Opinion on my routine please

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Opinion on my routine please

Post by Labyrinth » Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:13 pm

I'd like to know what you guys think of my routine. I work out at home for now but may start using my school's gym in the fall though I prefer to work out at home. The equipment I have is a bb, db's, chinup bar, supercurl arm bar (like an ez curl but more curvy). I'm trying to increase total body size and strength and especially my arms.
Day one: back/chest: bb pullover; incline db chest press; bb bent over rows; decline pushups (I am trying to concentrate on my upper chest) I either tack on a set of lying tricep extensions to the end of this workout or replace the pushups until I am satisfied with the size of my arms.
Day two: shoulders: db shoulder press (is military better??); db raises (because the posterior delts are used as well as the lat. delts); bb post delt row; bb shrug.
Day three: legs: bb squat; bb deadlift; calf raise; triceps (I'm guessing this isn't a good idea due to overtraining)
Day four: arms: bench dips; chinups; close hand pushups; chinups palms away.

I rotate my back exercises every week replacing the bb pullover with pullups; I'm considering rotating my shoulder workout with front raises, lat raises, and rear delt flys and my arm workout with my arm bar for biceps and triceps (curls and extensions)

I always take a day off between workouts and also wanted to ask if it is necessary to wait until you are no longer sore to work out again (which is sometimes two days, or even three);

Would anyone suggest I train legs more often? I find the overall and especially back benefits from squats and deadlifts very benificial.

Thanks for any advice and for patience with this long post!

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Re: Opinion on my routine please

Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:03 pm

Labyrinth wrote:Would anyone suggest I train legs more often? I find the overall and especially back benefits from squats and deadlifts very benificial. !
Yes. The easiest way to get bigger arms is to get a bigger body. And the easiest way to get a bigger body is to eat big and exercise big. Squats and deadlifts are the exercise big part of the equation.

A rare few people have gotten bigger arms just by doing arm exercises. But most people who try that just get sore elbows.

Your workout actually has two days of chest/back - chinups, bench dips and push ups (your "arm day") are compound exercises that work all the upper body push/pull muscles, not just the arms.

Your shoulder work could be moved to one or both of your upper body workouts, which would give you another day of legs.

Just my 2 cents

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:28 am

Hi there. You’ve got a number of questions in that post, which I’ll answer out of order.

- Do you need to wait until you’re not sore? No, as long as the soreness isn’t interfering with your ability to exercise (i.e. you aren’t walking around like an old man and wincing with every arm swing) you can lift again.

- Decline pushups - you mean, feet inclined? That’s a good way to make pushups harder, for sure. The higher you go the harder it is, up to the handstand pushup.

- Is the military press better? Eh, to me, a standing shoulder press is a standing shoulder press. Strict military presses with the feet together seem a little less stable. Do you mean seated vs. standing? My opinion is that you should definitely stand, it forces you to watch your form and tighten your abs...when you sit you can relax a bit and still get the weight up by leaning back into the seat back. I think it’s better to stand and force yourself to provide that support.

- Training legs more often - yes, for sure. Why not stick squats in one workout, deadlifts in another? That way you work the legs hard each time. Not sure where calf raises would fit better...I’d probably do them on squat days just because you’re already setting up for a similar exercise, assuming you’re doing barbell squats and not one-legged dumbbell squats.

- Your workout has a lot of overlap in it. For example, your Day One back/chest workout also works triceps hard (chest press, pushups, pullups). Then you do shoulders on day two with shoulder presses (also triceps as you extend the weight to lockout), day three you hit them specifically (you didn’t say with what exercise), and then day four has the triceps hit with dips, pushups, and pronated grip pullups. Chest gets a lot of work on days one, two, and four. Shoulders get work one one, two, and four. The lats will be working on all four days - three if your barbell shrug is straight up and down, if you’re leaning forward for an incline shrug your lats work too. That might be a feature or a bug for you, but I think it’s a lot of work. You can get by with less direct arm exercise and less exercises overall and still grow...very possibly grow more actually. I’d skip the raises, flys, curls, and extensions. At least for now.

It’s generally easier to split by function - push/pull/legs. Or split by upper/lower.

Generally the folks who hang out here favor full-body workouts with really stripped down routines - 3-4 exercises, maybe 5, per day, 2-3 times a week. Emphasis is on a few big exercises done for low to moderate reps rather than a bunch of exercises for the same body part. I do a once-a-week deadlift/bench press/shoulder press/bent dumbbell rows routine because of scheduling issues but fill out my week with crossfit works and MMA training. Other folks here do push/pull/legs splits and alternate sets between push and pull. Others do similar basic routines.
For ones like that, check the basic routines sticky at the top of this forum for the Rippetoe Starting Strength routine and the Mahler twice-a-week full body workout. You can also split upper/lower like I said, which will be easier than back/chest, shoulders, and arms - since your arms get a workout whenever you do chest (triceps especially on dips, chest press, pushups), back (biceps especially - any pullup works biceps), and shoulders (triceps on the shoulder press).

The other guys here will probably have lots of additional advice for you.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your lifting.


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Post by Labyrinth » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:04 am

Thank you very much for your replies.
After doing research on full body, compound exercise workouts I
realized how much I didn't know about workout efficiency.

I'm going to start this program this week:
http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5 ... ar_5x5.htm

scroll down on the link to see the workout itself

this is Bill Starr's Intermediate 5x5; I'm going to use the assistance arm exercises just to make sure that they keep up with my back, chest and legs growth (in the past they don't seem to..)

do you guys see any problems with this? will my upper back, traps, lateral, and posterior delts get enough of a workout as well as my upper chest?
in this workout I can replace the standing shoulder press with an incline bench but I would be concerned that my shoulders would be missing out on direct attention.

there seems to be an overwhelming amount of lifters (who actually sound like they know what they're talking about like on this site) who agree that this type of workout is the way to go.

thanks again, your sound advice is really appreciated.

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Post by TimD » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:10 am

Just a comment. It's a very good place to start for anyone regardless of their inclinations, i.e. sports training, general strength improvement, bodybuildingAfter a couple of months you may want to sit down, consider your priorities, then go according to those needs in so far as workout development.

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Post by stuward » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:17 am

With the 5x5 you have a choice between Bent Rows and Cleans and as you mentioned Incline Bench and Military press. Depending on what you chose, there will be a slight difference in what muscles are hit hardest but either way you will be close.

By the way, I've written a public routine on Gymjournal.com for this program that you can use to track your progress. You have to register to use the site but it's free.

Have patience with this program. It's slow progress but steady.

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