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Why A Full Body Workout Routine Is The Best Way To Build Muscle

Updated on March 24, 2016
Full body workouts build muscle fast
Full body workouts build muscle fast | Source

Use A Full Body Workout To Build Muscle

If you want to put on some muscle, there are hundreds of different training programs you could choose from to help you achieve that goal. And although many of them will give you decent results, at least for a while, if you want to build the maximum amount of muscle in the shortest possible time, you still can’t beat a full body workout routine.

Why A Full Body Workout?

If you go to the gym regularly you’ll know that body part splits are very popular. But the only real reason for this is that these are what all the top bodybuilders are using. However what works for top bodybuilders may not work for the rest of us. This is because competitive bodybuilders take a lot of steroids to enhance their muscle growth. They also have really great genetics. And on top of this they are very near their limits in terms of how much muscle they can put on. Because of this they need a very large amount of volume and intensity in order to stimulate further growth. And the only way they can achieve this is to use body part splits.

But if you are genetically average and simply want to put on 20 – 30 pounds of muscle as fast as possible, a full body workout is the best way to accomplish this.

Full body workouts are the best way to gain muscle because they allow you to train all your major muscle groups more often. This of course means you get more frequent growth stimulation, which leads to greater muscle growth over time – provided you can recover from it.

Another reason this type of training works so well is that the focus of your workouts tends to be on compound exercises. This is because compound exercises enable you to train more total muscle in less time, so you can work your whole body quickly and efficiently. Compound exercises also produce a much higher level of hormonal response than isolation exercises. And this again causes more muscle growth.

So a full body workout can pack on muscle quicker than anything else – provided that you know how to structure it in the right way…

Leroy Colbert explains why full body workouts are superior to body part splits

How To Structure A Full Body Workout Routine

It’s not a good idea to do exactly the same workout routine every time you go to the gym, as this will soon lead to recovery issues. Instead you should alternate two (or even three if you are more advanced) different routines over the course of the week. Also your workouts should not be too long. A big mistake many people make is doing too many exercises. You can work your whole body very well with just three or four exercises. And six is the most you should do. Doing more than this will only make it more difficult for you to recover, and this will limit your gains.

So for an effective full body workout all you really need is a squat, lunge or deadlift variation, together with an upper body push and an upper body pull. You can add in some additional arm work at the end if you wish, but that’s about it. A routine of this sort, performed three times per week, will give you all the growth stimulation you need to ensure maximum progress.

As an example, a simple, but highly effective full body workout routine might look something like this…

A Full Body Workout Routine For Rapid Muscle Growth

Workout 1
Squat
Bench Press
Bent-Over Row
Barbell Curls

Workout 2
Deadlift
Overhead Press
Chin-ups
Parallel Bar Dips

Simply alternate these two workouts over your three weekly visits to the gym. And then at a later date you may wish to do three different workouts, so each movement is worked just once per week, but each major muscle group is still being worked three times per week. This will further help with recovery, enabling better consistent long term progress to be made.

An example of a three day full body workout program might look like this...

Monday
Squat
Incline Bench Press
Dumbbell Row
Barbell Curls

Wednesday
Deadlift
Overhead Press
Pull-Ups
Parallel Bar Dips

Friday
Leg Press
Bench Press
Pulldowns
Hammer Curls

Leroy gives more information on full body training

Which method of training do you prefer?

See results

What About Sets And Reps?

Another important factor to consider is your training volume. That is the number of sets and reps you perform. Most people will find they’ll get the best results by working in the 5 – 8 rep range most of the time. This builds hard, dense muscle, and is also great for making gains in strength.

Occasionally however you could use higher reps (8 – 12) to create additional growth through sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. That is expansion of the fluid components of the muscle cells. And going down to 2 or 3 reps for a while will help build more strength. This is important as it will mean you will then be able to use more weight for the higher reps, which will result in even more gains in muscle size.

So most of the time your training should consist of around 3 – 4 sets of 5 – 8 reps (after a couple of warm-up sets) per exercise. Then at a later date you could switch to 3 sets of 8 – 12 reps for a month or two. And after that do 4 – 8 sets of doubles or triples for a while.

It may also be a good idea to change some of your exercises occasionally too, as this will prevent your body from getting too accustomed to them. However the principle of muscle confusion, which states you should be changing your exercises on a regular basis, is a myth. Think of power lifters and Olympic lifters. They use the same exercises all the time yet still manage to build enormous strength and massive muscle size.

So, whilst body part splits can have their role to play for more advanced trainees, if you want to pack on as much muscle size to your frame as quickly as possible, do a full body workout routine in the way described here. Combine this with a good muscle building diet, and get sufficient rest and sleep, and you’ll be certain to make the best gains of your life.

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    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 4 years ago

      Very well-written guide that cuts out all the confusion. Thank you, you've just replaced 3/4 of the fitness books I own!!

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Ha; thank you. I'm glad you found it useful.

    • jclaffee profile image

      Jesse Claffee 4 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      I agree with everything you've articulated, you're quite knowledgeable, obviously. One suggestion I would make to compliment your full-body training method is to periodically split up the upper and lower body by training upper on monday (for example) and then lower body on tuesday. This can provide a lot of variation and stimulate muscle growth, but only by continuing to focus on compound movements, as you have already suggested. Just a thought though. Great hub, voted up, useful and interesting. Keep it up.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Thanks for your comment jclaffee. Yes, I agree. I address this in my hub on the best way to gain muscle mass. I would normally suggest a beginner or someone who has been struggling for a while to do a full body workout as described here. But once you are a bit more advanced you would alternate periods of full body training with periods of doing a two way split. Upper/lower is the usual way as you suggest. Though I personally do legs and back for one workout and chest/shoulders/arms for the other (currently at least).

    • weightliftingtom profile image

      Tom Foldey 4 years ago

      Nice article! I like how you alternate the big compound exercises between each routine (Deadlift/Squat and Bench Press/Military Press).

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes, I find that's a good way to do it. Thanks.

    • Dania Razzak profile image

      Foyjur Razzak 4 years ago from Dhaka

      Don't lift weights for longer than one hour lifting weights. Muscle wasting can begin within an hour. So make sure you keep your weight-lifting workouts shorter than 60 minutes.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes, you are right Dania. These routines will not take longer than an hour. I cover this point in my hub on the best way to gain muscle mass.

    • DuhLemon profile image

      Supernova 3 years ago from Mars

      Great tips :D

    • profile image

      Anton 3 years ago

      Listen, All that talk about training longer than an hour will be devastating for building muscle is bullshit. In fact my program for the moment takes 1:45-2 hours to complete and i've gained a lot of mass and it's a split routine! Yes in fact the thing of split or not it doesn't matter ,it's the progressive overload that does. In beginning the frequency should be higher than the volume but that doesn't mean a split doesn't work for a beginner though.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      I have never said that training for longer than an hour would be devastating Anton. But it is better for most people to finish in an hour or less. You may be making good gains on your present program but you may do better on a shorter program (unless you have unusually high testosterone levels or are on steroids). And I agree that a beginner can make gains on a split, but they will usually make better gains on a full body workout. If they do a split I would recommend just a basic upper/lower split. You are absolutely correct in saying that progressive overload is the most important factor though.

    • profile image

      User 3 years ago

      This seems easy though doesn't it. I have only been weight training for a little while and I have been doing the split which I'm starting to realise is a mistake. But this is saying I should be doing One exercise for each body part a day? Should I be putting on more weight? Or doing 3 sets or something? This is just confusing an idiot like me o.O

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes, do two sets with a lighter weight for each exercise to prepare yourself for the heavier weight (about 60 - 65% and 80 - 85% of your working weight). Then do three sets with your full working weight. Your first set should be stopped a couple reps short of failure. Your second set will be harder, and your third set close to your limit. Train three days per week (one exercise per body part), eat lots of good clean food and get plenty of sleep. You'll grow :)

    • profile image

      Paulie 3 years ago

      What Ive found works for me is a combination of everything in your article. I usually do 3 full body workouts a week, focusing on the 5 - 8 rep scheme. It builds the hard dense muscle that you refer to. I usually do this without creatine. When im trying to peak for the summer or event of some kind, i switch to a push pull routine working each bodypart twice a week instead of 3 times per week. I use higher volume and hit the 8 - 12 rep scheme. This combined with creatine adds sarcoplasmic size quickly. Seems to be a good way to mix strength gains and quick burts in size

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Thanks for that Paulie. Yes what you are saying sounds a great idea for someone who is a bit more advanced as you obviously are. In fact I might try that myself :)

    • profile image

      daniel 3 years ago

      Can you publish the 3 program. You only give 2 and you say for thet it should be 3 programs

    • profile image

      daniel 3 years ago

      And if i want to add six pack to the program how i did it thx for your answer

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Two programs is ideal for beginners Daniel. When you have been doing that for a while you can switch to three. Unless you've already been training for a while, in which case you can go straight to three. And yes, I've been thinking of publishing the 3 program. Hopefully I'll do it over the weekend.

