The After-Effect of a Workout

A friend and I have recently become more focused on getting bigger, and have made a routine as to help with that. We do a simple 3 day split with 3 sets(last to failure) and 6-8 reps.

chest/shoulder/triceps
legs/core
back/bicep

My friend feels like sometimes we don’t do enough, mainly because he isn’t very “sore” the next day. Because of this he gets unmotivated and feels like he is wasting his time.

Getting sore has never mattered much to me, but he feels the ideal “getting big workout” should leave your muscles in shambles. I don’t know what to tell him, and I don’t know nearly enough to say we should or shouldn’t be getting sore, so just wanted some advice on the matter.

If we should be getting sore the next day, what could we be doing wrong, and if being sore isn’t a major concern, what can I tell him so that he relaxes on the issue?

Thanks.

I’m going to take a stab and ask if you have any size to start with? I’m going with the assumption of no for now.

Focus on getting stronger first; you can’t expect to get big without lifting heavy weights. You can’t lift heavy weights if you are not strong, so get strong first - this is what I have experienced.

I’m using the same split currently (though I’m not worrying about targeting my core, squats and deadlifts help with that). My rep ranges alternate every week - 5x5 1 week, 4x6 the next and then back. Once I’ve completed a set of 5x5, I lighten the weights, and do 2 more sets of 8-12 reps to get a bit more blood flowing into the area.

Regarding getting sore, my DOMS almost always kicks in 2 days later, the day after a session I usually feel ok. Pick 4-6 exercises per session, and make sure you get enough food - you should be increase the weight or reps every week.

I dont disagree rsg, but my DOMS kicks in the next day, sometimes if it is particularly bad (say with 10 sets of squats versus 2 sets) it will kick in the SAME day! (love it when i feel it the same day, even though i know by day 3 i’ll need a wheelchair!)

To the OP: I personally believe that DOMS is important, so you should AIM to be sore, if you are not always - you can still be progressing… but TO AIM FOR DOMS is no bad thing. JMO.
For example, i put deadlifts back in my program from a 3 month break. I did 3 sets only, 1 max effort of 2 reps. Next day - sore.

Next session, i did around the same but more weight for the same reps = more total volume, but i didn’t ache. I will still progress though as i am working at or above my limits. DOMS or not.

I absolutely do NOT believe in doing a workout where you hold ANYTHING back. I take each and every set to its utmost end. Be that 1 set, or 10. If you or your friend thinks you should be doing more, do more!

I am not going to recommend any programs etc… that is upto you, but jesus - you gotta push your muscles past the comfort zone so they freak out and grow bigger and stronger to deal with the work - little do they know, you shall be increasing the work everytime FOREVEEEEEER!! BWAAHAHahahahaBWAHahaaaarrr!!

Joe

[quote]rsg wrote:
I’m going to take a stab and ask if you have any size to start with? I’m going with the assumption of no for now.

Focus on getting stronger first; you can’t expect to get big without lifting heavy weights. You can’t lift heavy weights if you are not strong, so get strong first - this is what I have experienced.

I’m using the same split currently (though I’m not worrying about targeting my core, squats and deadlifts help with that). My rep ranges alternate every week - 5x5 1 week, 4x6 the next and then back. Once I’ve completed a set of 5x5, I lighten the weights, and do 2 more sets of 8-12 reps to get a bit more blood flowing into the area.

Regarding getting sore, my DOMS almost always kicks in 2 days later, the day after a session I usually feel ok. Pick 4-6 exercises per session, and make sure you get enough food - you should be increase the weight or reps every week.

[/quote]

Strength is relative though, while this lad wont be “strong” if he uses weights that are heavy to him, he will get the same response as you do if you use a weight that is heavy to you… what you are basically saying is he will never grow until he gets strong. That isnt true… he will grow, and even feel big for him even though he isn’t yet “strong”

To the OP, although the above is true, there is some truth to rsg’s comment. The stronger you get the bigger weights you’ll be able to lift and the more muscle you shall be able to build. It takes time, but you should concentrate on slowly building your strength on the these main exercises.

Squat, Deadlift, Bench, Military Press, Barbell Row, Pullup, Dip.
I think what rsg was saying was that the biggest guys are always strong too. So if you wanna be big…

Joe

This is our third week, here is the routine we put together.

chest:
incline dumbbell press
incline flyes
bench
pec deck machine
decline dumbbell press
decline flyes
shoulder:
behind the neck military press
seated press
side laterals/front raises
lying rear dumbbell raise
triceps:
reverse grip pushdown
pushdown with rope
regular pushdown

legs:
leg extension
angled leg press
lying leg curl
seated calves raise
standing calves raise

back:
chin ups
lawnmowers
wide grip pull downs
close grip reverse pull downs
wide grip rows
close grip rows
deadlifts
bicep:
reverse grip curl
hammer curl
standing curl

Even though beginners need more volume than advanced lifters, you have WAY too much volume. If you look at the exercise selection, you have a lot of redundant exercises. There is no reason to do close grip rows after wide grip ones, for instance.

