The Best Gym Workout Routines for Men
– In gym try to use each rest interval in an active way: stretch the muscle you are training, imitate the exercise workout without weight to train its performance technique, take a small walk, rub worked muscles with your hands. The main idea of time between sets is to make rest more efficient.
– When do gym workout exercise, you should follow two rules:
1. Don’t be worry by anything unimportant;
2. Everything but the training is unimportant.
Such psychological set will help you to gain the required mental mood for gym workout.
– Speed of an workout exercise movement should be average. Weight lifting (the positive phase) should be quicker than its lowering (the negative phase). While the first one lasts approximately 2 seconds, the second one – approximately 3-4 seconds. Breathe out during the positive phase; when lowering the training weight, breathe in slowly through your nostrils. Don’t reduce an workout exercise amplitude; don’t help yourself by ‘jerks’ of the whole body (don’t cheat). It’s better to reduce the weight but to perform an exercise in the required way. Correct biomechanics of an workout exercise excludes hurry.
– When do gym workout exercise, it’s very important to reach muscle failure. Remember: “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger”. That means that having completed a set, you are to be sure that your last repetition was the last one you were able to do correctly. If you are not sure in this, it means that you are trying to deceive yourself and need to increase the basic weight. When do gym workout exercise, always remember about the overload principle. I can often hear such excuses like ‘I just do fitness’ but I think that this case represents no fitness but self-admiration. Any kind of activity (including fitness gym workout) needs to have its final goal; but if your goal is just to visit a gym and show other people what a great person you are – it’s no useful for your body.
— Use your rest intervals between gym workout exercises also to write down in your workout routine log the weight and quantity of reps you managed to perform. Compare the current numbers with the previous ones and get ready to overload them. Don’t be sad if your present weights are rather light; think about how good it is that you are sticking to this system and understanding your progress. With such persistence you’ll be able to catch up with local fitness gym favourites who got used to work with heavy weights but haven’t changed them for years and leave them far behind in short time. In comparison with them your gym workout achievements will be constantly increasing. Still, it’s very important that you never lose your self-confidence.
SEQUENCE OF GYM WORKOUT EXERCISES
Muscles building better if we workout them in a certain sequence.
You need to start a gym workout with compound (multi-joint) exercises and finish with isolation (single-joint) ones because strength growth is especially important for muscle building. These two parameters appear to be in direct proportion; and if you tire one of muscles that participate in a compound exercise by performing an isolation one you’ll not be able to achieve the maximum result. For example, if you’d trained front deltoid muscles by means of Dumbbell Shoulder Raises before performing Bench Press they will limit your basic weight for this exercise because it engages not only chest muscles but also triceps, biceps and front deltoid muscles as well. Remember the following rule: ‘The strength of a chain is defined in accordance with the strength of its weakest link’.
Always start your gym workout routines with big muscles groups that are the following: legs, back, chest; small ones – deltoid muscles, biceps and triceps. Here is the descending body parts size list:
You should take into consideration the fact that many gym workout exercise engage not only a target muscle (muscle group) but also other muscles (muscle groups). For example, you are training your back without even thinking that your biceps muscles are working hard as well. If you schedule biceps exercises for your next gym workout session you risk to over-train these muscles because for them it’ll be the second training in a row. This is the list of small muscles that work together with big ones:
BACK – biceps and rear deltoid muscles
CHEST – triceps and front deltoid muscles
SHOULDERS – triceps
It’s better to workout certain muscle groups in pairs.
For example, if you complete a triceps set before a biceps one it will be no good because when curling your arm you’ll have to overcome additional resistance of contracting triceps; and it means that you won’t be able to train your biceps with 100% efficiency. What should you do then? – It’s very simple: interchange the sets. First, complete biceps Barbell Curls, then – Barbell (Dumbbell) Triceps Extensions.