      As for the six pack; I have a separate article on that. But it's mostly diet related. Doing hundreds of crunches per day will not get you a six pack.

    • profile image

      daniel 3 years ago

      I work on ab program 3 month without any results. Now i start your progrem hopfully i start to see results. And i wait for the 3 program of you.

      Sorry about my english and thanks i really love and appriciate your guild

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      That's ok Daniel. Take a look at my article on six pack abs. And I'll try to get the 3 program up for you soon. Can't do it today though.

    • profile image

      daniel 3 years ago

      Can you give me the link for your article

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      I'd love to but I'm not supposed to put links in here. Just click on my name above and that will take you to my profile page and articles list. It's just over three quarters of the way down.

      I managed to put up the 3 day program by the way :)

    • profile image

      daniel 3 years ago

      i really appriciate your effort to help me. I start your program with hope for good results.

      Thanks

    • profile image

      daniel 3 years ago

      2 last quastion: 1. Can i Combine between the six pack runnig way you offer in your six pack article and the progrem you offer here and how i do it ?

      2.how much rest between every cycle and exercis and do them in super sets or every one in suprite?

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yep; do a couple of sets of hanging leg raises after Monday's workout and a couple of sets of ab wheel rollouts after Fridays. Do a short cardio session after your weight training sessions (or on your off days) and eat clean (cut out the sugar, refined carbs and processed foods).

      That should do it, but if you are carrying quite a bit of excess fat you should address that (i.e. lose weight) before starting a muscle building program.

      Rest as long as you need between exercises, but about 2 minutes is ideal. A bit more for squats. And just do them as straight sets; not supersets. Though it is ok to alternate a pushing and a pulling movement if you wish, but rest between each set (with supersets you have no rest between the two exercises).

      Hope that helps. Best of luck.

    • profile image

      Steve 3 years ago

      I've been working out off on on for a long time. Never really understanding the science behind what goes on in the gym. I recently (Jan 2014) left splits and now do a full body workout like you posted(Leg variation, 1 push exercise, 1 pull). The results have been amazing. The key for me was to push myself every workout to add more weight than the workout before. But the true missing piece to the puzzle was eating a clean diet. Unreal the changes to after getting rid of the junk food.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Glad to hear about your success Steve. Yes getting rid of the junk food does help a lot.

    • profile image

      Jack McClafferty 2 years ago

      My current program looks like this

      Day 1:

      Squat

      Bench Press

      Lat pulldown

      Military press

      Barbell curls

      Ab machine

      Day 2:

      Deadlift

      Bent over rows

      Incline dumbbell bench press

      Lateral raises

      Tricep extensions

      Hammer curls

      I have just been rotating these two workouts, but am worried about working my biceps 3 times a week, is that ok?

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes Jack; the way you are doing it is perfectly ok as long as you're not doing too many sets. Good program you've got there.

    • profile image

      Jack McClafferty 2 years ago

      Thanks, I recently just started taking creatine, and have heard it makes your recovery from workouts faster. Is this true? If so I'm going to start doing full body workouts every other day with no two straight days off. That would mean some weeks I would be working out three times a week and others four. If I was going to do that many full body workouts, I would probably need to start rotating three different workouts instead of two right? In addition, my plan going forward is to stick with full body workouts three (possibly four if it's ok) a week for 5-6 months and then switch to upper/lower split. Does this sound like an effective plan? And as long as I'm recovering can I workout my full body every other day? Thanks so much!

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes your plan sounds good. You can work your full body every other day, but if you feel yourself getting a bit fatigued take an extra day off and maybe drop down to three times per week. And yes if you are doing every other day I would use three different workouts. For three times per week either is ok, but personally I still prefer alternating two - but that's just my preference.

      Upper/lower splits are great when you've laid a good foundation. I generally do biceps on lower day as otherwise I have more exercises on my upper day.

      Yes creatine helps some people recover faster, and it has many other benefits too. Some people are non-responders though and it doesn't have much of an effect. If you eat a lot of red meat you'll be getting creatine there anyway, so it will make less of a difference. But still worth trying.

    • profile image

      Shelby 2 years ago

      Hello :)

      I love your article, although I have a few questions:

      I am making an exercise program/routine, and i plan on doing a full body workout on mondays, wednesdays, and fridays... But my question is, could i add about 20-30 minutes of cardio on tuesdays, thursdays, and saturdays, and then have a rest day on sundays?

      also, the first week of training i plan on doing 60% of my max (3 sets of 8) second week: 60% (3 sets of 10) third week: 70% (3 sets of 8) and fourth week 80% (3 sets of 10), and then redoing my max and following that plan again (except maybe different exercises). Anyway, I was just wondering if that sounded good to you?

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Hi Shelby

      Thanks; glad you liked the article. Yes you can do the cardio on your off days. Don't do any more than 30 minutes of moderate cardio though, and if you feel yourself getting tired a lot cut it back to 20 mins. The pace should be comfortable and not leave you feeling exhausted. Alternatively you could do a bit of HIIT, but be careful with this as you could easily overdo it and that will certainly affect your recovery from your weight training sessions.

      Your progression sounds ok, except that you have taken a big jump from your third to your fourth week. I understand this is your maximum effort week, but I still think it best to even it out a bit more.

      And if you do change your exercises, go back to your original ones in your next cycle. Don't keep changing them to new ones all the time or you will never get anywhere.

    • profile image

      David 2 years ago

      Very well done article and easy to understand. However, please tell me exactly why you believe doing a full body workout 3 or 4 times a week while doing one exercise for each muscle group per workout is truly superior to really fatiguing a specific muscle group by doing 3 or 4 exercises on the muscle once a week? Also, why haven't many trainers recommended this? I'm not saying any of it is wrong whatsoever, I'm just wondering what exactly makes this the best workout to pack on 20 pounds of muscle asap.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Ok; if you are a natural trainee protein synthesis in a muscle is only elevated for about 48 hours or so after training, so if you only train the muscle once per week you are not going to progress optimally - no matter how much you fatigue the muscle.

      However if you train more frequently you will not be able to recover properly if you do 3 or 4 exercises per muscle group. So doing less volume more frequently works better than doing more volume less frequently.

      Also, although muscle fatigue is a factor in muscle growth, overloading the big muscles (chest, back, legs) with large and progressively increasing weights is a more important factor and will elicit the hormonal response required much more effectively.

      As you progress however some modifications usually become necessary, so use a full body workout three times per week if you are a beginner, early intermediate, or just need to gain a lot of muscle quickly. Later progress to an upper/lower split training three or four times per week. Then when you are much more advanced you can experiment with higher volume split routines, but even then you should train each muscle group more often than once per week.

    • profile image

      Stephen 2 years ago

      Hello! I very much enjoyed reading your article and your follow up posts. I was hoping you might be able to give me some insight. For the last 6 months, I have been doing all the exercises in A and B for every workout 3 days a week in 5x5 format lifting as heavy as possible. I have maintained a weight of 150 at 5'5 as my goal was something of a recomposition. I figured this would be possible to a certain extent since I was new.

      Up to this point, I have made extraordinary strength gains on all of my lifts and everyone tells me I am becoming rather muscular even though I don't see it. However, I seem to have plateaued on a number of lifts. Would you recommend switching to your routine here and would you suggest any potential additions or set x rep scheme considering my training up until now? Any further advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Hi Stephen. Glad you enjoyed the article, and congratulations on the strength gains you have made so far. But do you mean you have done 5x5 on all 8 exercises 3 days per week? If so that's a huge amount of work. Far too much really. You will plateau eventually of course anyway, but maybe you reached this point sooner because you were overworking yourself.

      When you plateau it's important to reduce the weights a bit and build back up again, as just struggling with the same weights when you are not progressing is too much of a strain on the CNS, and will not get you anywhere.

      And you'll need to reduce your total volume too, so the routine described here should work very well. Also if you are doing 5x5 with the same weight that will probably be getting too much now as well. So do 3x5 instead, with two lighter warm-up sets of 5 first. You might also want to go up to 8 reps on some of the lifts to build more muscle size now you have laid a good strength foundation.

      If you want more information my articles on the 5x5 workout and the Stronglifts 5x5 program should be of help to you. Hope that helps and best of luck.

    • profile image

      Stephen 2 years ago

      Thanks for the response. Yeah, I was working 5x5 same weight with an additional 2x5 ramping warm up on all 8 lifts daily. I felt great doing it that way until recently when I hit the intermediate powerlifting category on all my lifts and suddenly plateaued.

      I will take your advice and give it a whirl. I am thinking I'll knock 30% off my 5 rep max and begin 3x8 with your workout and up the weight as when I complete a full routine. Seem reasonable? Any objection to throwing some planks on top of your routine?

