Ahh yes weight training. To me this is the funniest or most interesting part of this healthy lifestyle that we are either living in and currently embarking on. We all can´t lift like bodybuilders and start in a crazy split that will work your muscles to the bone as it will hurt you and possibly cause you an injury which you definitely don´t want. The following weight training techniques will embark you on how you should start your training split for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced bodybuilder. Remember form is always more important then weight. If your form suffers then lower the weight because your not lifting properly and could cause injury.
Beginner Bodybuilder Routine
This is the best routine I have used when I first started to bodybuild in order to build some muscles while losing fat. It´s the great full body workout performed 3 days a week such as Mon/Wed/Fri. Where each bodygroup is trained for 3-4 sets of one exercise of 10-12 Reps. Each training day would have a different workout for that bodygroup along with a different order of training for each day. You can also incorporate pyramid style reps of 6-8-10-12 or 8-10-12 depending on whether your doing 3 or 4 sets. So it would look something like this
Day 1:Full body (Chest, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, abs, legs, calves)
Day 3:Full body (Legs, calves, back, abs, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps)
Day 5:Full body (Back, chest, legs, triceps, biceps, calves, shoulders, abs)
All the weight lifting should be noted in a pad or notebook so when you hit the desired number of sets and reps completely you can keep increasing the weight in order to build that muscle. This routine has helped me tremendously as it has a good amount of rest time inbetween while building muscle as muscle is not built in the gym but rather during resting time when we are sleeping. This routine should be done for about 6 months to 1 year for beginning purposes only before moving on to an intermediate split. Also Deload should be done even though this is a beginners split. Deload will be explained below also. Now that we have covered a beginner bodybuilder workout routine we will now move to a intermediate split.
Intermediate Bodybuilder Routine
Now that we have covered the beginners routine we will now see what a intermediate routine would look like. Now do not start this split unless you have had training experience in the past or are currently getting past your beginners routine if not the one above whichever beginner routine you have done. Now we move on into a intermediate routine which would be a 4 day split. The workout days would be Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri. With this split you can incorporate a Lowerbody/Upperbody/Lowerbody/Upperbody. I enjoy more doing Back/Bis/Shoulders for Mon/Thurs and Chest/Tris/Legs for Tues/Fri. Since the bodyparts per training day are lowered to 3 instead of 6 like the beginners routine above you can then increase the exercises per bodypart to 2-3 with also 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps. You can also incorporate pyramid style reps of 6-8-10-12 or 8-10-12 depending on whether your doing 3 or 4 sets. So it would look something like this
Day 1:Back, Biceps, Shoulders, Abs
Day 2:Chest, Triceps, Legs
Day 3:Rest (Abs are optional)
Day 4:Back, Biceps, Shoulders
Day 5:Chest, Triceps, Legs, Abs
All the weight lifting should be noted in a pad or notebook so when you hit the desired number of sets and reps completely you can keep increasing the weight in order to build that muscle. Also with the split above you can then incorporate different exercises for each bodygroup on different training days. So for instance you can have 3 Chest exercises on day 2 and 3 other Chest exercises on day 5. This routine has also helped me when it definitely was time to increase the intensity of lifting. This routine should be done for about 6 months to 1 year for beginning purposes only before moving on to an advanced split. Now we move on to the advanced split which I currently use at the moment. Also Deload should be done even though this is a Intermediate split. Deload will be explained below also.
This is the current split I use and I had to work up to it because if I didn´t I definitely could not survive the brutal beating your body takes. This routine is a 5 day split where one bodypart is worked out per training day. So for instance you would lift Monday-Friday with the weekends off or some other people enjoy working out Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday but mainly having at least 2 days off at all times. More is not better in the bodybuilding world. It actually can be counterproductive. Each training day then can concentrate fully on that one bodypart where then you can do 5-6 different exercises of 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps. You can also incorporate pyramid style reps of 6-8-10-12 or 8-10-12 depending on whether your doing 3 or 4 sets. So it would look something like this
Day 1:Chest, Abs
Day 3:Shoulders, Abs
Day 4:Biceps, Triceps
Day 5:Legs, Abs
Day 1:Chest, Abs
Day 3:Shoulders, Abs
Day 5:Biceps, Triceps, Abs
All the weight lifting should be noted in a pad or notebook so when you hit the desired number of sets and reps completely you can keep increasing the weight in order to build that muscle. This routine gives the maximum amount of attention to each muscle group which is why you only work it out once a week because of how brutal you train that bodypart it definitely needs those days to recover. Again this is more of a advance routine and should only be done after a beginner and intermediate lifting stages. You can not jump right into this split and I guarantee you will suffer a injury. Also Deload should absolutely be done without a doubt as it is very taxing on the body. Deload will be explained below also.
This advance routine is what I currently use. I deload every 7th week after this brutal 6 week trial and repeat. Again you have to work your way into this routine.
Muscle Confusion (Changing Routines)
The body is an amazing piece of what I call machinery. It can get used to anything you throw at it. It´s just a matter of time. You may have heard or hear the time Muscle Confusion. It´s the process of confusing muscles in order not to hit a plateau. Now you can not confuse your muscles as it does not have a mind of it´s own. but the term muscle confusion refers more to your body getting used to something it. So in order to not have your body get used to something and hit a plateau something has to change. Whether it be Exercises, Order of Exercises, Order of Training Days, Sets, Reps, Time of rest inbetween sets, Tempo. The main thing is something has to change and a little change can throw the body right off. For me instance I change my Reps and Order of exercises every 3 weeks and change the Order of Training days every 6 weeks. But something in your routine has to change at least every 6 weeks.
Plateaus are explained in a different section here on the site just in case you hit one with ways to figure out what it is and how to overpass it. And you will know you hit one when you can´t lift more weight when trying to increase or you bulking is not going right or you stalled on the weight loss. It happens to all of us.
Your body or CNS (Central Nervous System) can only handle so much strain on it before it could lead to injury. Lifting weights is taxing on the CNS and it needs a break after lifting hard for a certain amount of time. Deloading can be approached in 2 different ways and is usually a 1 week time frame before you can start to lift hardcore again. You can either still lift for that week and just lift 50% of the weight that you usually would do for that week or you can take that week completely off from lifting.
I personally take the week off and it helps my CNS recover completely. And I know what your thinking. But wont I lose strength? Will I lose my muscles? The answers are No. I have actually taken two weeks off one time because of a lifting injury I had when I lifted incorrectly. After coming back from 2 weeks off I was actually stronger then before. The choice is yours but either way you have to deload.
For a Beginners routine you should deload every 8 weeks. For intermediate and advanced routines you should deload every 6 weeks.