T Nation

A Workout Per Muscle Group?


#1

Right now my program involves working out every muscle group over three days, repeating, and taking a day off. But this is keeping me at the gym for two+ hours some days, and even in that much time I still feel like I am not getting enough of a workout for my back, chest, and shoulders. I also end up with some sore joints during the second cycle that can be distracting.

So I want to switch to a program that hits each body part harder, but only once per week. But I have only been working out for a litte over a year a year, and right now I am 5'11" and around 170 pounds. I don�??t care if my muscle growth slows down some from not keeping up the intensity, but I don�??t want to lose muscle. Should I be ok switching to a less intense program?


#2

If you're in the gym for 2+ hours and don't feel you worked, that isn't intensity. It's just a lot of wasted volume.

What is your current program? Be very specific (reps/sets/weight/etc)


#3

My workout probably doesn�??t seem intense, but keep in mind that when I first started around 18 months ago I weight 150 lbs. and got almost no exercise. I�??ve only been using free weights for about a year, and focusing on them for around six months. I�??m not doing badly�??I have added ten pounds in the last three months�??but I do feel like I should be slowing down some and putting more thought and effort into my workouts.

All workouts start with a mix of stretching, various ab workouts, and warming up with high reps and light weights. This takes around 20 minutes, but keeps me from pulling muscles, which I am prone to do. Ab workouts include 100-150 crunches on a ball, varying sets of crunches at different angles, sets of 20+ crunches using an ab press with 100+ lbs. of resistance, sets of knee raises, and sets of hanging leg lifts. I change ab workouts constantly because abs bore the hell out of me.

I also work in cardio three to four times a week, depending on how my knees feel. Cardio is 30 minutes of interval training on an elliptical trainer, done after weights.

All sets are 8-12 reps unless specified. Listed weights are the maximum weight, I may do one or two sets 5-10 pounds lighter if I do an exercise early in the workout.

Day One: Chest, Back, Quads
*Quads are getting worked lightly as I am overcoming knee problems

3 of the following for chest:
Bench Press: 1 warm up set of 12 at 95 lbs., 4 sets of ten, 135 lbs.
Flyes: 4 sets, 40 lbs.
Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets, 45 lbs.
Dips: 4 sets of 15-20
Cable Flyes: 4 sets, 50 lbs.

3 of the following for back:
Bent Barbell Rows: 4 sets, 105 lbs.
T-Bar Rows: 4 sets, 70 lbs.
1-Handed Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets, 45 lbs.
Wide-Grip Chinups: 4 sets, using around 20 lbs. of assistance from the machine.

Quads:
Squat Press: 4 sets of 20 reps at 200. Right now I�??ve just started doing my quads again and I�??m easing my knees back into it.

Day Two: Arms and Lowerback/Hamstrings

Biceps: Two of the following
Alternating dumbbell curls: 4 sets, 30 lbs.
Ez-curl bar curls: 4 sets, 70 lbs.
Reverse preacher curls: 4 sets, 60lbs.

Triceps: Two of the following:
Ez-curl extension: 4 sets, 60lbs.
Dumbbell extension: 4 sets, 25lbs.
Pushdowns: 4 sets, 130 lbs. (I am not physically capable of doing this one without engaging my chest some)
Close-grip Press: 4 sets, 90 lbs.

Forearms: Four sets of reverse wrist curls, 20 lbs.

Lower back/hamstrings:
Straight-Leg Deadlifts: 4 sets, 105 lbs.
Back Extension (machine): 4 sets, ~185 lbs.
Hamstring Curls: 4 sets, 75 lbs.

Day Three: Shoulders, Calves

Shoulders: Three of the following
Lateral Raises: 4 sets, 15 lbs.
Arnold Press: 4 sets, 35 lbs.
Military Press: 4 sets, 65 lbs.
Upright Row: 4 sets, 70 lbs.

All shoulder workouts include a set of four shrugs, 45 lbs.

Calves:
Standing calf raises: 4 sets of 20, 185 lbs.
Seated calf raises: 4 sets of 20, 70 lbs.

