ExRx.net

Exercise Prescription on the Net
It is currently Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:24 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Changing your routine
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:28 pm 
Offline
Novice
Novice

Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:55 am
Posts: 53
This isn't specific to my case since, as a newbie, I've been on the same routine for about 3 months and am still making gains. But I'm curious for those who've been at this a while, how long can you typically go with a certain routine before you start to stall? And once you begin to plateau, what changes do you typically make to your routine and how drastic are they?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:18 pm 
Offline
In Memoriam: TimD
In Memoriam: TimD
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 8:04 am
Posts: 3129
Location: Va Beach, Va
Well, I no longer use set routines. It's never the same thing twice. I like to base it on Crossfit, with some Javorek thrown in for good measure, and this means variation constantly, in bothexercises and percentage, rep ranges, etc. That being said, when I was following a "standard" type of thing, I would set up a schedule, in a periodized form, and take each microcycle for about 4 weeks. Now, I'm sure its going to vary individual to individual, but the 4 week point was where I started seeing diminishing returns.
Tim


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:14 am 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:41 pm
Posts: 667
Location: Davis, California
I think 3-5 weeks is probably all that I can take on a particular routine. By routine I mean a collection of the same variables which include stuff like, the exercise, the weight used, the reps done, the speed at which they are done, the total number of sets, as well as the arrangment of all of the above factors in the whole program. Often just rearranging can be enough for continued progress. Usually I change some of the assistance exercises in some way though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:41 am 
I dont really use a set routine, i think freedom is a good thing. I dont like the feeling of being locked into something. For instance, what if you just dont feel up to or motivated for a certain exerise your routine calls for? Should you proceed with a lackluster effort or just pick something else out that you wanna do? The only exercise that ill really have set is one main one that i do first, like bench press for example if its upper body day. I'll change the way i'll do it every 2 or 3 weeks, but some variation of the bench will always be first. After that, its pick whatever you want for the rest of the muscles. I will have a rep range target for that day, like 8-12 or 3-6 for all those exercises...but i wont even have a specific weight that i plan to use, just as long as it falls somewhere in the range on each set.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:37 pm 
Offline
Rookie
Rookie

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:10 pm
Posts: 42
I'm the opposite. If I don't have consistency in my program, I will stop working out completely. I like to know what I'm doing before I even put on my workout clothes. As long as you keep moving the weight slowly, and working back up the reps, I don't see anything wrong with the same routine. I'm not after a Flex Wheeler body, just gaining some size and strength!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:12 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:41 pm
Posts: 667
Location: Davis, California
One problem Nunya is that the body adapts to stress, this is how it has managed to be so successful. This said, the body will learn how to not breakdown when you always do the same routine in order to be more efficient. When this happens growth will generally slow.

For beginners this usually does not happen because exercise is so new but give it about a year and you may begin to notice this happening. If you do, then it is time to look for a change.

I agree about having a routine but as you progress you will start just picking a main exercise or a broad goal for each day and then structure your workout after you get to the gym and see how you feel.

As long as your workout is working, then stick to it if it makes you happy but be aware of stagnation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:01 pm 
Offline
n00b
n00b

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:21 am
Posts: 18
Ryan A wrote:
One problem Nunya is that the body adapts to stress, this is how it has managed to be so successful. This said, the body will learn how to not breakdown when you always do the same routine in order to be more efficient. When this happens growth will generally slow.


Growth does slow because of adaptation, but not adaptation to specific exercises. Your muscles don't know what exercise you're performing, all they see is the tension they generate internally to move the load you're lifting. As far as breaking down, as you get more and more 'trained' the amount of muscle breakdown/synthesis due to exercise does slow, but overall protein turnover also seems to slow down so that's not really the issue. Switching exercises, in terms of gaining mass, isn't necessary. It can be detrimental in fact. Because of your brain/CNS's learning curve on the new exercise you won't be able to generate the tension in the muscle you need to spur growth until the exercise is learned in that sense.

For muscle growth the only things that really matter are progressively overloading the muscles with tension, balancing frequency and volume to keep overall workload/TUT relatively consistent and as high as you can tolerate, and within this framework getting a good balance of tension and metabolic stress on your muscles.

From some things I've been reading lately some people claim it might be possible to see benefits from periodically switching the modality of an exercise, but not the exercise itself.

_________________
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you..."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:57 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:41 pm
Posts: 667
Location: Davis, California
Well, I do not entirely agree that you do not adapt to exercises but even we assume you do not, it is difficult to get maximal results while training all movements at a time. Hence the reason for people break up from full body to bodypart/movement splits. Once you do this, you must choose exercises you are to perform. If you incorporate all movements into your program then you will not be able to perform maximally in any. This is the Jack of all trades master of none theory.

So assuming you do not do every lower body movement there is, your body can not possibly be stimulated as though it is doing all possible movements. In other words the effect on the muscles from backs quats, deadlifts, front squats, lunges, single leg squats, split squats on and on is different.

