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Advice needed plz ...

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Was
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2004/03/15 16:57:54 (permalink)
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Advice needed plz ...

I'm new to this forum and would appreciate some advice on my training routine in relation to my training goals.

I used to do a full body workout (all muscle groups) 3 times a week ..at the end of each workout I used to do some cardio (bike, threadmill and stepper) to burn some fat. This gave me a little bit of progress but I wasnt making enough gains as much as how hard I was working out.

Now i've changed it to a 3-day split (after reading this site):

Monday: Chest & Triceps followed by HIIT the full abs workout

Wednestday: Shoulder & (Back or Legs) followed by HIIT the full abs workout

Friday: Biceps and forearms followed by HIIT the full abs workout

First of all I wanted to know whether it is ok to do a full abs workout at the end of each workout (last thing before leaving)?? ..this is done after HIIT (on bike, threadmill, and stepper).
I have been doing abs workouts for ages but never had a 6pack or anything and always find it difficult to keep the fat off (to have a totally flat stomach without tensing).

Am I overtraining by working the abs on each workout? Or can I increase my abs workouts to do them on the off-days aswell?


Also even though the rest of my body is reasonably toned, I need to get fat off my lower pecs.
Can I do press-ups at the end of every HIIT workout (i.e. 3 times a week) in order to burn the fat from there. [?]
I feel my Monday chest workout is not enough as im bulkin with the weights. I have limited equipment in my gym so am limited to the basic exercises with weights, dips bar, or self-body (i.e. press-ups).


My diet is not brilliant and am workin on cutting the fat intake (but this is proving quite difficult). However I am able to increase the protein intake which is a good step ...apart from working on cutting my fat intake, I just wanted to get my workouts right for what I want to achieve.

Any advise will be much appreciated.
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    Was
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/15 17:10:32 (permalink)
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    correction: the above for each routine day should read

    ...followed by HIIT and full abs workout
    #2
    The Pressure
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/15 21:09:36 (permalink)
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    hi mate, what exactly are your training goals?, you mention losing fat, is that it?
    #3
    AUTIGER
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/15 21:48:35 (permalink)
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    ok first off, Welcome to MT. Now that you have been properly and nicely welcomed I can start cussing! Haha. ok i have some things to say but i don't know where to start since you need a lot of help it looks like.

    - You lose fat by eating less calories than you burn in a day.

    - you can't spot train, to lose fat.....Eg. you can't do abs to lose fat on your stomach.

    - cardio after weights is what is one thing that is hindering your gains. it is best to do it some other time of the day. if you have to do it after weights have a protein shake in between workouts. the gains you got before were just newbie gains, everyone gets them when they start off.

    - work abs like any other muscle, once a week with weight

    - on a 3 day workout plan your going to want to put your muscle groups together that work together. MOnday, chest triceps shoulders, WEdnesday, legs, Friday, back and biceps. I personally would have leg day on monday and chest day on wednesday so you have plenty of recovery time between legs and back.

    - if your going for size I would do cardio on the days you don't do weights

    read on this forum more and you will get all the info you need.
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/16 12:55:18 (permalink)
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    My training goals are to gain bulk as well as cut fat (in certain areas i.e. stomach and chest) but I do understand that you cant spot-train, hence I do HIIT after each weights session.
    I dont want to look huge, just more of a medium size with definition e.g. like athletes or medium-weight boxers.
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/16 13:12:06 (permalink)
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    Thanks for the advise Autiger!
    Sometimes cussing or giving the hard-facts is the best way for the recipient to realise their mistakes, so no worries about that.

    Unfortunately I only get 3 days max to train each week ..and I only get a couple of hours for that (around 2 - 2.5 hours) after work (before eating). So I cant really do cardio/HIIT on my rest days (Tues/Thurs/Weekend) hence I do them straight after my weights session (1hour weights, 1hour HIIT followed by abs).
    Also, since I have limited time I can pair up 3 muscle groups like you suggested anf hence am limited to a max of 2 groups per day. Taking that into mind, is there anything you would like to suggest?

