Greetings All. I have been reading here for the past 6 weeks and I have become so uncertain of what I learned over the years, I am scared I may need to abandon most of what I know and start over. I am looking for advice to improve what I do, or assurance that I am not all that lost. I will try to truncate this so bear with me if I leave facts out.
I am 35 years old and returning to the gym after not working out for about 3 years. The last time I read books/magazines and changed my routine was around the time MetRX or phosphagen first came out. I was an avid reader of Muscle Media 2000 at the time. I haven’t seen anything like MM 2000 since the old days when it was good, until I recently stumbled across this site. I never thought there would be anything like MM 2000 again, but here I found it. and with it I have again found my infatuation with body building.
As I read the boards here I see much talk that has me questioning myself. Things like total body workouts several times a week, not training to failure, doing less in terms of sets/reps, more compound exercises than concentration, down the rack more often than I thought possible, are kind of foreign to me.
The routine I developed was after years of work and testing and reading. I always thought it was rock solid and simply could not be improved upon. I have always gotten great results on it, and now I am questioning it. I learned to “feel” my workouts rather than think and analyze them as some of what I read here seems to do. 1 second up, 2 seconds or longer down. down important, up not so important. The list goes on and on.
I am used to living by an acronym that had always been my body building gospel:
(I know it is not perfect, but I didnt create it)
I understood going to the gym and pouring on the pressure, going past failure to down right masochism. Lift to fatigue, cheat the weight up then let it down real slow in perfect form, go down the rack, forced negatives from time to time. Every do squats to total failure? Its hell not being able to stand up no matter how hard you try.
If I felt or saw signs of overtraining then back off, if I felt like doing more than I probably could and would. I recall reading in “Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding” that when a body part is lagging behind, you must train it as if your life depend on it. Or something like that.
Anyhow, I had always been considered knowledgeable in fitness by peers, and always thought I knew what I was doing and talking about. Now I am not so sure.
Anyhow, here is my routine, whatchya think? Am I lost or not?
3 Day split:
Day 1: Chest, Biceps, Abs
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: legs, triceps (abs work added later)
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Back, Shoulders (supplemental ab work added later)
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Rest
For chest, Bicep, Tricep, Back, Shoulders, I do 3 different exercises per body part, 4 sets per exercise, 5-7 reps. Weight adjusted appropriately.
An example of chest may be 4 sets flat bench 5-7 reps, 4 sets incline 5-7 reps, 4 sets decline 5-7 reps dropping weight on the last set of each exercise after failure and doing more, as I “feel” good doing. Maybe even some negatives or forced reps/cheat reps depending on my feeling.
For legs I do same thing all the time: 4 sets of each: squats, leg press, leg curl, leg extension, & calf raises.
For Abs: I focus on Day 1 with 2 different exercises, about 3 sets to some sort of Ab failure pain level. I add abs to each day on as I get more able to do more in my workouts.
My goal has always been to build big strong muscles and burn any fat through lifting and diet. I never had any benefit from cardio, so never did it religously outside of trying to remain active throughout the day.
When I first came back to the gym 6 weeks ago, I aimed for 12-15 reps, and did only 4 sets per body part. Each week I increased sets/exercises, decreased reps to what is above. As I progress week after week, the intensity of each set/exercise also increases. 6 months - 1 year+ I may add focus on another body part like forearms, or an area that is lagging behind.
Do I/should I alter my routine?