So if as you say muscles do not adapt to exercises, then these exercises must then be working different muscles, otherwise you would have little difficulty performing well in these exercises switching at random, and as you said and I agree, this is not the case and there is a learning curve. Although they are working different muscles, they have common muscles that cannot possibly recover from being trained all in one cycle.

So now I argue that indeed muscles must adapt differently via specific motor pathway adaptations which are specific to such exercises. This explains why someone can have really strong hamstrings in the RDL but not in the GHR or vice versa.

If you take someone who day in and day out uses bench press for his sole chest exercise and compare it to someone who alters this with incline and decline and close grips or other grips and even takes time off from bench altogether and does overhead presses, the person who is constantly changing their routine will outgain the one who only benches easily in most cases.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:50 am 
I'm in the same group as TimD, and have adopted the different routine each day approach, similar to Crossfit. I take it one further and when i do come back to a routine i haven't done in a while - i use a different implement where possible.

I have also stepped out of the box a bit more as of recently and adopted what my neighbors call really weird training approaches - pushing the car up and down the street, loading all my plates into the wheel barrel and taking that for a walk around the block, cleaning and pressing the sidewalk slabs in my garden, etc.

By keeping a detailed log, i have been able to honestly make gains on every routine i use, when i come back to it.

-Bill L


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:23 pm 
Offline
Novice
Novice
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:06 pm
Posts: 95
Location: St. Louis
I agree more with CDB. Most of the switching I do is just going from dumbbell to barbell and back. I change aux iso excercises more then anything. With basic compound I might give something a break for a couple weeks but that's about it. Most changes are just good for variety. Adding weight is a change, and it seems to work.

I would think changing every day would lead to using a lot of less effective excercises. You also don't have the neural connection to lift enough weight. You can probably compensate with higher volume though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:04 pm 
Offline
n00b
n00b

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:21 am
Posts: 18
Ryan A wrote:
So assuming you do not do every lower body movement there is, your body can not possibly be stimulated as though it is doing all possible movements. In other words the effect on the muscles from backs quats, deadlifts, front squats, lunges, single leg squats, split squats on and on is different.


The amount of load the muscle sees in different exercises may be different because of synergists and the mechanics of the movement, but the only thing your muscles see is the tension. There is no way a squat would have a different effect on the quadriceps than a lunge, excepting that one may allow for more or less loading.

Quote:
So if as you say muscles do not adapt to exercises, then these exercises must then be working different muscles, otherwise you would have little difficulty performing well in these exercises switching at random, and as you said and I agree, this is not the case and there is a learning curve. Although they are working different muscles, they have common muscles that cannot possibly recover from being trained all in one cycle.


I wouldn't say a person needs to do all movements, one effective movement done right is good enough for size. And please note I am speaking about gaining mass exclusively. With regards to gaining mass the muscles don't need to recover as protein synthesis that's still going on from one bout of exercise won't be interefered with by doing more exercises. So far as it goes, all else being irrelevant the more exercises the better. The CNS system may get overloaded and a person may burn out, but that's not the muscles it's their nervous system.

Quote:
If you take someone who day in and day out uses bench press for his sole chest exercise and compare it to someone who alters this with incline and decline and close grips or other grips and even takes time off from bench altogether and does overhead presses, the person who is constantly changing their routine will outgain the one who only benches easily in most cases.


Outgain them in strength or size, as the two aren't on a 1 for 1 relationship and I'm not sure which you're talking about in this last quote? Such a person may get a size advantage, but that's likely the result of strength increases allowing them to lift a greater load over time. I know plenty of people who are quite large but use only one exercise for each muscle group. Some of them on my advice. Switching up the exercises in an overall plan to increase strength is a good idea as long as someone picks the right exercises. And generally yes, strength will follow size and size will follow strength. But there are different variables responsible for each one, and one doesn't always necessarily follow the other. Plenty skinny but fairly strong guys out there, as there are big ones who aren't that strong. It all depends on what factors are being addressed in their training. Generally from the point of view of someone who wants to gain size and doesn't care about strength, switching exercises isn't necessary.

_________________
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you..."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:33 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:41 pm
Posts: 667
Location: Davis, California
So my main concern is that the CNS will get tired and therefore will prevent you from lifting heavy weights. This will in turn, keep you from getting size. As you said, the size you gain is completely a result of how much you can lift. If you are putting less tension on the muscle, then you get less growth.

I guess I am just saying if you only do one exercise and are pushing yourself then you will likely burn out your CNS and this will result in not being able to lift. This to me is definately a concern for gaining size. Although the protein synthesis may be separated from the CNS, the muscle needs both in good order to function properly, and you need to be able to function properly to lift weights.

As for the bench example I say he would outgain them in both. The increased strength and freshness would allow more weight to be lifted more often.

Keep in mind, I am not trying to argue my way is the only way, I am merely saying it is the best way for most people. I am sure there are a select few who can bench and squat only and get great physiques, but these are the minority.

