Sunday, January 2, 2011

How to Structure your Workout

How do I structure my workout? This is a common question amongst people who devote their time to strength training. Unless you're into competitive bodybuilding, I advise a full body work out. Indeed a split workout can be hard to manage (ex: legs on Monday, Chest on Wednesday, etc ...) as we all have priorities in life (work, school, family you know how it goes). Also try to choose compound exercises that train several muscle groups at the same time (you'll gain a lot of time). You workout needs to focus on all following groups:

-BACK:

It's the largest muscle group in the human body and is used for pulling / rowing movements as well as supporting your entire frame. Bodyweight exercises you can do: 2 point box, bridge, pike push up, pull-ups.

-LEGS:

The legs (and yes that includes the glutes) form the second largest muscle group after the back. They are essential for jumping, walking, running. Bodyweight exercises you can do: any form of squats/lunges.

- UPPER BODY (CHEST/TRICEPS/SHOULDERS):

These are mainly used for pressing movements. Bodyweight exercises you can do: push-ups and dips.

-CORE:

This is basically your midsection (abs, side abs), it is used for bending/twisting movements as well as supporting your frame.Bodyweight exercises you can do: the plank, side plank.

Of course there will always be some form of cross-training in your workout but that's actually a good thing: this will work many complementary muscles you might ignore if you focus on one specific area. Many people work their biceps in isolation, forgetting the back and legs which are way bigger and more important. How about the number of reps? If you're looking to build mass: 5-8 reps; 9-20 reps if you're looking to build muscular endurance. However don't hesitate to experiment. Last but not least: never train with sore muscles! It's the best way to injure yourself, just let your muscles heal and you'll see great gains! Have a great workout!

Back and legs: the biggest muscle groups.
Chest/Shoulders/Triceps & Core: smaller but important muscle groups.

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