Need some advice on my routine

Ask or answer questions, discuss and express your views

Moderators: Ironman, Jungledoc, ianjay, stuward

Oscar_Actuary
Veteren Member
Veteren Member
Posts: 2406
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:12 pm

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:44 pm

^ this guy is good.


( Robertscott is jealous of my creativity, don't let that discourage you )

User avatar
Jungledoc
moderator
moderator
Posts: 7578
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:11 am
Location: Kudjip, Papua New Guinea

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by Jungledoc » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:55 am

I can't stand just reading and not getting involved. I agree that it is a pretty bad program. Our invective is at the program, not at you personally, so it doesn't matter whether you wrote it or not, we don't hate you. I'm pretty sure we all hate the program!

First of all, this:
medic002 wrote:
stuward wrote:Doesn't 6 days of Arc Trainer get boring after a while?
thankfully my gym has TVs in front of the cardio stuff... I just zone out and run/arc
My immediate reaction is to say something that would come off as harsh. I just can't imagine why you would want to invest that amount of time in such a pointless activity. Just can't imagine. Is "Arc Trainer" a sport that you want to get good at? Is it similar enough to a sport that you want to get good at that you would consider this a sport-specific activity? What is your reason for doing this, when there is so much you could do that would be both worthwhile and more fun?

OK, having gotten that out of my system, and hoping that you will at least consider changing your "cardio" to 3 twenty-minute HIIT sessions a week, let me prattle on for a while about what a good program would look like.

I'm assuming, based on what you have said so far, that you are not really wanting a body-building type routine. If I misunderstand, then you need to take a lot of what I will say with a grain or two of salt. I'm assuming that you want to be stronger for general purposes in life so you can lift things more easily, so you can do recreational sports more effectively, etc., etc.

A Good Program

First, there needs to be balance among different parts of your body. So your biceps don't get a lot of attention while your quads go begging. The best way to be sure of reasonable balance is by considering movements, not muscles. So, based on this principle, there should be some exercises for both the upper body and the lower body. The upper body movements should include both pushing and pulling movements. The lower body movements should include both knee-dominant (think of the squatting family of exercises) and hip-dominant or posterior chain movements (think deadlift and related exercises).

Second, the routine should be reasonably efficient. Your time in the gym is valuable, and the exercises you do should give you a reasonable amount of bang for your buck. So there should be no long periods of time doing exercises that benefit a small part of your body. In practical terms, this will mean spending most of your time on compound movements. The isolation movements should be the spice in the dish. Have you ever tried eating straight spices? Not good. But a little sprinkled on your meat and potatoes is great.

Also, in the name of efficiency, a good routine will avoid redundant movements. Sure, different exercises for the same muscle group can have slightly different effects, but pay attention to the word "slightly". For most people this won't matter. One good horizontal pulling movement done for 3 sets of 8 is wonderful. 3 horizontal pulling exercises is unnecessary and wasteful of your time.

Third, the routine should include both bilateral movements and unilateral movements. This usually has to be achieved over time. In other words, at times you would do bilateral squatting movements (e.g. front squats) while at other times you would include unilateral movements (e.g. lunges). There isn't time in your training day to do both unilateral and bilateral versions of every movement.

Fourth, the routine should allow adequate amounts of both stimulation and recovery. So you won't stimulate the same muscles two days in a row, to allow good rest and recovery. The usual rule of thumb is that a particular muscle needs 48 hours of recovery before being "hit" again. While there are theoretical reasons to question this, it's a good general guideline for most relatively inexperienced lifters. The exceptions are, well, exceptions. The routine will also allow enough whole body rest to recover from general fatigue (also called "CNS recovery" by many). Most of us (and this may stir some disagreement from my friends here) cannot put out maximal effort more often than 1 or 2 days a week for long periods of time. So some days in your routine should be very stressful, but some should be less so. By the time you make it through the "week" or "cycle" of lifting, you should feel fresh and ready to take on the world. At some point during that week or cycle, you should feel like you've left your gallbladder on the gym floor. Occasional periods of "deload" (relative rest for one or more workouts) are often helpful for restoring energy, and good routines allow for this.

There you go.

The amount of weight that you can lift 25 times won't be enough to be worth bothering with, nor 15, nor 8 when you are fatigued. there's a reason why most beginner routines use sets of 5 to 12. Bob says to stick to 8-12, and that's not bad, but I like 3-8 myself. Early on it is probably better to go a little on the high side (like Bob says), but later do at least part of your routine (and again, this will change from time to time) in low rep ranges to allow you to move heavier weights.

