Writing your own routine

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2004/02/19 13:42:05 (permalink)

Writing your own routine

Just a bit of advice on writing your own bodybuilding routine, have a read and see what you think

Origionally i had all the exercises in a table but it didnt come through when i copied it into here so i hope it doesnt look to scruffy

Main exercises

Exercise,primary and secondary muscles worked
Chest press (various) Pectorals Deltoids, triceps, seratus

Military press (various) Deltoids Triceps, chest, abdominals, spinal erectors, traps

Wide chins Lats Biceps, forearms, rear delts, traps, abs, spinal erectors

Narrow chins Biceps Lats (rest is as above excluding bicpes)

Wide dips Pectorals Deltoids, triceps, abs, spinal erectors

Narrow dips Triceps Chest (rest is as above excluding triceps)

Row (bb/ db) Lats Biceps, forearms, rear delts Traps, spinal erectors, abdominals

Squats Quads Hamstrings, glutes, calves, spinal erectors, abdominals, traps, shoulders, all hip muscles, pretty much everything!!

Stiff leg dead lifts Hamstrings Spinal erectors, glutes, forearms, lats, traps, rear delts

Calf raises (standing) Calves Spinal erectors, abdominals, shouders, traps.

deadlifts Spinal erectors All hip muscles, hamstrings, glutes, biceps, forearms, rear delts, traps, lats, pretty much everything again!

Some other exercises

Lat raise Medial delt Anterior delt, forearms, traps, abdominals, spinal erectors

Cable row Lats As BB/ DB row but a lot less emphasis on core muscles

Lat pull-downs Lats As wide chins but less emphasis on core muscles

Upright row Delts and traps Forearms, biceps, spinal erectors, abdominals

Fly/ cables Pectorals Coracobrachialis (sp?),biceps, forearms

Shrugs Traps Forearms, biceps, spinal erectors, abdominals

Rear Fly Rear delts Medial and anterior delts, forearms, tricpes

Additional points

All exercises will work the antagonistic muscles to some extent. This will depend on the speed of the movement and the degree of power used to generate the movement.

The antagonistic muscle groups will also need to relax and stretch to allow the movement of the agonist.

The best exercises to choose are the ones from the first table, these are all compound movements and all involve many muscle groups and to a greater extent than the exercises in the second table.

The exercises that require the most overall muscular involvement are those which are closed chain kinetic exercises. These involve your body, plus any added load, moving due to applying force to a fixed resistance. EG. Squats where you push against the floor (fixed resistance) to move your body and the weight up or chins where you pull on a fixed resistance (the bar) in order to lift the load (your body). Exercises such as these require much more core muscle and stabilising muscle involvement than open chain exercises.

An open chain exercise is one which involves you pushing against some resistance resulting in the movement of that resistance. Examples of this could be bench press or shoulder press where you are pushing the bar (load) up. The best open chain exercises to use are the ones that require the most muscle group involvement. Standing shoulder press is a good example as it requires a lot of muscle involvement in order to control the weight whilst standing. Bench press is another example as many muscle groups are involved.

Isolation exercises are very limited in there use and they should be used sparingly if at all.

Planning a programme

The first and most important thing to remember is that the body responds as a whole to exercise. For example when training back you may choose to incorporate dead-lifts, you must be careful that these do not clash with squats which use very similar muscles. Again if you decide to work shoulders and chest separately beware of overworking shoulders, in fact look at all the exercises involving shoulders and you will see that they are used during pretty much everything.
The same is true with arms, look at all the exercises involving biceps and triceps. You must be very careful not to include too much work for anyone part of the body.

You do not have to include every exercise you know for each body part, working muscles from different angles etc will not work different parts of the muscle, a change in exercises however will stimulate the muscle due to new stimulus and is useful for breaking through plateaus, something as simple as swapping from a barbell to a dumbbell can achieve this.

When deciding to choose a split routine or an all over routine you must take into account load, volume, and frequency. These will have to be modified according to your needs as an individual and the split system you choose. For example on a split routine you only do chest once per week (for example) and can therefore do 9 or 10 sets per workout if you see fit. If you were to do an all over programme, however, you would not be doing much more than 3 sets each session, maybe as little as 1 or 2 main sets. The load you wish to use is the biggest determinant of volume and frequency, the greater the load the less the volume and frequency can be simply because of the stress on the body.

When doing a split it is best to put all complimentary muscle groups together i.e. back and biceps, chest, shoulders and triceps and so on. This is simply to avoid over-training due to the overlap in muscle groups as explained above.

Pay little, if any attention, to groups that get a lot of secondary work such as traps, forearms abs, etc.

The other thing to remember is that the body will develop as a whole, doing curls all day long will not get your arms as big and developed as dead lifts rows and chins will. Doing loads of pushdowns will not, in the same way as before, give you good triceps. Good triceps will be gained from compound pressing work with very little direct stimulation.

Bulking, cutting, toning etc

First off toning is a false concept. All it means is less body fat thus greater definition, in essence it is the same as ‘cutting’. High reps do not tone, they do not do anything useful in terms of body composition, low reps do not necessarily bulk unless that is your goal.

The difference between cutting and bulking is simply the diet and cardio you choose to perform.

If you are trying to bulk up you need more calories so you eat a lot and you try to expend less energy (less c.v.). You obviously also need to train with heavy weights and get a lot of rest (you grow when you rest!)

If you are cutting you are looking at creating a slight calorie deficit thus you need to up the c.v. work and be more strict with your diet. You train with weights in the same way as if you were bulking in order to maintain lean tissue.

You will usually hear that you cannot bulk up and lose body fat. To an extent this is true, you will not gain a lot of muscular size without adding some fat. However this is not the case if you are a relatively untrained individual who has a fair amount of body fat to start with.

Most untrained individuals have very little muscle mass, they will add a stone of lean tissue easily as their body fat falls simply due to the raised metabolism caused by the added lean tissue and the cal expenditure from exercise. Because of the low starting level of muscle mass the body is happy to add muscle mass and only once a certain point is reached will the body see extra muscle as a disadvantage and thus you will need the raised cal intake etc to add more.


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