Such gym workout training of antagonist muscles is very effective. Antagonist muscles are such muscles that take opposite effects on our body. By performing a set to engage an antagonist muscle between basic sets you additionally extend a basic training muscle, help it to recover quicker and increase its blood supply. These are examples of workout antagonist muscle pairs:
quadriceps – hamstrings
back – chest
back – former and middle deltoid muscles (presses)
chest – back deltoid muscles (raises)
bicep – tricep
These are fundamental rules of composing a gym workout exercise program and splitting schedule. Any successful athlete knows about these questions and understands their importance.
GYM WORKOUT ROUTINES: HOW MANY SETS?
The question about the quantity of gym workout exercise sets is rather important. Some body builders say that 1-2 sets till muscle ‘failure’ are enough for muscle growth and all additional sets will only spoil it. Others are sure that an efficient gym workout training requires numerous sets. Who is right, after all? – Nobody is, as usual. The truth always lies somewhere in the middle.
There are people who need only 1-2 sets; there are others for whom 5 sets isn’t enough. It all depends on genetic and (even more often) on psychological features that allow an athlete to get ready for maximum efficiency of the only but the most important gym workout set. The absolute majority of people (and especially beginners) are not capable of such 100% efficiency.
Besides it, even if you are a lucky man who can workout effectively performing such a limited quantity of sets, you’ll have to do at least two more sets to warm up (otherwise you’ll definitely traumatize yourself). Ligaments and muscles are to be warmed up before hard gym workout; besides it, light-weight warm-up sets prepare not just our body but also our mental state for maximum efforts.
From a practical point of view, you shouldn’t run to extremes. You should do neither minimum nor maximum quantity of an workout exercise sets: stick to the middle. For example, do 2 warm-up sets, then 3 basic ones – it’ll be enough for the first exercise. So, if your basic weight for 8 reps of Bench Presses is 250 lb it’ll look something like this;
120 lb X 15 reps (warm-up)
200 lb X 10 reps (warm-up)
250 lb X 8 reps (the major workout exercise set)
250 lb X 6-8 reps (the 2nd workout exercise set)
200 lb X 10 reps (the last workout exercise set (‘pumping’))
The first two sets we complete with reduced weight and numerous reps. This technique assists safer and more efficient warm-up of muscles and ligaments. This warm-up is followed by the first workout set. It is the most important one. Try to increase the barbell weight for this set regularly. The following (the 2nd workout) set is also a power one; it additionally stimulates your working muscles. Most probably, you won’t be able to complete the same quantity of reps in this set because you muscles are be rather tired after the previous one. The third (the last workout) set is the finishing one; here you should increase the quantity of reps in order to feel your muscles and pump them with blood to the maximum extent. To do it you’ll need to decrease the barbell weight because the working muscles are extremely tired.
What comes to the following (2nd and 3rd) gym workout exercises, we are not doing two warm-up sets with light weights because our muscles are already warmed up enough. We’ll need only one preliminary light weight set before basic ones in order we feel the movement biomechanics and get ready psychologically. For example, if our second exercise is Dumbbell Presses it can look like this:
Dumbbell Presses (50 lb and 8 reps (our maximum))
25 lb X 15 reps (warm-up)
50 lb X 8 reps (the major workout exercise set)
50 lb X 8 reps (the 2nd workout exercise set)
25 lb X 15 reps (the last workout exercise set (‘pumping’))
Why do I insist on several workout exercise sets? – That’s because beginner cannot feel muscles well. That’s why, if you are not advanced body builder, you’ll simply not be able to achieve 100% efficiency of a single set; but several workout sets will enable you to do all what’s to be done.
It is quite possible (if you are beginner) that you’ll learn how to workout efficiently in gym using only one set of high-intensity power work; but now the time hasn’t yet come. There are successful body builders who prefer gym workout exercise program with limited quantity of reps; and there are those who like multi-set trainings; but all of them started with the same time-proved fitness gym workout routines like the one described above. I believe that you’ll be able to feel its efficiency as well.