    • profile image

      Markie 2 years ago

      Great article,can you give me your opinion on my full body workout? I workout Monday Wednesday Friday alternating A and B,

      First 2 sets are warm ups on the 5x5's and deadlift

      Full body workout

      Workout-A

      Squat:5x5

      Bench press:5x5

      Barbell row:5x5

      Rope push down:3x8

      Barbell curl:3x8

      Farmers walk:3x1min

      Workout-B

      Squat:5x5

      Military press:5x5

      Dead lift:3x5

      Pull ups-5x5

      Dips:3x8

      Dumbbell pullover:3x10

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yep; that sounds fine Stephen. And planks done at the end is perfectly ok.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Markie - Yes that's a great workout. Though personally I'd go a little higher on the reps for the pull ups. And you may find squatting three times per week will get too much after a while, so you might want to start alternating them as you do the other exercises.

    • profile image

      Markie 2 years ago

      Okay sure thing thanks a lot for your advice.

    • profile image

      Markie 2 years ago

      Sorry I forgot to mention that I do weighted pull ups,do you still think I should go higher in reps?

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes; 3 sets of 6 - 8 reps, after your usual two warm-up sets. I assumed you did weighted pull-ups.

    • profile image

      Markie 2 years ago

      Okay cool thanks again,STAY STRONG!

    • novator profile image

      novator 2 years ago from Denver

      It's hard to believe that more people don't realize cadio/resistance exercise mixed with a weight training program like what you've come up with increases good hormone levels and promotes a healthy hormonal balance. Thanks for the informative hub..it kind of reminded me that I need to do some pull ups today and bench.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes I agree Novator. Glad you liked the hub; hope your pull-ups and bench went well :)

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

      I completely agree with this. I genetically have big arms and chest, however I have been doing splits for years and have seen very little improvement. Especially when I am busy at work and have not time to hit the gym. I may only get to work the chest once a week. The full body workout makes a whole lot of difference because I am hitting the major muscle groups every time.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes working a muscle group once per week is less than optimal even for advanced people. Glad you are having success with full body workouts though.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      I really like the 3 workout plan you posted on this article and how it hits your biceps with the chin ups and barbell curls. I'm going to go with that one after the 6 month period, and I'm pretty sure that's a great way to start hitting your biceps because it was posted on here. Thanks a lot.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Glad you like that one Jack. Yes I'm sure it will work well for you.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      If I were to transition from seated dumbbell shoulder press to standing barbell shoulder press the next cycle, wouldn't it be counter productive to be doing ten reps on a new exercise that you don't have much strength in? It's been stressed that strength must be worked on first, and then you can do higher reps for size

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Also, I'm making gains, but not the ones I expect. This is what I ate yesterday on my training day:

      Breakfast: eggs, oatmeal, a bagel

      Post work: protein shake with 38g of protein and 66g of carbs, egg and chicken burrito on whole wheat, whole wheat pasta with chicken and vegetables.

      Dinner: turkey sandwich on whole wheat

      Few hours later: chicken sandwich with 2 pints of milk

      Right before bed: another protein shake, but with only 31.5 g of protein this time and 66 g of carbs because rum wasn't mixed with milk

      Would this typically be enough? Looks like I need to add at least another meal

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes that's a reasonable comment Jack. You do need to focus on building strength first, but if you are a complete beginner the number of reps doesn't matter much. It's just that you will stall much quicker on 8 - 10 reps than you will on 4 - 6 reps. When you have been training for several weeks consistently you will then need the lower reps to continue to build strength. In your case if it's the first time you have done the standing barbell shoulder press you could do a couple of sessions of 8 - 10 reps (as a kind of 'primer') and then reduce to 5 or 6 reps to focus more on strength building if you wish.

      As for diet it's quite simple; if you are not gaining as you wish, eat more (provided you can stay lean). Whether you eat an extra meal or just eat more at each meal is irrelevant. Just increase your calorie intake from clean food sources. If you want more detailed info on this take a look at my article on the best muscle building diet.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Thanks a lot. Also, I have been taking 4-5 minutes of rest between sets. The reason I am doing this is because it takes me that long to recover and feel ready to do the amount of reps I'm aiming for the next set. Is that way too long?

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      It doesn't really matter if your main focus is on building strength. But if you want to maximize muscle growth you need to reduce your rest periods - ideally to about 1.5 - 2 minutes for the smaller exercises, a little more for the bigger exercises, and maybe 3 minutes for squats.

      If you are taking that long to recover you are probably using weights that are too heavy so you may need to reduce them a bit. Remember you should have a rep or two left in you at the end of your first work set, your next set should be more difficult, and your third set should be a maximum effort set (but without failing mid-rep).

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Thanks. I was stuck at 30 dumbbells for dumbbell shoulder press for three straight workouts and finally succeeded the third workout and was ready to move up to 35 dumbbells. However, I kept all my exercise weights that I succeeded on last session due to the decreased rest time. If I get stuck for another three, then that is the time to reduce the weight right?

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Would bent over rows be considered a big exercise? I feel like almost everything in a full body workout is a big exercise, it's overall a fun and very demanding workout regimen.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes that's the right way to do it Jack.

      And yes bent over rows are a big exercise. As you say in the two workout plan it's pretty much all big exercises. In the three workout plan a couple more smaller exercises are introduced. And when you get on to the 4 day upper/lower split there are a few more still.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Okay thanks. Me having been taking too long between reps will not affect my long term size gains right? Also, after 6 months of the two workout plan, it would be a good idea to switch to the three workout plan and start hitting my biceps right? Then after another 6 months transition to upper/lower split.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      No it won't affect your long term size gains. And yes that would be a good way to do it. But you can continue each of them for a bit longer if you wish and if you are still making good gains. There's no need to stick to an exact time frame with them.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Okay, well I guess it depends on what you exactly mean by "good gains." If I am continuing to make strength gains but I feel I'm not as big as I should be, is that the time to switch?

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      In this case, as long as I'm progressing strength wise, will the size definitely come from my high rep days?

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Well yes "good gains" is obviously very subjective, but if you are making strength gains you are on the right track. And lack of size gains does not necessarily mean you should switch routines. You may just need to pay more attention to your nutrition and rest. Or maybe do an extra set or two on your higher rep days for a while to see if this increase in volume helps.

      As for "definitely" increasing in size, few outcomes are definite in this world Jack, and your response to training is influenced greatly by individual factors. But yes if you get stronger, eat well and get enough rest and sleep you will grow. And the higher rep work will be what causes the most growth - especially further on down the line.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Thanks for your continued help, I'll just keep at it and stop overthinking

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Have you ever had to decrease the weight after your first set because you thought there was no realistic way you would finish the sets/reps with good form? I know this isn't ideal, but it's better than trying to do the original weight right?

      I couldn't find the comment where you describe the size focused plan. I believe it was 2 sessions of 3 X 10, 4 sessions of 3 X 8, 4 sessions of 4 X 6, and 3 sessions of 6 X 3?? The last two types of sessions are the ones I'm unsure about.

      If you finish the prescribed amount of sets and reps but your form suffers the last rep, would you stick with the same weight next time and try to perfect your form? Thanks.

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      No; it's best not to do that. Better to just reduce the number of reps for your other sets. Or alternatively when you are on the lower rep training you could just stop, reduce the weight about 20%, and do a set of higher reps to finish. That should help you recover better so you are ready for that weight the next workout.

      Yes that's the size focused plan, and it's also great for strength too. Then test your maxes at the end before de-loading (or taking a week off) and starting again.

      And yes, although a slight deterioration in form is ok, if it is really bad don't count that rep. Ideally you would have stopped the set before getting to that though.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Okay. You said when training for strength the amount of time between sets doesn't really matter, 4 sets of 6 would be training for both right? Best to keep it only up to 3 minutes of so at most?

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      Jack 2 years ago

      I remember you said staying lean is more about how you eat than train, if that's true, it you eat correctly should your face maintain it's shape and skinniness? I'm sure most people prefer not to look bloated

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes, and yes Jack. If you are drug free and remain lean you should never get that bloated look.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Mr.Welburn,

      My body is responding amazingly to the shorter rest periods. It literally looks like I put in 3 pound of muscle in two days. Feel dumb for ever questioning this program, thanks a lot!

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Glad to hear it Jack. And you are welcome :)

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Wonder how big I would be if I had shorter rest periods the whole time. About a month from now, since my strength would have been the same as it is now regardless, I will be lifting the same amount of weight with high reps and that will lead to the same size I would have developed anyway correct? Thanks

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      There's no way of knowing that really Jack, but you can expect to get bigger when you start using the heavier weights for higher reps and it should be there or thereabouts.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Ok. If you really fail to do the amount of prescribed sets and reps, is it ok to just increase the amount of sets until your reach your total rep goal? For instance if you were trying to do 3 sets of 8, but could only do 3 sets of 4, is it ok to do another 3 sets of 4 to reach your total rep goal? Thanks

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Today I was supposed to be benching 155 for 4 sets of 6 but accidentally put on 65 on each side which would make the total bench 175 lol. No wonder why it seemed harder than last time, should definitely be ready for the 155 next time though lol

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Well that explains why you weren't able to complete your required number of reps per set doesn't it? Lol. But generally speaking I would not increase your number of sets in order to reach your total rep goal.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Ok thank you. I'm contemplating switching from bent over rows to lat pulldowns and seated dumbbell shoulder press to standing barbell shoulder press next cycle. Are these good for building quality strength in the right areas and size?

