting
a program (or even starting back after a long layoff), more exercises
and sets are not necessary and can sometimes be counterproductive.
Since the training response is relative to what you are accustomed
to, which is next to nothing, you will make sufficient progress
with a minimal exercises. Keep in mind, the greatest gains in
strength and muscle mass will occur in the initial stages of
your program, seemingly no matter what you do.
exercises, movements that work more muscles in fewer exercises.
exercises are also typically more functional than the isolated
exercises, working the muscles and joints more similar to how
they will move in nature.
As in the workout templates,
muscles in italics are optional. You may already be working
some of these muscles indirectly on other movements. For example,
a specific low back movement can be included if you have not
already exercised it during your quad/glute, hamstrings, or upper
back exercises. Likewise, the biceps and triceps are exercised
on the back and chest movement respectively. Including a specific
isolated exercise for the arms would essentially be adding a
second exercise for the biceps and triceps.
For many beginners, the weight increases on these isolated
exercises are much greater than what is typically suggested.
For example, if you are using 25 lbs for a workout weight and
you prepare to move up to the next weight, 30 lbs, this represents
a 20% increase in weight! Keep in mind 5 to 10% graduations are
typically recommended. In these cases, it sometimes makes sense
to hold off on these auxiliary exercises until greater functional
strength is achieved during the compound basic exercises.
Certainly, feel free to choose a few optional movements you
may want to target that month. Guys usually pick isolated arm
movements, whereas, women may even add an additional hip adduction
and abduction movement. Just keep in mind there is no such thing
reduction as many info-commercials would have you believe.
Be careful though that you do not make a common mistake in
trying to specialize in too many muscle groups. Firstly, during
a long full body workout, intensity may inadvertently be compromised,
essentially decreasing the efficacy of all other exercises. You
will probably end up pacing yourself, if your workout consists
of too many exercises and sets. The exercises at the end of the
workout will also suffer after a long workout as your energy
level diminishes. Secondly, you may also end up spending less
time on the cardio exercise or stretches at the end of a long
workout. Thirdly, those beginning an extended weight training
program may have a greater difficulty in adhering to their program
as compared to those who begin a more abbreviated full body workout.
It seems experienced weightlifters who prescribe beginners
high volume or intense workouts have forgotten what is was like
when they first began lifting. Getting sore will only postpone
your ability to recuperate and increase the likelihood of dropping
out of your new program.
During your first workouts you only need to workout until
you feel comfortable fatigue. Each workout, attempt to perform
one or two additional reps until you have reached the upper repetition
range (typically 12 reps) then increase your resistance by 5
to 10%. You should be able to continue this progression of reps,
then resistance for one to two months. See Identifying
Workout Weight and Implementing Progressions.
After a few months of training, you will be able to push yourself
much harder than when you first began. Your ability to recover
between sets will be enhanced but not to the extent of your ability
to workout more intensely. You may find yourself requiring a
bit more rest between your sets.
As you continue to perform these exercises, you will find
it increasingly difficult to progress as you once did. This is
an indication your program is becoming stale. Changing
your exercise program every month or two will not only allow
for continued progress, but will also make training more enjoyable.
It can be quite boring performing the same exercises month after
month. In the beginning, it is important to choose exercises
you feel comfortable with. Later on, the most effective exercises
are the ones you are least familiar. These relatively unfamiliar
movements are the exercises you have the most potential to make
the greatest improvements.
Some time later, depending upon your goals and available time,
you may consider changing to a 2
day split program. This would lend its self to working out
4 days per week, each body part exercised two times per week
frequencies). This type of program may allow you add volume
to your program by introducing an additional exercise for the