Food:
FYI, I eat very well and often constantly. Most of the food is all natural/organic.

Breakfast:
half-sized Metrx shake, ~24 grams of protein, with two tbsp. of natural peanut butter, 10 oz. 2% milk, and 1/2 cup berries
3 whole eggs
two slices of whole-wheat (Ezekial bread) toast
12-16 oz. coffee

morning snack:
Whatever combination of nuts, fruit, cheeses, sausage/salami I have to eat to get my stomach to shut up

lunch:
8-16 oz buffalo or chicken (depends on how hungry I am)
1/2 to 1 cup of pasta if I will be doing cardio later that day
a size of some sort of vegetable dish
8-10 oz. 2% milk

afternoon snack:
repeat of morning

post-workout:
repeat of breakfast shake, sans peanut butter

dinner:
something similar to lunch, but with a larger portion and usually without the carbs. Meat will be fish 2-4 times per week, depending on what�??s in season, and some kind of game meat (usually rabbit or venison) at least twice a month.

evening snacks:
repeat of morning/afternoon snacks.

before bed:
Metrx shake, ~48 grams of protein, made with water and 1/2 cup berries.

Supplements: The following, twice daily
Tribulus, 750 mg on a 5 on/2 off cycle
Multivitamin
Joint Supplement: Glucosamine 300 mg, MSM 300 mg, chondroitin 300 mg
Calcium supplement: Calcium 600 mg, vitamin d 400 IU


#4

What are your goals, size, weight, or strength?


#5

Size.


#6

Continue with your workout frequency. Cut back your exercises by one per body part, reduce your rest between sets to 20-30 secs, increase your weight on your exercises. This will shorten your time in the gym and should increase your intensity.

When you do the dips for your chest, are your hands in front, to the side, to the rear? Where are your elbows pointed?


#7

take out the abs and cardio every workout. you dont need to work abs everyday. if your trying to put on size 30 mins of cardio every workout is only buring the calories you need to put on size. you also souldnt have back and chest on the same day; only focus on one major muscle per workout, plus one minor. ex: chest,tris/back,bis.


#8

also change up your rep/set scheme dont do 8-12 reps and 4 sets every workout, put in low reps and high sets/ med reps med sets/ high reps low sets, or what ever just change it up. also how many total calories are you getting and what is the carb/protein/fat% ? for 170lbs you probally need 4000-5000+ depending on your metabolism.


#9

When I do dips I have my hands slighty in front of my torso, with my elbows back and my legs tucked in so that I can lean forward and focus the weight on my chest.


#10

"also how many total calories are you getting and what is the carb/protein/fat% ?"

Honestly I have never figured out the numbers. My metabolism is kind of wonky and because I have been changing my diet around relative to my workouts and for medical reasons, it�??s been hard to keep track, and I�??m just finally settling into a regular pattern that I can track and analyze.

How does the following look for a new program:
New Workout Plan
Cardio and Abs are done on alternating days, three times per week.

Day One Chest, Triceps, Quads

Chest Two of:
Bench Press
Cable Cross
Flyes
Incline Press

Triceps One of:
Tricep Extension
Close-Grip Press
Pushdown

Quads
Squat Press

Day Two Back, Biceps, Forearms, Calves

Back Two of:
T-Bar
Bent Upright Row
1-Hand Dumbbell Row
Wide-Grip Chins

Biceps One of:
Bar Curls
Reverse Preacher Curl
Alternating Dumbbell Curl

Forearms One of:
Reverse Wrist Curls

Calves One of:
Standing Calf Raises
Seated Calf Raises

Day Three Shoulders, Hamstrings

Shoulders Two of:
Lateral Raises
Arnold Press
Military Press
Upright Row

Followed by Shrugs (keeps traps from getting weak and pulling)

Hamstrings
Standing Deadlift or Back Extension followed by Hamstring Curl


#11

sounds like a pretty good place to start


#12

Looks good. Just remember to keep your rests short and lift with intensity.

Good Luck.