      I really appreciate all the help you have given me. In return, I will be getting your hubpages out there and will be telling everyone how much you know. The more views of your hubs the better right? :)

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      You could switch the dumbbell shoulder press for the standing barbell shoulder press if you wish. The standing barbell shoulder press is more of a power movement, but the seated dumbbell shoulder press does build the side delts better due to the positioning of the dumbbells. That's provided you do it with a full range of motion (not stopping halfway down) of course. But I still prefer the standing barbell press for beginners.

      I would not switch the bent over rows for pulldowns if you are already doing chin-ups/pull-ups though, as these are similar movements. You do need both a horizontal pull (for back thickness) and a vertical pull (for back width) in your program. Although deadlifts do build back thickness as well of course, but I'd still keep the rows.

      And yes, the more views I get the better (and the more people get to find out about how to train effectively too). So I appreciate any help in getting my hubpages out there - thank you.

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      Derick 2 years ago

      Hi, I sometimes only get 3-6 hours of sleep, except on weekends. I understand this could be detrimental to my gains. However, say I get four hours of sleep, and then take a 4-5 hour nap during the day, will that save me and be effective? Thank you

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      Jack 2 years ago

      I may keep the seated dumbbell shoulder press as well as the bent over rows, though I have been doing seated dumbbell shoulder press for almost 6 months now and it may be time for a change. I know you said exercises should be switched ever two to three cycles, but is that an absolute necessity compared to what the standing barbell press would do for me?

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      Jack 2 years ago

      I plan to always have the bench press, squat, deadlift, as well as chin ups in my program for the foreseeable future so I will be able to do 3 sets of 10 by the time I transition to the three workout plan.

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Derick - You will most certainly not make the gains you could with that amount of sleep. To make optimum gains you really need 8 - 9 hours sleep per night. You can make up for less sleep by taking an afternoon nap, but I doubt you could ever make up for just getting 3 - 6 hours.

      Jack - No it's not absolutely imperative to switch exercises, as long as you are varying the rep ranges you are using. That's the most important thing. And you can certainly keep the big compound exercises indefinitely.

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      Derick 2 years ago

      And by sleep, you mean legit closed eye sleep and not just laying down resting?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      If you lay down to rest you should close your eyes anyway and let yourself fully relax. This is a good thing to do anyway, and if you are getting sufficient sleep (or almost) at night it doesn't really matter whether you actually fall asleep or not. It will still be very beneficial. But if you are not getting nearly enough sleep at night you will really need proper sleep in the afternoon. Though that should not be a problem as you are certain to be tired enough anyway.

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      Derick 2 years ago

      Okay, because I get into bed more than 8 hours before I wake up, but often times it takes me 2-3 hours to fall asleep. I know you write about fitness and not sleep, so I don't expect you to have any advice for that.

      When you say, "if you are getting sufficient sleep at night it doesn't really matter whether you fall asleep or not." Does this mean laying down, resting and closing your eyes while not actually being asleep can count towards the 8 hours? Thank you.

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      Derick 2 years ago

      And getting 6 hours of sleep at night, and then taking a proper 2 hour nap, is just as beneficial as getting 8 hours straight at night?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      No; laying down and resting with your eyes closed is very beneficial even if you don't fall asleep, but it is not as good as actual sleep. And having a two hour nap in the afternoon will not be quite as beneficial as having the full 8 hours overnight; but it will be a big help.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      If my body is not as sore as it use to be the day after doing a type of workout, could that mean my body has adjusted to it?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      No; absolutely not. How sore you are the next day has nothing to do with how effective your workout was.

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      Derick 2 years ago

      Sometimes I only get 5 hours of sleep + about 3 hours of closing my eyes trying to fall asleep, and then take about a 2-3 hour nap from late morning to early afternoon. When it's time to go to sleep at night I don't feel tired at all mostly due to the nap I'm guessing.

      Is whether you are consistently increasing the amount of weight you can lift the biggest factor on whether you are on track overall?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      What you are doing sounds ok; but have you tried missing your afternoon nap so you are more tired when you go to bed? You may find that helps you get a better night's sleep.

      But yes, if you are increasing the amount of weight you can lift (though it won't always be consistent) you are definitely on the right track.

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      Derick 2 years ago

      I haven't tried that, but maybe I will. Are upright rows a great shoulder exercise? I'm just finding out that you must widen your grip more than shoulder width if you really want to hit the shoulders... I was doing a three forths grip of shoulder width as my shoulder exercise...

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      Derick 2 years ago

      This is my plan:

      Workout A: Bench press, squat, bent over rows, seated dumbbell shoulder press

      Workout B: Deadlift, chin ups, incline dumbbell bench press, upright rows

      I plan to switch to the three workout system in a couple months, I have been workout for about 5 months. Does this sound like an effective plan?

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      Derick 2 years ago

      And is it true that you should not be increasing the weight each set until you have been working out for a few years and are advanced?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Upright rows are not recommended as they cause a lot of damage to the shoulders over the long term. Presses are much better - and they are more effective too. Apart from that your routine looks great though.

      You should always do a couple of warm-up sets before you do your sets with your top (working) weight, but the technique of increasing the weight each set up to one top weight set is generally used by more advanced trainees. That's not to say they would always use that method though.

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      Matt 2 years ago

      Great article, thanks for writing it. On my off day, I ate:

      1. Omelette with turkey bacon and spinach with oatmeal and a whole wheat bagel

      2. Whole wheat pasta with spinach and chicken

      3. Brown rice and chicken

      4. Egg and chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread

      5. Tuna melt on whole wheat bread

      Generally speaking, does this seem like enough protein to you?

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      David 2 years ago

      If I'm only 19 years old, going two or three months without a de-load is okay right and won't affect my results?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Matt - thank you; glad you liked it. Although you don't specify your portion sizes so I can't be certain, that sounds absolutely fine. Aim for around 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Chicken has about 7 g per ounce and a large egg has just over 6g.

      David - probably; but if you find yourself hitting a plateau in terms of adding weight to the bar (or increasing reps with the same weight) then you need a de-load.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Is cardio once a week enough? I do want to limit the fat gain as much as possible, but I understand this is probably done by eating completely clean and eliminating any junk food.

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      Derick 2 years ago

      Is three top weight sets ok? I usually do two, the first one about %50 of the top weights sets and the second one about %70 of the top weight sets. But today I tried to do one %50 of top weight warm up set, a %70 of top weight warm up set, and an %85 of top weight warm up set. Is that too much?

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      Derick 2 years ago

      I meant to ask if three warm up sets were ok, not top weight sets

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Jack - cardio is optional anyway really, but I like to do it at least twice per week for the health and fitness benefits. It does not always have to be jogging though. Try some sprints (20 - 30 seconds) or some short hard runs ( 2 - 3 minutes) separated by active rest periods. Or don't do it at all if you don't want to - it's up to you. It will help with fat burning, but as you say this is mostly down to diet.

      Derick - yes three warm-up sets is fine and is recommended for the big exercises anyway, especially when you have been training for a while.

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      Adam 2 years ago

      I like the article! I had one question, is it strongly recommended to de-load every 6-8 weeks? Or if you are continuing to make gains and feel good, then you don't have to right?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes that's right Adam. You can keep on going without a de-load if you are progressing well.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Should stretching hurt whatsoever? I stretch before and after every workout. I really tend to push myself during the butterfly stretch, and then realize something feels a little off when I squat in my groin area. Have you ever experienced this. I was doing the squat movement at home and heard "squeaky" noises between pushing off the ground and coming back up to the standing position. Don't think that's normal lol.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      The noise was coming from my groin area, forgot to mention that. Maybe stop the butterfly stretch for a while or go easier?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      I don't know anything about "squeaky" noises coming from the groin area, but generally no, stretching should not hurt beyond a slight discomfort. So you may want to ease up on the butterfly stretch.

      Just a note on stretching though; you don't want to be doing static stretching before workouts but you can do dynamic stretches. There is a slight exception to this and that is if you need to loosen off a particular area (e.g. your hips before squatting), in which case you can do a few stretches with a hold of up to 5 seconds. Other than that save your static stretching until after your workouts.

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      Adam 2 years ago

      I noticed I'm putting on a little too much fat. Should I just eat a little less on both training and non training days? Or just reduce it even more on non training days?

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      Adam 2 years ago

      And if you indeed think your putting on a little excess of fat, taking a de-load is a good thing because you can eat a little less calories and do some cardio right?