    From this site I have learned that HIIT doesnt eat away at muscle like most cardio exercise so am not sure if this would hinder my gains.

    My legs are reasonably bulked so I dont train them too regularly, also my HIIT works them out anyway. Hence I dont want to devote a specific day to them.
    #6
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/16 13:25:46 (permalink)
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    In terms of working out abs, well this is a topic that I am quite confused about due to the millions of different myths around.
    Many people with 6-packs say that they trains their abs as often as they can e.g. everyday morning and night. I have read various articles on the net implying this as well. I've been told that abs dont grow that big, hence need less time to rest.
    However, you suggest that one should work them out once a week with weights.
    From my (basic) understanding of working out, I understand that if you want to bulk then you should use heavy weights/low reps ..and if you want to cut then you should use lighter wights/higher reps.
    If the aim is to trim on the abs then where do the weight come into this. I do understand that you cant spot-train to cut fat, but it does help define doesnt it?

    I do abs after HIIT workout because at that time the glycogen would have been used and my body would have already been using fat as the main energy source. So I feel that if I train my abs then, it would be more effecient to cut the fat from there. Am I thinking wrong?

    #7
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/16 14:31:14 (permalink)
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    i understand your problem with time. so after your weights have a protein shake and then do your HIIT, if you can handle drinking something without throwing up. some people have that problem.

    as for your routine, i would do a the muscle split as i suggested but only do 1 or two exercises per group, so that should give you plenty of time to finish those.

    YOu said, "From my (basic) understanding of working out, I understand that if you want to bulk then you should use heavy weights/low reps ..and if you want to cut then you should use lighter wights/higher reps. " THis is not exactly true. Cutting doesn't have anything to do with rep ranges i believe. it has everything to do with diet and cardio. i never change my routine because im bulking.

    i know a lot of people as well that work their abs extremely hard and have great 6-packs, BUT most of them eat very healthy as well. now why work those abs so hard when all you have to do is the healthy eating part. you can do all those ab exercises but all thats gonna do is burn a few more calories, one sprint will burn more calories than doing the extra ab exercises. I train abs once a week, have a good healthy diet, and have a 6-pack(another 2% bf and ill have that 8 pack).

    like i said you can't spot train, when you work your abs it is making them bigger or defining them like you said, BUT you can't see the defined abs if you don't lose the fat in front of them. I don't care how defined they are.

    after workouts glycogen is low and your body starts using fats for energy but the body also starts using proteins(muscle). muscle after workout needs rest to grow. your gains have stopped and will probably start eating away at your size quite quickly because of this. when you do the HIIT straight after your workout that puts you over an hour and a half of working out Im guessing. which is too long
    #8
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/16 16:06:30 (permalink)
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    Unfortunately, i'm one of them that'll throw-up if I have a protein drink in between, so I can't really do this.
    Between the end of my weights and the start of my HIIT, I drink a fair amount of water (read it on this site) and take a 5-10 min break before starting HIIT.

    I believe that protein is the last thing that the body turns to for energy i.e. it uses the following order carbs > fat > protein. Hence im not entirely sure if my HIIT is going to have a massive negative effect on my muscular growth.

    I agree that we need to cut body fat before we can see the abs. I went on a cutting routine last summer and lost a fair amount of weight. Unfortunately most was lost from my arms, shoulders, neck, legs, etc and the least from my stomach. Hence now I started training my abs even more than before, especially since I am eating more (for bulking).