GYM WORKOUT ROUTINE INTENSITY
Ways to Increase the workout intensity are for advanced users only! Beginners shouldn’t bump up the intensity because the gym workout itself is usually hard enough. It would be useful information for those who are entering a body building competition or who have worked out for quite some time, doing a simple routine doesn't cut it.
Let’s come to the point at once. The main gym workout efficiency criterion is its intensity. It includes the following three major parameters:
1. The Amount of Weight used
2. Duration of Rest Between Sets and Exercises
3. Repetition Velocity (method and speed of performing exercises)
That means the following: the heavier workout weights are, the shorter rest intervals are – the HIGHER gym workout intensity is.
In the very beginning you need to set exactly the first point as your main priority. Regular increase of basic weights guarantees growth and increase of intensity of your gym workouts. In bodybuilding everything is about workout overload: when increasing it you force your muscles adapt to new loads and, consequently, grow. But when increasing workout weights we are to keep the correct exercise movement biomechanics and perform the required quantity of reps, that we had already talked about. If you increase weights but sacrifice performance technique your intensity does not increase because you deceive your muscles by an easier way of performing workout exercises.
You need to work harder and harder with each new gym workout session. Only in this case it’ll mean that your load intensity is increasing; and increase of workout weights is the most appropriate time-proved way of intensity growth.
Another way of training intensity increase is shortening of rest intervals (and the duration of the whole gym workout session in general). More rapid training rate will force you rest less during rest intervals; and it’ll be exactly the increase of workout intensity. If you remember, we decided to stick to one-minute’s rest intervals; and this is quite a short time; that’s why it would be unreasonable to shorten it even more at the current stage. If you do it than your training will become less of power and more of endurance character; and that will not allow you to build muscles.
The third method to increase intensity concerns the most technically correct way of performance of each workout exercise movement. These techniques are extremely dangerous; you need to use them very carefully because they can easily cause over-training state of your organism.
I’ll describe these gym workout techniques in brief in order you know about this matter; but what comes to their mastering – I advise you to use only positive failure.
Do or Die! Intensity techniques
- POSITIVE FAILURE
- FORCED REPS
- PARTIAL REPS
- NEGATIVE REPS
So, let’s start. The first station of our journey is POSITIVE FAILURE. It’s not difficult to reach muscle failure when performing a particular workout exercise; the thing you need to remember is that you are to be sure in efficiency of this failure.
What else can you do? – CHEATING. It’s idea lies in the following: you assist your muscles to overcome the most difficult points of an exercise with the help of your whole body. You force muscles to complete 2-3 more reps in excess to muscle failure and by doing this you additionally stimulate muscle fibers. This gym workout technique is not for beginners because it’s extremely difficult and dangerous.
Cheating is followed by FORCED REPETITIONS which you should to do together with your partner (spotter) after your force has ‘died’ completely. For example, when performing Bench Presses on reaching positive failure your partner helps you to complete several additional reps.
The next gym workout technique is PARTIAL REPETITIONS. It’s absolutely clear: you limit an workout exercise trajectory, for example, by a third or a quarter of its amplitude; and due to this you can ‘squeeze’ out of yourself several additional reps in excess to muscle failure. It would seem that the rules of intensity increase prescribe you to increase this amplitude but not to reduce it; but you shouldn’t forget that after muscle failure you are almost a dead man. And for a dead man partial reps are just the right thing to do.
We go on: REST PAUSE WORKOUT. Do you feel it – something starts burning. It’s your muscles – you wanted it, didn’t you? So, the procedure is the following: on finishing a set you put the working weight back on a rack or just on the floor and rest right on the spot for about 20 seconds; then you start working with the weight till you are no more; than again – 20 seconds of rest… and again… and again…
Now we switch to STRIPTEASE (it is not about my occupation))). In the beginning of an workout exercise you should load the barbell with maximum weight but don’t put on locks in order your partners can easily ‘pull’ off the barbell plates according to your command. Start performing the workout set; as soon as you reach muscle failure, command to remove two plates; than again work till failure and command to remove the next two plates – and so on till there are no plates on the bar.