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      Jack 2 years ago

      I know you said those "slow death reps" don't help at all and negatively affect your Central Nervous System. It's ok if your rep speed slows a little and your spotter has to help you right? Or is this actually bad for your CNS and not many people realize this?

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Also, I have been stuck doing 6 reps, then about 4 reps, then about 3 or 4 reps, and then about 3 reps in consecutive sets during chin ups for over a month. Do you recommend putting a dumbbell in between my legs to focus on strength for a while to overcome this plateau?

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      Sam 2 years ago

      Great article! When I do bent over rows, my back is definitely not parallel with the floor but forms about a 30 degree angle with the floor. Is this too much or fine?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Adam - I can't really answer that as I don't know how much you are eating on your training and non-training days. And it's not necessarily just your calorie consumption; it could be your carb intake and timing. Definitely eat the most calories and carbs in your main post workout meal, and keep your carbs much lower at other times and on off days. But how much carbs you can eat overall depends on how lean you are.

      But no; I would not take a de-load just because you are gaining too much fat. Only do this if your strength gains plateau.

      Jack - yes it's ok if your speed slows; that is bound to happen. But ideally you want to complete the reps on your own - not with the help of a spotter. He should never touch the bar at all unless you get caught out and can't complete the rep by yourself. But this should rarely happen.

      As for your chin-ups it sounds like you are saying you are doing 4 work sets starting with 6 reps and ending with 3. So no, don't use a dumbbell yet. Try doing 4 sets of 3 instead, then 4 sets of 4, and then 4 sets of 5 etc. When you get to 4 sets of 7 (or you can reduce to 3 sets at that stage) add some weight. But if you stall take a de-load.

      Sam - yes that's fine. Bend over as far as you comfortably can but don't try to force yourself to the parallel position.

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      Adam 2 years ago

      Okay, but carbs are a necessity before a workout right?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      No they are not. Unless you are doing grueling 2 or 3 hour workouts or training twice per day you should easily have replenished your carb stores since your last workout. Protein is essential before a workout to prevent too much muscle breakdown whilst training.

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      Adam 2 years ago

      Interesting, will keep that in mind. I have been training for at least 5-6 weeks without a de-load, and am maybe fighting some minor motivation problems. This is when a de-load would be a good option right?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Probably not. I don't know how you feel so don't really know, but generally speaking if you have not experienced any sort of plateau in your strength gains just carry on.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      In the six sets of 3 part of the cycle, should you be feeling like you can't do another rep after the third rep starting around the third set? Or later?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Ideally it should not be until about the fifth or sixth set, but if you are recovering completely between sets and the sixth set is no more difficult than the third that should be ok.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      I tested my one rep maxes after 5 months on the full body workout program and I'm at 210 for bench, 285 for squat, and 295 for deadlift. Thanks to you, I'm happy how far I have come. Is there a percentage of your one rep max that is the weight you should be able to perform 3 sets of 10 on? Sometimes it a challenge predicting which set would be ideal for the 3 sets of 10 at the beginning of the next cycle. Thanks!

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Good to hear about your progress Jack; you are doing great. You should be able to do 10 reps with about 75% of your one rep max (a little more for lower body). However that would be a max weight so too much to do three sets with. So at the start of a cycle I'd go with about 65% of 1RM as your first workout should not be too difficult.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Thanks, about how much weight can people usually do compared to their three rep max when doing 3 sets of 10? And deadlift is indeed considered a lower body exercise right?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      About 83% of 3 rep max for a 10 rep max. So a bit less than that. Start at around 75%. And yes the deadlift is considered a lower body exercise.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      You said the first workout shouldn't be too difficult, however I failed to completely the 3 sets of ten three of my four exercises. Is this bad? Tried to set up my workout so I was doing 3 sets of 10 of 65% of my one rep max. I'll keep it at the same weight until I'm able to do three sets of ten!

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes stay at the same weight till you get three sets of 10. I don't know why that would be though; it should have been quite comfortable. How hard was your first set of 10? And how long are you resting between sets?

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      Jack 2 years ago

      My first set of 10 was actually a little hard, specifically for the deadlift. My one rep max was 295 for the deadlift, so I was doing 3 sets of 10 of 190. My last cycle, when I was testing my maxes, I noticed my deadlift one rep max was only 215. Is it possible for it to really improve 80 pounds after one cycle? My form doing 295 honestly was not perfect, but not completely terrible.

      I am resting about 2 to 2 and a half minutes between each set since everything I'm doing is pretty much compound exercises. I rest about three minutes between sets when I do squats. This is the amount of time you told me in order to maximize size gains.

      I also realized on my last cycle I was benching 145 on my first workout doing 3 sets of 10. However, if I calculate 65% of my recent one rep max (210), it comes out to a little over 135. This would mean the weight I'm lifting would go down in this part of the cycle from my last cycle. I don't think I successfully did three sets of ten of 145 last cycle, but I definitely wasn't far off.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      I made a mistake and tried to do 3 sets of 10 of 160, which I found out is probably around my ten rep max since my one rep max is 210. After 5 reps of the first set, I thought there was no way I could finish 3 sets of ten with that. I stopped, reduced the weight to 135, and then did 3 sets of 10. I think you said it was not best to do this, but is it really that bad? I wouldn't be getting the size gains if I just continued doing 5-6 reps each set of 160.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Also, if you want to cut a little fat from your lower back/thighs, then you should just start eating a tiny bit less right and continue to tweak your calorie intake? I know you should obviously always eat a lot after a workout, but just cut a little calories at other times.

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Your first workout of a cycle should be quite comfortable; i.e. you should have a rep or two left in you even after your last set. The percentages I gave are the norm, but everyone is different, so it's best to get used to what you can do for a certain number of reps based on your 1RM.

      What you did for your bench was the right call under those circumstances.

      And yes; cut your calories a little at other times as you say if you are noticing fat gain.

      Well done on adding 80 lb to your deadlift in a cycle. That's excellent. Do try to keep your form good though :)

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Doing 3 sets of 10 for squats is the closest thing to torture in a weight room I have ever experienced. I know squats are supposed to take a lot out of you, but should it really hurt? I start really getting fatigued by the 5th rep, maybe the weight is a little but too heavy, but it is 60 percent of my one rep max

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Sorry, correction, it was about 67% of my one rep max for squat that I used for 3 sets if 10. Unsourced said start with 65 % but said you should be able to do a little bit more for a lower body exercise. Next cycle I'm going to keep it at 65% of my one rep max for 3 sets of 10 no matter what exercise it is. I was able to complete the 3 sets of 10 for squats but I had to rest 5 minutes before the third set

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      No it shouldn't hurt that much. Sounds like you are starting off too heavy. Although you are supposed to be able to do a slightly higher percentage of 1RM for reps in lower body exercises, I find I can't. Sounds like you are the same. So you need to make adjustments based on personal experience.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      I was also wondering if squats and deadlifts make you shorter

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Squats and deadlifts (and standing calf raises) compress the spine so can make you a bit shorter over time.

      But you can counteract this by hanging from a bar for a minute or two after each workout (try to relax completely when doing this). It's well worth doing this anyway to decompress and re-align the spine. You can also do spinal stretches which will also help. In fact the combination of these could make you slightly taller eventually.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Thanks a lot. What are some spinal stretches? And does it matter whether you hang from the bar relaxed from a chin up or pull up position?

      Also, I really enjoyed your carbohydrate cycling hub, I'm actually starting to do that so that there is never a time I have to "cut" :)

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Will the little excess fat I put on during the period that I was still having a solid amount of carbs on non training days slowly start dissipating?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Some good spinal stretches are the cat, cow, cobra, touching your toes etc.

      It should not matter but I prefer the pull-up position as it feels more natural.

      Glad you liked the carb cycling hub. Yes the excess fat should gradually dissipate using this approach. Monitor your results and tweak it until you are getting the results you want. The more lean you are the more carbs (and calories) you can consume without getting fat.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Okay, and sodium should be kept to a strict limit on all days right? Sodium makes you a little bit bloated. What are some foods you would avoid if you were serious about limiting your sodium intake?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      I wouldn't worry too much about sodium - unless you know it is making you bloated. People who work out regularly need more than those who don't and if you are eating natural whole foods and avoiding processed foods it really should not be a problem.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Okay, what if someone who put on a decent amount of muscle, and a little fat also. was all of a sudden to stop working out? Would all of the muscle turn into fat? Very few people have the time to make working out and dieting a substantial priority in their lives with jobs etc. would you do some cardio after if you were to stop lifting at some point?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      No; muscle cannot turn into fat and fat cannot turn into muscle. It's impossible - they are two completely different types of tissue. However if you stop training your muscles will shrink and if you keep eating the same as when you were training you will gain fat. So it looks as if your muscle has turned to fat.

      To avoid this you need to eat less and stay as active as possible in other ways. So yes cardio would also help.