So, please look at some of the many routines in the stickies, and evaluate them in terms of these guidelines.

And please don't be offended that we've trashed your routine. You are most welcome here. We just want to help.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

medic002
Novice
Novice
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:04 pm

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by medic002 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:07 am

Thanks for the help everyone

for the arc training, I run more then arc but I just use it as cardio if I have run too much or played too much sports - its low joint strain

army fitness requires long distance endurance running and high levels of upper body strength

My current fitness level is good but I am not that strong and I have a pound or two to shake. I do play a lot of varied sport so something that would really help me is a really strong core

Monday - max effort upper body
- max set of 3-5 reps close-grip bench press
- 4 x 6-10 of incline dumbbell benc press
- 4 x 10-15 chest supported rows
- 3 x 12-15 Cable Reverse Fly
- 4 x 15 dumbell situps

tuesday - cardio
-HIIT - 30 Seconds Jog, 30 Seconds Sprint, Repeat 11 More Times (12 Minutes Total)

wednesday - max effort lower body
- max set of 5 reps deadlifts
- 4 x 15 Barbell reverse lunges
- 4 x 10 leg curls
- 5 sets of planks

thursday - cardio
- 8km running/jogging
- 2km rowing

friday - repetition upper body
- 3 x max reps bench press
- 4 x 5-10 cable pushdowns
- 4 x 8-12 lat pulls
- 3 x 10-15 dumbbell shoulder press
- 3 x 8-10 barbell curls

saturday - cardio
-HIIT - 30 Seconds Jog, 30 Seconds Sprint, Repeat 11 More Times (12 Minutes Total)

sunday - cardio
-8km running/jogging
-2km rowing

This is what I got from the W4SB website that was suggested. just two things, can I do cardio on weights days or does it just undermine all the weights work? secondly there doesn't seem to be any abdominal work in the program, does it matter where I put it?

Thanks everyone
Last edited by medic002 on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
stuward
moderator
moderator
Posts: 6600
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:44 pm
Location: Halifax, NS

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by stuward » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:29 am

:thumbright: What Jason said.

Your revised program looks much better. After your workouts, you can do some cardio, it's best to keep it short. It's a good opportunity to do some complexes, sprints or other high intensity stuff. Make at least one day a week, very light intensity, active recovery really. Also, practice your body weight movements like push ups and chin ups. Maybe in your high intensity cardio portion. That will be important in the Army.
Stu Ward
_________________
Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
_________________
Thanks TimD

robt-aus
Member
Member
Posts: 882
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:07 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by robt-aus » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:21 am

minor suggestions, for what they're worth
1. if you've run too much rest. no strain is better than low strain.
2. make your specific cardio days complement your gym work. long slow distance on Thursday and Sunday, HIIT or higher intensity work Tuesday/Sat. endurance and strength training at the same time can make progress slower.
3. for situps work up to basic eligibility requirement numbers before you weight them if they're part of your country's assessment. and really consider planks or turkish getups or pallof presses. deadlifting will work your middle very effectively.

User avatar
Jungledoc
moderator
moderator
Posts: 7578
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:11 am
Location: Kudjip, Papua New Guinea

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by Jungledoc » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:00 am

medic002 wrote:secondly there doesn't seem to be any abdominal work in the program, does it matter where I put it?
You have situps, deadlifts, lunges. You could add some the things that robt-aus suggests on Friday.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

robertscott
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Posts: 4424
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:20 pm

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by robertscott » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:24 am

medic002 wrote:Thanks for the help everyone

for the arc training, I run more then arc but I just use it as cardio if I have run too much or played too much sports - its low joint strain

army fitness requires long distance endurance running and high levels of upper body strength

My current fitness level is good but I am not that strong and I have a pound or two to shake. I do play a lot of varied sport so something that would really help me is a really strong core

Monday - max effort upper body
- max set of 3-5 reps close-grip bench press
- 4 x 6-10 of incline dumbbell benc press
- 4 x 10-15 chest supported rows
- 3 x 12-15 Cable Reverse Fly
- 4 x 15 dumbell situps

tuesday - cardio

wednesday - max effort lower body
- max set of 5 reps deadlifts
- 4 x 15 Barbell reverse lunges
- 4 x 10 leg curls
- 3 timed sets

thursday - cardio

friday - repetition upper body
- 3 x max reps bench press
- 4 x 5-10 cable pushdowns
- 4 x 8-12 lat pulls
- 3 x 10-15 dumbbell shoulder press
- 3 x 8-10 barbell curls

saturday and sunday - cardio

This is what I got from the W4SB website that was suggested. just two things, can I do cardio on weights days or does it just undermine all the weights work? secondly there doesn't seem to be any abdominal work in the program, does it matter where I put it?