I wouldnt say there are different variables as some are the same. If anything, size is a function of strength and nutrition and strength is a function of the CNS. So in the end size is still related to the recoverability of the CNS. The CNS may be a function of the nutrition and rest etc. I would emphasize how complicated this process is and I think your attempt to separate them is misleading.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:17 pm 
Offline
n00b
n00b

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:21 am
Posts: 18
Ryan A wrote:
So my main concern is that the CNS will get tired and therefore will prevent you from lifting heavy weights. This will in turn, keep you from getting size. As you said, the size you gain is completely a result of how much you can lift. If you are putting less tension on the muscle, then you get less growth.


It's just from what you lift. It's also how often. Training for strength requires an intensity that makes it necessary for most people to lower their frequency. If their overall goal is gaining mass, that will most likely slow their progress. Likewise, training for size over strength means emphasizing progressive overload, frequency with a relatively consistent overall work volume, which isn't the best way to gain strength quickly.

Quote:
I guess I am just saying if you only do one exercise and are pushing yourself then you will likely burn out your CNS and this will result in not being able to lift. This to me is definately a concern for gaining size. Although the protein synthesis may be separated from the CNS, the muscle needs both in good order to function properly, and you need to be able to function properly to lift weights.


I wouldn't dispute that as we both know it's true. All I would say is there are different approaches when training for size as opposed to strength.

Quote:
As for the bench example I say he would outgain them in both. The increased strength and freshness would allow more weight to be lifted more often.


It would allow more weight to be lifted which would give him a good range of weight to use for working out, and that would be good. The more often I would dispute. As far as I know training for neural aspects will net you overall more efficient recruitment of muscle fibers and more strength but the rate of neural recovery doesn't change much.

Quote:
Keep in mind, I am not trying to argue my way is the only way, I am merely saying it is the best way for most people. I am sure there are a select few who can bench and squat only and get great physiques, but these are the minority.


In my experience they are the majority. Unfortunately most people go about working out incorrectly, so it's hard to judge in the end.

Quote:
I wouldnt say there are different variables as some are the same. If anything, size is a function of strength and nutrition and strength is a function of the CNS. So in the end size is still related to the recoverability of the CNS. The CNS may be a function of the nutrition and rest etc. I would emphasize how complicated this process is and I think your attempt to separate them is misleading.


I wouldn't totally seperate them, however there are aspects to training for size that won't fit into a strength program, and there aspects of a strength specific program that won't fit into a size oriented program Size and strength are not direct functions of each other. Many people keep their voluntary strength after a layoff of some time but lose size to a significant degree. Gaining muscle is a cellular level function in the end, and the main components of a good routine for size will include progressive overload, two times a week frequency at least, periodic deconditioning, and a relatively consistent work volume. Programs for strength can and should have significantly different treatments of all those variables. Building strength doesn't require you workout that frequently, volume can vary significantly as well. An example would be training to failure. For strength it has its benefits but severely limits the frequency with which someone can train, which would compromise size gains. For size, training to technical failure or leaving one or two reps in the tank so you can maintain a higher frequency with good volume would be more beneficial.

_________________
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you..."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:56 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:41 pm
Posts: 667
Location: Davis, California
Well I think you make some good points and I will end the discussion there.

To get back to the original posters question, I was not sure if he was interested in size, strength or both, so now he has some more info on the different aspects.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:04 pm 
Offline
Novice
Novice

Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:55 am
Posts: 53
Hey, I can use all the info you guys want to share. :D

I've actually switched my routine this very week as I noticed I was sliding back in some of my exercises. Maybe this topic was foretelling something... LOL

I had been doing two sets of a full body routine using a circuit style, with the second set taken to failure, up to 10 reps, on certain exercises, depending on the day of the week.

But as I said, the gains I had been seeing stopped rather abruptly, and I actually could do fewer reps on a couple exercises. On the others, I hadn't reached my failure point yet. I'd instead do 10 reps at a given weight and keep increasing that weight week after week until I reached a weight that would bring about failure.

But after reading this board as well as other resources on the web, I'm going to try doing more sets without taking anything to failure and without the circuits. I started this Monday and Wednesday, and I was amazed that I didn't feel anywhere near as fatigued after my workouts as I usually do. Normally I'm so drained of energy it takes an hour or so before I can move around without feeling sluggish. This week I was feeling more fired up after the workout even though I was pushing myself hard.

Because I started out training to failure, I really don't know if it was a good method or whether I made gains because everybody who starts lifting makes gains in the beginning pretty much regardless of method.

I'm trying to educate myself about nonlinear periodization now. Because circuit training is all I have experience with at this point, I don't expect to understand any other method right away -- I'm the type who has to do something before I really get a good grasp on it.

So I've broken my routine into body parts on different days. I'm still doing my legs (Mon), push (Wed), and pull (Fri) for this week as a transition, but I'm planning to go with a M-T-Th-F routine next week where I work each body part twice in the week. I still need to give it some thought over the weekend to make sure I've got a decent battle plan.

There's going to be a bit of a learning curve in doing this, but I believe I've learned enough to at least get started on it. And once I start doing it, I'm sure some of the information I've read will begin to click for me. I wish I had more definitive long-term goals at this point, but I'm just happy gobbling up all the info I can find. So keep it coming! :)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group