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      Odes 2 years ago

      Hi, have been looking to change up my program so have just started today on this. Many thanks. Just wondering though about traps and calves. Where would you suggest adding these in, if at all for your program? Cheers

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      I would definitely not worry about direct trap training at this stage. Traps are worked very hard with deadlifts anyway. You could add calf work in at the end of workout 1 if you wish (or on Monday and Friday if you are doing the 3 day routine).

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      Max 2 years ago

      I noticed my face got a little puffier after dramatically increasing my calorie intake and starting this program. Can carbohydrate cycling fix this as the fat slowly decreases?

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Probably yes, but I suspect you have increased your calorie intake a little too much and are putting on too much fat as you gain muscle. So you may need to reduce your total weekly calorie intake as well as cycle your calories/carbs.

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      Max 2 years ago

      If i do reduce my total weekly calorie intake, will that fix the

    • profile image

      Max 2 years ago

      Fix the problem I meant

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Assuming the puffiness is caused by fat gain, yes it will.

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      Adam Keating 2 years ago

      I do my lifts a little differently..but great article!

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Thanks Adam; glad you liked it.

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      Sidhraan 2 years ago

      Hi, I really liked your tips, and is very useful.. I would also like to hit each muscle 3 times a week. My week parts are Legs N chest, and has moderate physic with 5.7 inch and 67 Kg, with some moderate lifting background.

      I want to target more for legs, but can't do more than 45 minutes weight training a day, as that's over-training for me, and I usually rest not more than 60-90 sec between sets.

      So I have just started doing upper/lower split for 6 days a week, so that I can target each muscle 3 times a week with more targeted on Legs and Chest. But still confused !!!

      I am planning to do 30 minutes (lower body) and 45 minutes (upper body) weight training per day...

      Day 1

      Inclined barbell Press (3*8) super set with

      Pull Ups (or barbell Row)

      Flat or declined barbell Press (3*8) super set with

      Dips or Barbel pullover

      Dumbbell shoulder press (3*8)

      Dumbbell Biceps Curl (4*8) super-set with

      Close Grip Bench press

      Day 2

      Squat (4*12) or (1*20 Rep method)

      Stiff leg Deadlift or Leg press (3*12)

      Smith Machine Lunges ( or Hip Thrust)

      Barbell Calf raise

      3 Abs workouts

      Is this over training ????? Do you think this works for me better than a 3 day full body workout for great mass gain and for long team run???

      If not, can you please suggest me another workout Routine that suits my physic and needs ?? Thanks in advance, and keep the good work :-) Happy Lifting :-)

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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Hi Sidhraan

      If you are planning to do those two workouts three times per week each that is far too much. Do them both twice per week if you wish, but later on you should switch to using two different upper body and two different lower body workouts to help with recovery. Four training days per week is about the most you should do unless you are very advanced.

      As for the workouts themselves I would alternate (not superset - a superset is where you go from one exercise to the next with no rest) incline bench with pull-ups and flat bench with barbell row. Remove dips as you have far too much pressing in that workout.

      And for workout 2, I'd do stiff leg deadlifts rather than leg press as you need a posterior chain movement in there. And I wouldn't use the Smith machine. A barbell is far better, but the Smith is ok for calf raises. It's hard to balance with a free barbell on this one.

      I have a hub on upper/lower body training which you might want to check out and I also have a similar article on my own website/blog.

      Hope that helps. Best of luck.

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      Max 2 years ago

      On a day where my gym was closed, I went to this very small gym with pretty much only dumbbells, a chest press, and lat pulldown (very small gym I know). I had planned to do barbell split squat, bench press, dumbbell bent over rows, and dumbbell shoulder press that day, but instead had to do split squat with DUMBBELLS and chest press instead of barbell split squat and bench press while the dumbbell bent over rows and dumbbell shoulder press went exactly as planned. Specifically on the chest press, I didn't feel like I was challenged as much as I would be on a bench press. 160 lbs on a chest press is easier than 160 lbs on a bench press I believe. I wish I had realized and planned for this in advance, as I would have increased the chest press weight a little bit to compensate. If on my chest exercise I didn't feel as challenged as I usually do, and finished the prescribed amount of sets and reps somewhat easily, is my post workout meal more likely to turn into fat? One day this shouldn't be a big deal right? Thanks

    • profile image

      Joe 2 years ago

      I have two questions regarding the seated dumbbell overhead press, and one general question

      1. Is 85-90 degrees a good angle for the bench? I realized if it is past 90 then it makes it a lot harder

      2. Should you not touch the weights above your head? I heard this takes the tension off of the shoulder muscles.

      3. Should you also not bring your elbows down past 90 degrees?

      General question: should stretching hurt or no? I believe I put a lot of effort into my syretches after my workout on the toe touch while sitting down. Is this even beneficial? I would obviously not want to put in effort and go through minor pain for something that is not going to be beneficial.

      Thanks!

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Max - no your post workout meal is not more likely to turn to fat, as you'll still have achieved a decent amount of muscular stimulation. And as you say one day should not be a big deal.

      Actually I like dumbbell split squats. I hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand and put my back foot up on a low bench. Always gives a good burn in the quads. Chest press not so much; I wouldn't do them but if it's all you've got it can't be helped for that one session.

      If you find an exercise too easy for your prescribed sets and reps you can always push out a few more reps on your last set. Or do an extra set with a bit more weight. Prescribed amounts of sets and reps are a good idea but should not be set in stone.

      Joe - for seated dumbbell overhead press I put the bench on the last (most vertical) pin. But it's still not as much as 90 degrees. That would be a bit too harsh. A shade less (about 85 degrees) is ideal.

      No, don't touch the weights above your head. But yes bring your elbows well below 90 degrees. You don't engage the side delts properly if you stop at 90 degrees; it's more front delts and triceps. Bring the dumbbells right down till the plates are in line with your shoulders. Same for all pressing movements, e.g. bench press (barbell or dumbbells) work more front delts and triceps in the upper part. The pecs are stimulated most in the lower part, so the bar needs to go down to touch your chest (at about nipple level). Dumbbells need to come right down - you should feel a stretch. Despite what some people say all the research shows full range of motion gives much better results.

      As for stretching; no it should not hurt. There might sometimes be a bit of discomfort, but not actual pain. Toe touch while sitting down; I don't know and I've never seen this. But it doesn't sound like a particularly good idea. Be careful with spinal stretches; they are good but you don't want to injure your back.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      When doing 6 sets of 3 for strength, you should just take as much time as it takes to recover in between sets right? When going for strength does it not matter as much? Thanks.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Also, does stretching 30 minutes after your workout make a difference or no?

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes that's right Jack. Pure strength training you can take as long as you want.

      As for stretching; it depends what you are stretching. General stretching can help with recovery a little, but not much. But stretching the muscles you have worked after you've trained them is a good idea - especially for lats (stretch them straight away, while they are still pumped).

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Thanks Mr.Welburn,

      Today I got to the gym and it closed on me when I was only halfway done with my workout lol. I had planned to do 6 sets of 3 (it was a strength day) of bench press, split squat, dumbbell bent-over rows, and dumbbell overhead press. I got the bench press and dumbbell overhead press done, but not split squat and dumbbell bent-over rows unfortunately.

      What is the best course of action now since I missed my split squat and dumbbell bent-over rows workouts today? Just to add an extra 6 sets of 3 day with this type of workout being the extra day?

      Also, when going from the 4 sets of 6 part of the cycle to the 6 sets of 3 part of the cycle, is it best to just make a very logical guess based on your recent workouts of what weight will be ideal for 6 sets of 3?

      I wouldn't say I successfully completed 6 sets of 3 on the bench press and dumbbell overhead press, at least not with great form. However, even doing 2 reps the last few sets due to fatigue is still very beneficial for gaining strength because it is obviously pretty heavy and low rep right?

      And adding another 6 sets of 3 day would wouldn't hurt at all because it will just improve my strength more to the point where I can then lift a little heavier when the higher rep workouts come around right? At least in terms of the bench press and dumbbell overhead press because I would be doing an extra strength day with those.

      Thank you.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      It's annoying when that happens lol. Personally I would probably go back the next day to finish off and then have a day off before resuming my normal program. I wouldn't do an extra full strength training day repeating what you have done, plus the extra work, in the same week as it will likely be too much.

      Sometimes though you just have to miss out what you have not done entirely, depending on your schedule. Better to do that than to do too much.

      But yes 2 reps is fine for your later sets. Better to stop at 2 than to grind out a 3rd with poor form. It's better to stay away from failure (or even the possibility of failure) when you are doing low reps. Making a logical guess is fine but you should be able to calculate it with reasonable accuracy, and always err on the side of caution when moving from one phase to the next.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Thanks. I noticed you said that it is best not to touch the dumbbells together on dumbbell overhead press, same thing with incline dumbbell bench press?

