Currently I go to the gym and the trainers there have been designing my workouts. I'd like to get more variety and options in my workouts as well as understand them for my own knowledge a bit better.
So for instance on my tricep/bicep day I have perhaps 4-5 different exercises for each muscle group. As I understand it, the different exercises use different muscles. For instance on triceps, I do weighted dips, tricep push-downs (sit in a seat and push down on the handles), pushdowns where I am standing and I pull a cable down in front of me, and overhead raises.
On Biceps I do hammer curls, preacher curls (with the angled grips), straight bar curls and reverse curls where I hold an angled bar but have my hands down and the backs up my hand facing up.
Supposedly this variety of exercises is supposed to work different muscles.
I'd like a book or website that will give me guidelines on how to design my own workout so I can be sure I am not missing any important muscles and not overtraining any one muscle.
Does my question make sense and can you suggest such a book? I have been to the EXRX website and find it very useful, but it is not organized in a convenient format for my purposes.
Let me ask you some questions:
1. What are you trying to accomplish by going to the gym?
2. Are you trying to lose fat and gain muscle?
3. What are the exercises that you hate?
4. Do you prefer to do high rep low weight exercises, or low rep heavy weight exercises?
5. Do you have a workout partner (the trainer doesn't count)?
Also, so you know I started lifting in October of '03. I have gotten noticeably more muscular and have lost some fat without even really trying to lose fat. I'm probably around 11% bodyfat give or take a couple percent.
I'd really like to learn how to design my own routines so I don't have to rely on the "pros" at the gym. Also there is a local community club here with a nice gym that's much cheaper than the place I go now. I may join that one but then I wouldn't have any "pros" to get 1st hand advice from so I'm trying to become self-sufficient.
Here are some that I found useful:
If you IM me an email address, I will send you a couple of articles that I picked up along the way. Pretty good stuff.
How do you feel about exercises that use large muslce groups?
I have a couple of plans on the hard drive that I use.
Something to keep in mind is specialization. Bodybuilder bulk doesn't go well with endurance sports like swimming, cycling, hiking, etc. because the extra bulk requires a higher basal metabolism to support, reducing the effective availability of glycogen and increasing the production of lactic acid.
Long, lean musculature like swimmers and cyclists don't help 'explosive' activities like boxing or football because, again, your muscles are optimized for a different purpose.
Short, fat guys like me shouldn't be giving fitness advice.
Take a look at Arnold Schwarzenegger's Complete Bodybuilding Encyclopedia. It has around 20 different exercises for each muscle group, and some great ideas for planning your exercise routine.
I've been lifting for 30 years, just reading about your arm workout gives me the same YUK feeling I've had from trainers all my life. Sounds like you are OVER TRAINING. See it all the time! The basic exercises will work the muscle groups just fine. Most of the foo foo exercises that are supposed to shape the muscles are useless.
2 exercises per muscle group.
Say for chest bunch presses, and Inclines. OR Dips and Inclines. 3 to 4 sets per exercise. Any more and you are overtraining unless you are on steroids.
Go to www.musclenow.com GREAT ADVICE!!!!! Well worth the money.
I do a 2 day split, chest back and shoulders on the first day, arms and legs the next! Abs and Calves every workout!
Takes 3, 2 day workouts to cycle through my routine.
1st 2 day workout is 2 sets per exercise 8 to 12 reps!
2nd 2 day workout is 3 sets per exercise 8 to 12 reps!
3rd 2 day workout is 3 sets per exercise 4 to 7 reps.
This does not include warm up sets, and after the warm up sets each set is done to failure!
Chest back and shoulder days I'm in the gym 1/2 hour to 45 mins.
Arms and leg days 45 mins to one hour!
If you ask me any more time in the gym is counter productive and a waist of time!!!!!
I've read and seen a lot of BS in the gym!!!
Follow your instints and don't listen to trainers that give you 4 to 5 exercises per body part, they are having you overtrain!!!!!