Finally we came to the most difficult gym workout techniques. The first of them is STATICS (static failure). It’s performed like this: after reaching failure you lift or lower (depending on the exercise) an apparatus by several inches or leave it in the upper point of the exercise trajectory and try to keep it there for as long as you can.
And the last one is for those who have no restraints – NEGATIVE REPETITIONS. After you reached failure your partner helps you to lift the weight to the upper point but you are to lower it absolutely on your own and to do it slowly, deliberately slowly. Did you manage it? – Well then, – UP once again with the partner’s help… and so on, till you reach one more (this time absolute or negative) failure when you will be able to move the weight not by one inch.
If you decided to try these techniques – then find spotting partners obligatory!
I need to stress this one more time: beginners should first apply all possibilities of traditional gym workout techniques and switch to the covered ones (that increase training intensity) only after this.
GYM WORKOUT ROUTINE & PERIODIZATION
I think that disputes about the best way to elaborate gym workout routines will never stop. Not long ago all bodybuilders trained monotonously throughout the whole year; now they use so-called periodization system. This gym workout technique was adopted from professional sport and its main idea is the following: when you reach your overload limit and basic weights can’t be increased furthermore you need to reduce your working loads abruptly (Back-Cycling) in order your organism recover and rest. After this you start climbing your power ‘mountain’ once again. It was found out that such wavy intensity variations buff muscle mass and strength much more effective than the previous monotonous workout programs.
So, periodization is a step cycling of an athlete’s workout intensity and workout volumes to achieve maximum amounts of muscle mass and strength… Each cycle presupposes moving from low volumes and high intensity to high volumes and low intensity. A typical gym workout cycle includes three phases: strength training, hypertrophy phase and ‘drying’.
The example of a gym workout periodization cycle for a half a year period:
- power mesocycle: 2-4 weeks
- bulking Up mesocycle (gaining ‘mass’): 8-12 weeks
- Pumping mesocycle: 8-10 weeks
Such half a year period is called macrocycle; each of its parts is recognized as a mesocycle; each training week within the limits of a mesocycle is called a microcycle.
It is very important gym workout technique. I am going to write article about it soon.
Gym Workout Programs (Levels)
O.k. You have mastered two levels.
….and now You need to decide what to do father.
First of all Let’s recollect all “stages” of our way.
Full body gym workout routine program (look like this one):
Day 1: Full body (Chest, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, abs, legs, calves)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Full body (Legs, calves, back, abs, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps)
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Full body (Back, chest, legs, triceps, biceps, calves, shoulders, abs)
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Rest
Then (after 6-12 months) You became a pre-intermediate user.
So, began: twice a week divided gym workout routines (look like this one)
A) Legs Back Abs
1. Crunches 4 sets Х maximum quantity of reps
2. Barbell Squats 2Х20 (warm-up) + 3Х10
3. Lying Leg Curs 1Х20 (warm-up) + 3Х10
4. Pull-Ups or Pulldowns 4Х8-10
5. Bent-over rows 4Х8-10
B) Chest, Shoulders, Arms
1. Barbell Incline Bench Presses (30°) 2×15 (warm-up)+ 3×6-8
2. Dumbbell Bench Presses 4×6-8
3. Standing Barbell Presses (Military Presses) 1×10 (warm-up) + 3Х8-10
4. Barbell Curls 1×15 (warm-up)+4×6-10
5. Dips 4×6-10
Another example of : twice a week divided gym workout routines
1. Calf Raise 3×15-20
2. Squat 3×10-12
3. Deadlift 3×6-10
4. pullups 2×8-12
5. Barbell Rows 2×6-10
6. Barbell biceps curl 2×8-10
7. hammer cur 2×8-12
8. crunches 2×15-20
1. Calf Raise 3×15-20
2. barbell bench press 2×6-8
3. incline dumbbell press 2×6-10
4. lateral raises 2×8-12
5. military press 2×6-10
6. Close Grip Bench Press 2×6-8 or triceps extension 2×8-10
7. Barbell Shrugs 2×8-12
8. crunches 2×15-20
In this program you can see only working sets (without warm-ups).