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Also, when you said it is better to just miss out on what you have not done entirely than do too much. The same for cardio? For example, if I only could do one HIIT session last week because my schedule was tight, should I try to do three this week so that I am averaging two a week? Or in this case would that be too much in one week and it would be better to just miss out on it?

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Hi Jack; no best not to touch the dumbbells. Not that it's a big deal though.

      As for cardio; it depends how well you are recovering. If you can recover well from 3 sessions a week on occasion then it's fine. And if you are eating at a calorie surplus you'll likely be fine. But if recovery is an issue and/or you are on a calorie deficit, best to just miss the session.

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      Eric 2 years ago

      great read.....!!!

      Thank you

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Glad you liked it Eric.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      Thanks. I am not quite as lean as I want to be. I am considering cutting out ALL starchy carbs EXCEPT whole wheat bread for a while, while being a little bit more flexible with how much I may have on workout days and having it to a strict limit on non workout days. Can this work?

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes this could work; it depends on your average daily totals really. As for keeping whole wheat bread, that would not be my first choice to keep as it is filled with all kinds of additives, fat, sugar etc. Although whole wheat pita bread is a lot better and this is what I generally have.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Great information. If I really wanted to lean up but keep my muscle mass, is it ok to do 5-6 HIIT sessions consecutive days or is this way too much? The type of HIIT I am doing is sprinting across a basketball court the vertical way if you are facing a hoop (30 yards I believe) and then fast walking back etc. followed by 15-25 minutes of jogging. Pretty challenging but not killing me.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Forgot to include that I am sprinting and then brisk walking the basketball court 18 times. Found that that is a good number.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Sounds a good HII routine; but I would not do it 5 - 6 times per week if you want to maintain your muscle mass. 3 is plenty; 4 is maximum. I have an article specifically about how to lose fat without losing muscle on my blog that you may find of interest.

    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      Thanks. Is the article the one about carbohydrate cycling? I did a HIIT session four days in a row, Friday-Monday, but assuming Sunday is the start of a new week, I am still in the exact range of doing 2-3 HIIT sessions a week if I am done for the week or only do one more.

      I am currently on a de-load because when testing my one rep maxes last week, the weight I could bench declined. Given this, do you think a de-load was the right option? I feel the one-rep max is so mental and takes a lot of toughness.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      No it's not, but it does discuss carb cycling as one of the 8 points to maintaining muscle whilst losing fat.

      Monday is the start of the week :)

      I would not do a de-load unless you have been stuck for 3 weeks. However you don't have to keep testing your one rep maxes if you don't want to as they do get a bit demanding. Just test your 3 rep max and calculate from that if you prefer.

    • Entourage_007 profile image

      Stuart 2 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      I agree, go down on weight a little bit and do 3 reps. Once you do that you should be able to decide which weight is appropriate for you if you max out with one rep. Great article by the way dwelburn.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yep that's right. Thanks Entourage.

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      Jack 2 years ago

      So should there be a day committed to testing your three rep max after the 3 sessions of 6 times 3?

      What is the hub called?

      Thanks

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes; that's what I'd do. It's not a hub, it's on my blog. Click on my website icon on my profile page here to take you to it. The post is called 'How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle'.

    • profile image

      Stig 22 months ago

      Hey, I can see you are someone who knows what he is talking about. I am going to do full body workouts until I have all the mass, then switch to splits with more isolation exercises to further mold that mass into art.

      My full body workout as of now ( will use this for as long as I get gains ) ;

      - where it says 5x5 means 2 warmup sets of 60% and then 80% followed by 3 working sets.

      On the isolation exercises there is of course no warmup.

      Workout A:

      Back Squats 5×5

      Chin-Ups 5×5

      Bench Press 5×5

      Barbell Curls 2×10

      Wrist Work 2×10

      Calves 2×15-20

      Workout B:

      Back Squats 5×5

      Rows 5×5

      Standing Press 5×5

      Deadlifts 3×5 (2 warm-up sets and 1 working set)

      Wrist Work 2×10

      Calves 2×15-20

      Training Schedule:

      Week 1: A, B, A

      Week 2: B, A, B

      Week 3: A, B, A and so forth.

      Whats your opinion on this? Is this a good routine? - I plan to do this 5 rep heavy stuff most of the time and then after some months take 1-2 months of 10-12 reps to stimulate more hypertrophy from the heavier weights I can now lift because of all the heavy work :D

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 22 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes that looks like a great routine Stig. Though you might find doing back squats three times per week will get a bit too much after a while, so you could do front squats on your deadlift day instead.

      Also I personally would do parallel bar dips on your deadlift day too, as this will give the triceps the extra work they need as well as giving the chest some work on this day too. If you want to keep the number of exercises the same you could drop the wrist work on that day.

      And I wouldn't do quite such high reps for calves. I know a lot of people say you should, but really 10 - 12 will give the best results.

    • profile image

      Stig 22 months ago

      Yeah ok, I agree. Thanks for an informative reply ! :)

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 22 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      You are welcome; glad to be of help. :)

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      john 18 months ago

      Hello so on a full body workout should I Do every body part 3 times a week. for example squats bench press, shoulder press Biceps Tric calf and ABS. I split shoulder and chest.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 18 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes you should do every major muscle group three times per week, but this can be with different exercises. Or you can simply do squat or deadlift with upper body push and upper body pull. So it's ok to split shoulders and chest. But of course if you add dips to shoulder day you'll be working chest as well.

    • profile image

      John 18 months ago

      Hello so I have 3 workouts Monday Wednesday and Friday. For legs squats day one day 2 leg press day 3 Deadlifts. Press day one military press day 2 Bench press day 3 Incline press . Every day I have one Tricep with one Bicep. Thinking of going one more on Triceps and Biceps. Back day 1 T-bar day 2 bent row day 3 well there Deadlifts and pull ups or pull down. upper and lower abs 3 time a week calf also 3 times a week. workout last 1 hour. Is this To much or is this Okay.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 18 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      If you are an absolute beginner I would say it's a bit more than you need. But if you've been training a few months it's fine. I would not add the extra arm work though. One for bi's and one for tri's is enough when you're doing them three days per week. Also I would not do two ab exercises three days per week personally either, unless you only do one or two sets of each.

    • profile image

      John 18 months ago

      Thanks Dwelburn. I have been training for year. I am 47 years old and working out 4 days a week. But looks like I can train more with only 3 days a week and I able to hit everybody part. I am also trying to get my body to rest so it can grow. so I going from a 4 day split to a 3 day full.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 18 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Best of luck John.

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      john 17 months ago

      Hello Dwelburn so what is the best number of set you should do for each body part if you want to build strength and mass. I see some say 5 set I see some saying more so what the best number. should you do 3 set per body part each workout?

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 17 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Depends on the level you are at and how many times per week you train each body part. This article is meant for beginners/early intermediates and 3 sets per body part is fine. When you are a bit more advanced you will need more (say 5 - 8 for large body parts and 3 - 6 for small body parts), but each body part will be trained about twice per week.

    • profile image

      Anton 11 months ago

      Hey your article i very helpful and I love it :)

      I would really appreciate if you could help me with this:

      I found this program suitable for me, what do you think about it? And how many rep and set do you recommend I do?

      Btw I'm 17 years old wight 59 kg/130 pounds and I'm 5,6/170 cm.

      Also can you give me a nutrition advice or program? Thank you :)

      The Program:

      Day 1:

      Squat

      Bench Press

      Lat pulldown

      Military press

      Barbell curls

      Ab machine

      Day 2:

      Deadlift

      Bent over rows

      Incline dumbbell bench press

      Lateral raises

      Tricep extensions

      Hammer curls

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 11 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Thanks Anton; yes that's a pretty decent program, though personally I'd substitute pull-ups for pulldowns. Try about 3 sets of 6 - 8 for your main exercises and 8 - 10 reps for the smaller exercises.

      As for diet, I have a hub on eating to build muscle. Or over at my website (whatreallybuildsmuscle.com) there's an explanation of my favorite dietary protocol - The Renegade Diet.

      Best of luck.

    • profile image

      SHAHRUKH 11 months ago

      plz tell me best suppliment for muscles

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 11 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Whey protein and creatine. BCAA's if you are over 40. Also omega 3's, beta alanine, vitamin D and B vitamins are very useful. A multivitamin or greens supplement if you don't eat plenty of vegetables.

    • profile image

      Joe Cseko jr 11 months ago

      The amount of erroneous information in this article, as well as in the comments section is absolutely staggering. Not a single reputable bodybuilder on the planet still does a full body workout.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 11 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Actually the information here is totally accurate, as I am not talking to "reputable bodybuilders". I am talking to beginners who want to pack on as much muscle as possible as quickly as possible - and this is absolutely the best way to do it.