Thanks everyone
muuuuuuuch better, good lad. I think you do FAR too much cardio, but if you enjoy it and it works for you then go ahead.

If you want to add extra abdominal work then you can do some on whatever day you wish but DON'T think that adding crunches every day is a good idea. You'd be better off doing a few sets of planks on your lower body day.

User avatar
Proper Knob
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 1676
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:46 am
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by Proper Knob » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:33 pm

medic002 wrote:This is what I got from the W4SB website that was suggested.
Is there not a dynamic lower day?
What if the Hokey Cokey really IS what it's all about?

medic002
Novice
Novice
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:04 pm

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by medic002 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:46 pm

Proper Knob wrote:
medic002 wrote:This is what I got from the W4SB website that was suggested.
Is there not a dynamic lower day?
No, the websie advises against it if you are used to to it.


Also, as a side-not I have update the schedule to include the cardio plan but is that HIIT sufficient?

User avatar
JasonJones
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:25 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by JasonJones » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:50 pm

medic002 wrote:This is what I got from the W4SB website that was suggested.
I've been a trainer for 3 years, and the most important thing I've learned is that I haven't learned nearly enough to reinvent the wheel. Programs like W4SB, strong lifts, 531, (et cetera) were developed by guys who were eating iron for breakfast while I was still watching Saturday morning cartoons. I defer to them as often as possible.

(ps thanks for the props guys :salute: )
don't you know there ain't no devil
that's just god when he's drunk

robertscott
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Posts: 4424
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:20 pm

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by robertscott » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:54 pm

medic002 wrote:
Proper Knob wrote:
medic002 wrote:This is what I got from the W4SB website that was suggested.
Is there not a dynamic lower day?
No, the websie advises against it if you are used to to it.


Also, as a side-not I have update the schedule to include the cardio plan but is that HIIT sufficient?
actually, there's a revised version that includes a dynamic lower body day

http://www.elitefts.com/ws4sb/WS4SB.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

but I don't think it's necessary. Medic, you could do the 4 day template but seeing as a lot of your focus is on endurance training, I think the way you're doing it now is fine.

medic002
Novice
Novice
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:04 pm

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by medic002 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:58 pm

how do you rep people? I cant see the button you would normally press?

Thanks Robert, I can always switch up later but for the time being this is good :thumbright:

User avatar
stuward
moderator
moderator
Posts: 6600
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:44 pm
Location: Halifax, NS

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by stuward » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:06 pm

You can't "rep" people here.

A short HIIT session is as good as a long cardio session. It depends on the intensity. The more intense it is, the shorter the duration required for the same benefit. I know there are studies to prove that, but I don't think there's any simple formula showing the relationship.

These articles go into it a little:
http://www.workingclasscardioworkout.co ... tion.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.cbass.com/FATBURN.HTM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There are a number of fitness attributes that seem to have a dose dependant relationship on intensity: fat loss, mitochondrial health, cardio endurance, insulin response. Long duration cardio will also improve those things, just not as fast.

There is one factor where short duration, high intensity training is the clear winner: lung capacity. Lung capcity will improve with high intensity training but can actually decrease with lower intensity training. Lung capacity is a direct indicator of health and may be an independant predictor of longevity. Therefore, even if time is not a constraint, get some high intensity training in.

High intensity training takes longer to recover from so don't do it more than 3 times/week.
Last edited by stuward on Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stu Ward
_________________
Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
_________________
Thanks TimD

Oscar_Actuary
Veteren Member
Veteren Member
Posts: 2406
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:12 pm

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:14 pm

medic002 wrote:how do you rep people? I cant see the button you would normally press?
most members will just send me fan mail, and a few dollars.

robertscott
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Posts: 4424
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:20 pm

Re: Need some advice on my routine

Post by robertscott » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:15 pm

embarrassingly, I have no idea what "rep" means. What's it all about?

Post Reply