    Having a weak lower-back doesnt help abs training (even though I do train my lower back as well). Increasing the intensity (in terms of weight) isnt sensible here.
    Even though I do a variety of different exercises for different abs, the next day I dont really feel it. Hence I feel I should train them every workout day.
    In light of this if you still recommend more rest then is 2 days a week ok? e.g. Monday/Friday
    #9
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/16 19:15:39 (permalink)
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    i think 2 days a week would be fine, i think 5 days a week would be fine, i just think that your going to get the same results and probably better if you just do it once a week. don't go by how you feel, the pump or burn doesn't mean your growing. thats something people have to realize quick to get bigger.
    #10
    Genon
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/17 04:59:06 (permalink)
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    Your going to have to prioritize. You cannot loose fat and gain mass at the same time. What do you want to do? I'm assuming if your stomach is completely flat and you don't have abs you are not a huge person and I would recommend bulking up quite a bit before cutting down the fat. It is easy and fast to do 3 muscle groups in a day if you use compound exercises (exercises that hit more then 1 muscle simultaneously). I think you need a program and you need to stick by it. Keep in mind diet is very important. You will want to eat 1.5g of protein a day for each pound of bodyweight that you have. so a 120lb guy would eat 180g of protein a day for example. I think someone like you would benefit from a compund routine, training abs twice a week, and HITT once a week. Here's a good routine for you:


    Day 1 - Legs
    3x8 Squats
    3x8 Stiff leg deadlifts
    3x8 Calf raise

    This will basically hit all aspects of your leg.


    Day 2- Chest, triceps, shoulders
    3x8 Bench press
    3x8 Dips (if you cant do these do close grip bench but these are better)
    3x8 Standing military press
    3x8 Side lateral raise

    And YES, this is enough... Bench press works your front delts, chest, and triceps. Dips works front delts, chest and triceps. Standing military press works front delts, side delts and triceps. Side laterals works side delts. That's 9 sets for triceps, 9 sets for front delts, 6 sets for side delts, and 6 sets for chest. It's all condensed though... But it is still highly effective.


    Day 3 - Back, biceps, forearms, traps
    3x8 Deadlifts
    3x8 Bent over rows
    3x8 Close grip chin-ups
    3x8 Shrugs

    Deadlifts work all 4 of these muscles. Bent over rows work everything except traps. Close grip chins work everything except traps and shrugs work everything except back. So that's 9 sets for back, 12 sets for biceps, 12 sets for forearms, and 6 sets for traps. Keep in mind you would never wnat to do 12 sets for biceps/forearms usually but since you are using compound exercises that don't directly hit the bicep you can get away with it.


    An isolation exercise is something like a dumbbell curl. It isolates the bicep and only works the bicep. If you were doing 12 sets of isolation movements for a single muscle you would be over training it. Since you are using compound movements that indirectly hit your entire body you can get away with more even though it seems like you are doing less. The advantage of compound exercises is they promote proportion. Your body grows as a whole, each muscle doesn't grow individually. If you work your body as a whole, you will yield better results. Anyways... I'd stick with this program for 3 months then change it up a bit. Work your abs twice a week after your weights session and do HITT once a week after a weight session. If you can, leave a day of rest between each workout day.

    #11
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/17 14:40:29 (permalink)
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    From my understanding, I know that its better to gain mass for a while and then lose fat (or visa-versa) i.e. keeping them seperate is more productive and efficient. From what I know, it is not wrong to combine both either, but it would not be as effective in the long run.
    As my aim in not to get huge, thats why I combined both.
    Plus with summer coming up in a couple of months I dont have enough time to bulk first and then cut.
    This is why im doing HIIT after each of my 3 weekout days after weights.
    Genon suggests HIIT on one day only, is this due to overtraining or something? as I feel with my current routine im slowly cutting body-fat as well as bulking up (as stated, I dont wanna be huge).
    I do also want my body to get used to burning fat and dont feel 1 day a week would be productive enough.

    The above routine looks quite good (Thank you for that). Although im not really too keen on devoting a whole day for legs (as I feel they are satisfactory and also well toned due to HIIT). Taking this into mind, could we have a 3 day routine for all the major muscle-groups ?(and on the odd week I can also include legs in the workout).

    I see consensus is that I should train abs 2 days a week. I think Monday & Friday would be best as there is almost equal days of rest in between. By the way, I only do abs with just the body i.e. without machines and without weights (lower back too weak for that).

    By the way Genon, I do leave a rest day between work out days. I train on Monday/Wednesday/Friday.