Just mix it up and use on kind in different sessions. Especially as a beginner, find a template on this website to use. From what you’ve said, I think Westside for Skinny Bastards might be good. Enough volume but will prevent you from going on overkill.

rsg… i wasn’t having a go… i know what you mean mate.

OP - jesus christ, thats a lot of exercises, and if you ain’t aching the next day you are doing something wrong… i gonna recommend what i ALWAYS recommend!!

http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1929120

Do this. its is you best, last hope.

Not really! But it is a great template you may use the rest of your training life.

Joe

[quote]bertismaximus wrote:
chest:
incline dumbbell press
incline flyes
bench
pec deck machine
decline dumbbell press
decline flyes
shoulder:
behind the neck military press
seated press
side laterals/front raises
lying rear dumbbell raise
triceps:
reverse grip pushdown
pushdown with rope
regular pushdown

legs:
leg extension
angled leg press
lying leg curl
seated calves raise
standing calves raise

back:
chin ups
lawnmowers
wide grip pull downs
close grip reverse pull downs
wide grip rows
close grip rows
deadlifts
bicep:
reverse grip curl
hammer curl
standing curl

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks

[/quote]

To stimulate more soreness the next day I would increase intensity, reduce rest between sets, use full range of motion (ROM) and slow eccentrics. This is what I would do to increase DOMS, but I don’t personally aim to be stiff the next day, just to have an intense workout.

Basically, you are not pushing yourselves hard enough - I’m at the point of gasping for air after certain sets. I would suggest a few things:

  1. You are doing too many exercises.
  2. Move shoulders to your legs day.
  3. Pick first from primary exercises.
    • Chest: DB Bench / BB Bench
    • Triceps: Skullcrushers / Dips
    • Back: Rows / Pullups / Pulldowns / Deadlifts
    • Biceps: Standing barbell curls / cable curls
    • Shoulders: Military Press
    • Legs: Squats / Leg Press / Calf raises
  4. I would then use variations of these in a particular workout (incline/decline/flat bench, bent over barbell rows/seated rows, various stance deadlifts, back squat/hack squat/front squat, etc).
  5. Add some extra isolatory exercises at the end of these.

How long do your workouts take doing that many exercises?

[quote]Joe Joseph wrote:
rsg… i wasn’t having a go… i know what you mean mate.
[/quote]

Neither was I. :wink:

[quote]bertismaximus wrote:
Thanks for the help, but just to clarify a few things, we are both small, 120/130lbs and are more or less beginners.

Neither of us are hardly sore the day after, so it could be a case of us nothing pushing as far as necessary. Do either of you feel we should be doing more sets or reps to achieve this?

This is our third week, here is the routine we put together.

chest/tris:
incline dumbbell press
flat bench BB or DB
dips
decline DB or BB press
cable crossovers
skullcrushers or
decline skullcrushers

legs:
back squat or front squat
rdl or stiff legged dl
angled leg press
lying leg curl
leg extension
seated calves raise

back/biceps
chin ups / weighted chins
barbell row
standing barbell curl (as heavy as possible with minimal cheating)
Back extensions
seated incile DB curls (strict form)
wide grip pull down

shoulders:
military press
upright rows (a little less than shoulder width grip)
seated press DB
rear delt rows
push press
front and lateral raises
rear delt raises

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks

[/quote]

I fixed it for you free of charge.

It could STILL afford to split in half again! Beginners. TBT. All the way.

Joe

5x5s in the morning and 3x10s at night will cause you some serious DOMS, but will easily put you into the overtraining zone.

Like everybody else has said: if you’re not getting sore from that workout, you’re doing it wrong - that’s entirely overkill (ah the irony of my post).

Holy crap that’s a lot of exercises! I think you need to up the intensity, bertismaximus. Stripped Down Hypertrophy will definately worked (I put 10 lbs on doing it for 5 weeks). You might also want to look up “HS-100” if you’re interested in size. If you do want to construct you’re own program, look up “How to Design a Good Program”.

Oh yeah, and eat. That’s something I don’t think anyone’s mentioned. Food and heavy weights get you big.

If you feel like you didnt do enough after a workout, Im going to question exactly how hard you worked.

[quote]Joe Joseph wrote:
rsg… i wasn’t having a go… i know what you mean mate.

OP - jesus christ, thats a lot of exercises, and if you ain’t aching the next day you are doing something wrong… i gonna recommend what i ALWAYS recommend!!

http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1929120

Do this. its is you best, last hope.

Not really! But it is a great template you may use the rest of your training life.

Joe[/quote]

I agree with Joe here, one of my favorite routine/templates.

One thing also to keep in mind, if you really want to get sore, try more sets of less exercises. Instead of hitting muscles a little from many angles, pick one exercise and nail the muscle at that angle. Might I suggest push-ups, do 100. You will probably rest a bit in there but you are more likely to get sore than just doing a couple of sets of bench.

That said soreness is not important to many. As a beginner I used a two day split with one rest day a week. DOMS would occur after two days EXCEPT I was working that body part again and it kept the soreness at bay. That one rest day could get hellish though.