Intermediate Gym Workout Program
So, you got over the one-two years’ line. What should you do next?
First of all you need to decide whether the initial gym workout program remains efficient for fulfilment of your goals. If you continue gaining strength and muscle mass there is no need to change anything. This rule regards any gym workout program. While a program works don’t change it. Often beginners jump from one workout routine to another each week hoping for better results. Such practice doesn’t lead to anything good; bodybuilding is a sport for the patient. Sometimes one has to wait for results for months. And if you switch workout programs too often you simply don’t allow this result to occur.
Take into consideration the fact that during the first several weeks your power results had been growing so fast not so much because of growth of strength and muscle mass as because of adaptation of your body to a more efficient variant of workout exercise performance. In the future such adaptation will slow down; but it doesn’t mean that growth of muscle mass and strength slow down as well. Actually it’s on the contrary: since this moment all power additions are only at the expense of increase of muscle mass but not at the expense of mechanical adaptation to workout exercise movement.
So, let’s suppose that your progress when training according to the first gym workout program slowed down. What should you change?
You should start applying specialized trainings to muscle groups. It would be a good idea to train legs on a separate training day: this will enable you to workout the biggest muscle group more efficiently.
You shouldn’t reduce rest duration (you can even increase it).
How does it look like? – You split your compound body workout into three separate training sessions: you train back together with deltoid muscles, chest – together with arms and leave a separate day for legs. You should distribute rest days according to your own wish and feelings; but it shouldn’t be less than 2 rest days per week. The most optimal way is to alternate each training day with one rest day like you were doing during the previous program. So, your new gym workout can look like this:
2. Back and Deltoids
3. Chest and Arms
And here’s an exercise complex to suite this gym workout program:
From now you should workout each big muscle group (Back, Legs, Chest) individually. You added one more basic exercise for each of main muscle groups and increased rest duration between trainings of the same muscles.
There are a lot of another Intermediate gym workouts. You should understand that each program has the advantages and the disadvantages. I wrote some more variants of gym workouts for Intermediate:
• Back, Shoulders
• Chest, Arms
• Legs, Abs
— Shoulders, Arms
— Legs, Abs
— Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
— Legs, Abs
More Week Rest
Advanced gym workout routines
Pull-ups 4X 6-12
Barbell Rows 1X15 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
Cable Rows 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
Bent-over rows 3X 6-12
Dumbbell Shrugs 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
Deadlift 2X15 (warm-up) 3X 6-12
Incline barbell bench press 2X15-20 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
Incline dumbbell press 1X15 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
Incline dumbbell fly 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
Decline dumbbell fly 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
military press 2X15 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
dumbbell shoulder press 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
lateral raises 1X15 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
rear delt rises 1X15 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
Barbell biceps curl 2X15 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
hammer curl 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
preacher curl 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
Close Grip Bench Press 2X15 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
triceps extension 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
pushdown 1-X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
crunches 4X max
squats 2X15-20 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
leg press 1X15-20 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
Leg extension 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
stiff leg deadlift 2X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
lying leg curls 1X15 (warm-up) + 3X 6-12
standing calf raises 1-2X15-20 (warm-up) + 4X 6-12
I hope, this information will help you to get enjoyment from gym workout.
The Best Gym Workout Routines for Men is Written by: Dennis Borisov
© April 2010 www.gymper.com. All rights reserved. Reprint article with link only.