    • profile image

      Ayman 10 months ago

      Hello,

      I did the seven day work out provided here on calorie bee, along with my own workouts until I got my weight to a weight I am comfortable at. However, I need a diet plan to reduce my body fat (yes six pack goals) in order to get more cut. Do you have any plans that wont take too long? if not, do you recommend any diet plans to get ripped? I thought of redoing the seven day diet plan to help me get ripped, would you recommend that ?

    • profile image

      Lexar 6 months ago

      Great article!! I only have time for working out 2x per week but still want to build mass.

      I used to work out years ago but am now trying to restart again, I would say I am beginner/intermediate. My legs are also falling behind so I upped the leg sets to increase some mass.

      (The gym I use is at work, very convient and free, but doesn't have a squat rack or barbell for bench pressing but has lots of machines, smith machine, and dumbell, kettle balls.)

      Day 1

      -------

      Leg press 4x8

      Dumbell Lung 3x8

      Pull up 3x8

      T bar row 2x8

      Machine bench press 3x8

      Machine Pec Deck fly 2x8

      Dumbbell shoulder press 3x8

      Dumbell lateral raise / superset with machine delt reverse fly 2x8

      Day 2

      -------

      Smith machine squat 4x8

      leg curl 3x8

      Pull up 3x8

      T bar row 2x8

      Dumbell incline press 3x8

      Machine Pec deck fly 2x8

      Machine shoulder press 3x8

      Dumbell lateral raise / superset with machine delt reverse fly 2x8

      What do you think of my routine?

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 6 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes; I think that's a good well-balanced routine. I can see you are doing quite a lot of volume for your legs, so I hope that's working out for you. Personally I don't like Smith Machine squats (or much else on the Smith for that matter), but apart from that, yes you should do well with that, and you are making the most of only having two workouts per week.

    • profile image

      Lexar 6 months ago

      Thank you for the feedback! Considering I don't have a squat rack do you suggest I just remove smith machine and use leg presses? Or is there another exercise I can use to build mass?

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 6 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes, hack squats would be good, but if you don't have a hack machine, doing leg press twice per week is fine. Though you might want to do a different rep range each time. Say 6 - 8 reps one day and 8 - 10 reps the other.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 6 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Ayman - sorry I only just saw your comment. I suggest you go over to my personal site whatreallybuildsmuscle.com and read the best fat loss diet plan. You could also read how to get six pack abs if you wish. Best of luck.

    • greenmind profile image

      greenmind 5 months ago

      Brief and to the point. well-done, thanks!

    • profile image

      LookBackDontStare 4 months ago

      Hi David

      I really enjoyed reading this article, very informative and helpful. I just have a question in regards to the way you split your full body into two workouts.

      I've recently had a gym session with a personal trainer who recommended a full body workout with pretty much the same exercises and rep range 5-8 you've mentioned here. His routine was:

      Bench Press, Squat, Barbell Row, Overhead Press, Dips, Chin Ups, Deadlift in that order. Doing two working sets per exercise for 5-8 reps and using progressive overload over the next few weeks and months. To do this routine three times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri). He mentioned that two working sets per exercise is enough per workout as all the muscle groups are worked across several exercises.

      I just wanted to know what are the pro/cons to doing two working sets of seven exercises three times a week compared to doing 3-4 sets of 4 exercises three times a week like you've written here.

      I'm just a little worried about starting the trainer's full body routine if there's a slight modification (like yours) which would be more beneficial in the long term and provide more sustainable results.

      Look forward to hearing back from you

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 4 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Good to hear from you LookBackDontStare. Your trainer is right in that doing 2 sets will be plenty if you are doing all those exercises 3 times per week. And that schedule will be fine for a while if you are a total beginner and only using light weights. But it will soon become too much and you will make better, more consistent long term progress with my routine.

      I'd stick to 3 working sets most of the time though (rather than 4); and 2 sets of deadlifts is plenty. In fact I made my best progress just doing one working set of 5 reps on the deadlift. Best of luck.

    • profile image

      LookBackDontStare 4 months ago

      Thank you your quick response, I think I'll utilize your workout routine of the full body split into two different shorter workouts and do three working sets for each exercise.

      Just a quick question (again), on Workout 2 why have you selected chin ups and not pull ups? Thank you again for taking the time to write back, you've been very helpful :-)

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 4 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Glad to help LookBackDontStare. Chin-ups have slightly more biceps involvement than pull-ups, but you can do pull-ups if you prefer. No big deal either way.

    • profile image

      sara 3 months ago

      Great article .. i was doing spilt days but i just dont like it im going gym for 3 days but i want a routine that foucs more in my butt ( cellulite ) what should i do ?!! Plz

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 3 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Hi Sara; you need to do squats and make sure you hit parallel with them. Really flex your but as you push up. Also sumo deadlifts. Again focus on the but. Hip thrusts are good too. Eat at a modest calorie deficit, with little if any junk food. And you could get a regular massage and/or skin brushing for the area too. Read my article on weight training for women on my website (whatreallybuildsmuscle.com) if you wish.

    • Mattew James profile image

      Mattew James 3 months ago

      Hello, thank you for this excellent article.

      I practice the routine over three days that you described in your article.

      I have a question about working back on day two.

      By which I could replace the lat pulldown, because it looks a lot like the pulls, and it's a bit too much for me.

      Thank you very much and sorry for my English because I am French ...

      Mat

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 3 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes Mat, you could replace the lat pulldowns with cable rows if you wish.

    • Mattew James profile image

      Mattew James 3 months ago

      ok thank you !!

      What is the best routine in your opinion?

      The one over two days or the one over three days?

      I prefer this on two days ...

      Matt

    • Mattew James profile image

      Mattew James 3 months ago

      Hi David,

      What do you think of this routine on three days :

      Day one :

      - Squat

      - Bench press

      - Barbell row

      - Barbell curl

      Day two :

      - Dead lift

      - Push press

      - Lat pulldown or Pullups

      - Dips

      Day three :

      - Leg press

      - Incline barbell press

      - Cable low row

      - Skull crushers

      Thank you

      Matt

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 3 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      The two workout plan is probably best for complete beginners, but after you've been training a while you may find you do better with the three workout plan. And your version of the three workout plan is perfectly fine.

    • Mattew James profile image

      Mattew James 3 months ago

      Thank for your response David ;)

      On the day three, i have replace hammer curl by skull crushers, do you think is the good idea or is best to stay with the hammer curl ?

      Matt

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 3 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      The reason I have hammer curls is that triceps have been worked hard just two days earlier with parallel bar dips. But if you feel your triceps need more work, proportional to your biceps, it would be ok to have skullcrushers here.

    • profile image

      Prashanth 2 months ago

      Many Thanks for the insight. Please suggest if we can do 20-min of light cardio say treadmill walk on 'off' days.

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Yes that's perfectly fine; in fact it's recommended. Have at least one day per week completely off though.

    • dwelburn profile image
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      David 2 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      You are alternating between a vertical push and a horizontal push, but chest is still trained on your overhead pressing days with parallel bar dips.

      Yes, use the same weight for all your work sets, but do warm-up sets first.

      Do 3 sets for barbell curls, and 2 sets for parallel bar dips.

    • profile image

      daniel 2 months ago

      thanks for the quick response

      do you recommend the program you posted in the article just the way it is or it ok to add some exercises?

      and for how long should i use this routine?

    • profile image

      Daniel 2 months ago

      and 1 more question

      can i change dips with close grip bench ? would it have the same effect?

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 months ago from Chesterfield, UK

      If you are a complete beginner I recommend you do it as written at least for your first few months. After that you can add in an extra exercise or two if you wish.

      Do it for as long as you are making progress, but at some point you'll probably do better if you switch to an upper/lower split (see my article on that).

      And yes you can do close grip bench instead of parallel bar dips.

    • profile image

      LookBackDontStare 2 weeks ago

      Hi David, hope you're well.

      I've been doing your routine as discussed for just over three months now and wanted to ask about progression within weights/reps.

      I've found in the last couple weeks that my progress is starting to slow down. I'm still looking to run the routine as prescribed with the exercises written and the reps between 5-8.

      My question is...Should I only be progressing/increasing my weight when I can hit all 8 reps on all three working sets, then increase the next session? or If I hit 8 reps on my first set should I increase the weight straight away?

      Hope this makes sense and you can help...again

      Thanks

    • dwelburn profile image
      Author

      David 2 weeks ago from Chesterfield, UK

      The idea is to increase the weight when you can do 8 reps on all 3 sets. But generally speaking if you do 8 on your first set you should be able to do it on all of them as you should really be stopping your first set a rep or two short of failure. So the only reason you should go below 8 on subsequent sets is if your rest periods are too short. If you push to your max on all your sets you will find your progress will grind to a halt much sooner than if you hold back a little.

    • profile image

      LookBackDontStare 2 weeks ago

      Thank you for your response

      I was resting two minutes between sets but maybe I was pushing too much weight for 8 in my first set which obviously impacted on sets two and three.

      Thanks

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      David 2 weeks ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Glad to be of help. :)

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