    One thing that is very new to me is that you shouldnt have 12 sets for biceps. Is this true for other muscles as well?
    My biceps are the most impressive muscle that I have (size and shape).
    For that I do loads of sets to fully work them out i.e.
    1 or 2 sets chin-ups
    3sets heavy barbell curls
    3sets heavy dumbell curls
    4sets precher bar curls (lighter than above) using e-z bar
    2 sets standing up ez-bar curls (light weight but more reps)
    2 sets light weight dumbell curls (more reps again)

    Am I going wrong or something?


    Everyone welcome to comment.
    #12
    Genon
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/17 18:46:52 (permalink)
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    Yes you are. Look at how small the bicep muscle is... Does it really need 16 DIRECT sets to stimulate it? HELL NO! Your biceps WILL NOT grow if you are doing that much... I can guarantee that. Even if you were on steroids I wouldn't recommend doing that much direct bicep work. The most sets I'd ever do of direct tricep work is 6... No more. So that would be say 3x8 Dumbbell curls and 3x8 Hammer curls or something...

    Since your biceps have probably been getting over trained since you've started training, this routine will probably benefit you even more. I'd think that this routine would give you far better bicep growth then before as your biceps will now have a chance to rest and not be over trained and will still get a nice COMPOUND workout every week. SOME muscles you can get away with doing 12 sets... Like maybe legs or back, but little muscles like shoulders and biceps really don't need 12 sets to grow.

    Now about legs... If you don't devote a day to legs you will surely regret it later. I have this one buddy who thought his legs were good cuz he ran 3x a week and played hockey so he just worked upper body... Now we call him chicken legs =] He looks so out of proporion it isn't funny, don't be like him. Devote that 1 day to legs... When I began I never wanted to either but I forced myself to do it and now I'm very happy I did because having big calves is pretty nice =]

    If you don't wnat to bulk and you wnat to cut, the BEST time to do HITT would be in the morning before breakfast. Would it be possible for you to wake up 20 minutes earlier in the morning 3x a week on your off days and do your running before you eat breakfast? If you are trying to loose fat... Right after you wake up is the optimal time because the food that you ate the day before depletes while you sleep so running before you eat the next morning will burn mainly fat tissue. If not, and you can only do HITT after a workout, then do it 2x a week and do your abs once a week then.
    #13
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/21 18:05:57 (permalink)
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    Thanks for the advice Genon, I have now realised that you dont need to have so much direct exercise to a particular muscle especially if its one of the small ones like the biceps/shoulders. Having read another article from this site I realised that what I was trying to achieve was the pump or the burn in my biceps hence I was training them so much. Now I realise that it is not important to do that, instead you should concentrate on proper form and the amount of effort (without cheating).

    In terms of my fat-burning, it is not possible for me to train in the mornings. I only have abt 2/2.5 hours, 3 times a week, hence am limited to what I can do. Hence I can only do HIIT after my weights.
    From what im advised in a previous reply (above) is it important that I have a protein shake straight after the weights and then proceed to weights? I mean if I dont do this then is it going to do harm other than be ineficient for my muscular growth?
    If this is what I really must do then how long should I wait (after having a shake) before proceeding to HIIT?

    One final question: Is any place on this site that I can find out what the best exercises for shaping muscles are e.g. for shaping biceps etc?
    #14
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/22 01:08:28 (permalink)
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    grow before you try and shape....
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/22 11:25:33 (permalink)
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    Im not aiming to be quite massive ...just more of a medium build with definition, hence it would be interesting to know about shape.

    Any answers to my other questions?
    #16
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/22 17:30:33 (permalink)
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    well your not going to be massive if you try and grow. it takes many years to become massive, so thats nothing for you to worry about.
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/24 14:40:49 (permalink)
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    From another post I am told that my weights session isn't enough to burn all the carbs in my body so this will not mean that my body will (amongst other things) resort to using some of the muscle to use as protein to burn when doing cardio/HIIT.
    Any comments on this guys?
    #18
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    RE: Advice needed plz ... 2004/03/25 00:05:58 (permalink)
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    its not of the best interest to do cardio right after weights. not saying its bad but you would get better results if you did cardio at some other time. cardio right after weights causes workouts to go long time...not good.
    #19
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