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Please critique my routine

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    Please critique my routine


    21 years old, 200#, 5'9". I have been training seriously for about a year, going for both size and strength. In the past year I have put on 25-30 pounds LBM (10 of those came while on PH cycle, the rest were natural). Now doing my second cycle of pro-hormones. I have read a lot about nutrition, supplements, etc, but don't know too much "theory" about training. It would be great if anyone with an opinion could critique my routine.

    DAY 1: CHEST
    3 x 6-12 Incline (either dumb or bar)
    3 x 6-12 Decline (either dumb or bar)
    3 x 6-12 Peck Deck machine

    DAY 2: BACK
    3 x 6-12 Bench Row
    3 x 6-12 Lat pull-down (behind head) OR pull-ups
    3 x 6-12 Narrow-grip pull-downs

    DAY 3: REST (OPTIONAL)

    DAY 4: SHOULDERS
    3 x 6-12 Dumb press OR military press
    3 x 6-12 Upright bar rows
    3 x 6-12 lateral raises OR forward raises

    DAY 5: LEGS/TRUNK
    3 x 10-15 Squat machine (don't like free-weight squats)
    3 x 10-15 Calves
    3 x 15-30 Ab machine
    3 x 10-15 Lower back extensions

    DAY 6: ARMS
    3 x 6-12 Preacher curls
    3 x 6-12 dumb curls (either regular or hammer)
    3 x 6-12 reverse curls (to work forearm)
    3 x 6-12 Skull crushers
    3 x 6-12 Tricep extension (standing or kneeling with cable)
    3 x 6-12 Dips

    DAY 7: REST

    So basically, five days a week, 3 exercises x 3 sets per day. Reps usually between 6-12.

    My first question is: How does the routine look overall?

    My second question is: I DO EVERY SET TO FAILURE. Is this a mistake? What are the pros and cons of this method?

    My third question: Should I be doing some sort of progression within my 3 sets for each exercise. Usually, I just stick to the same weight and end up doing 12-10-7 or 10-6-4 or something like that. Sometimes if I get 12-15 on the first set, I will up the weight a little for the last two. Is this good technique?

    Thanks for any input.

    -Savagery

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    That looks real similar to a 5 day split I did last summer. After 8 weeks, my rotator cuffs were killing me from having hit them from different angles 3 days in a row. I had shoulder surgery on torn cartilage and ligaments many, many years ago so I'm more sensitive than most.

    Every training thread recently has turned into a hardgainer fight, but I'll risk it and be honest and admit I also lost strength while doing my 5 day split for 8 weeks.

    Everyone responds differently so your results may be different than mine.

    ~Todd
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    If you lost strength doing a five day split, what has worked for you? What are you doing now?



    Quote Originally Posted by tatortodd
    That looks real similar to a 5 day split I did last summer. After 8 weeks, my rotator cuffs were killing me from having hit them from different angles 3 days in a row. I had shoulder surgery on torn cartilage and ligaments many, many years ago so I'm more sensitive than most.

    Every training thread recently has turned into a hardgainer fight, but I'll risk it and be honest and admit I also lost strength while doing my 5 day split for 8 weeks.

    Everyone responds differently so your results may be different than mine.

    ~Todd
    •   
       

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    Quote Originally Posted by savagery
    21 years old, 200#, 5'9". I have been training seriously for about a year, going for both size and strength. In the past year I have put on 25-30 pounds LBM (10 of those came while on PH cycle, the rest were natural). Now doing my second cycle of pro-hormones. I have read a lot about nutrition, supplements, etc, but don't know too much "theory" about training. It would be great if anyone with an opinion could critique my routine.

    DAY 1: CHEST
    3 x 6-12 Incline (either dumb or bar)
    3 x 6-12 Decline (either dumb or bar)
    3 x 6-12 Peck Deck machine

    DAY 2: BACK
    3 x 6-12 Bench Row
    3 x 6-12 Lat pull-down (behind head) OR pull-ups
    3 x 6-12 Narrow-grip pull-downs

    DAY 3: REST (OPTIONAL)

    DAY 4: SHOULDERS
    3 x 6-12 Dumb press OR military press
    3 x 6-12 Upright bar rows
    3 x 6-12 lateral raises OR forward raises

    DAY 5: LEGS/TRUNK
    3 x 10-15 Squat machine (don't like free-weight squats)
    3 x 10-15 Calves
    3 x 15-30 Ab machine
    3 x 10-15 Lower back extensions

    DAY 6: ARMS
    3 x 6-12 Preacher curls
    3 x 6-12 dumb curls (either regular or hammer)
    3 x 6-12 reverse curls (to work forearm)
    3 x 6-12 Skull crushers
    3 x 6-12 Tricep extension (standing or kneeling with cable)
    3 x 6-12 Dips

    DAY 7: REST

    So basically, five days a week, 3 exercises x 3 sets per day. Reps usually between 6-12.

    My first question is: How does the routine look overall?

    My second question is: I DO EVERY SET TO FAILURE. Is this a mistake? What are the pros and cons of this method?

    My third question: Should I be doing some sort of progression within my 3 sets for each exercise. Usually, I just stick to the same weight and end up doing 12-10-7 or 10-6-4 or something like that. Sometimes if I get 12-15 on the first set, I will up the weight a little for the last two. Is this good technique?

    Thanks for any input.

    -Savagery
    I'm really not a fan of five day splits. I think it would be better to reduce to four or five days a week.

    Some other comments. From my research upright rows = bad, as do lat pull downs behind the neck.

    Pec deck isn't neccessary.

    You may not like free weight squats but you won't make much progress without them. They are the king of all exercises for a reason.

    Now the changes I would make would be the following. I will post a four day split in this instance.

    Monday:Legs
    Squat3x8-12
    Stiff Leg Deadlift3x8-12
    Lunge3x8-12
    Standing Calf Raise2x8-12
    Seated Calf Raise2x8-12

    Tuesday:Chest and Triceps
    Flat Bench Press3x8-12
    Incline Bench Press3x8-12
    Dips(leaning forward)3x8-12
    Close Grip Bench Press2x8-12
    Skullcrushers2x8-12

    Thursday:Back and Biceps
    Deadlift3x8-12
    Pull Up3x8-12
    Bent Row3x8-12
    Straight Bar Curl2x8-12
    Hammer Curl2x8-12

    Friday:Shoulders, Traps, and Abdominals
    Military Press2x8-12
    Side Lateral Raise1x8-12
    Bent Over Lateral Raise1x8-12
    Shrug3x8-12
    Weighted Crunch2x8-12
    Weighted Reverse Crunch2x8-12

    Just an idea
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    Why do you say that upright rows and lat pull downs behind the back are bad?



    Quote Originally Posted by pegasus
    I'm really not a fan of five day splits. I think it would be better to reduce to four or five days a week.

    Some other comments. From my research upright rows = bad, as do lat pull downs behind the neck.

    Pec deck isn't neccessary.

    You may not like free weight squats but you won't make much progress without them. They are the king of all exercises for a reason.

    Now the changes I would make would be the following. I will post a four day split in this instance.

    Monday:Legs
    Squat3x8-12
    Stiff Leg Deadlift3x8-12
    Lunge3x8-12
    Standing Calf Raise2x8-12
    Seated Calf Raise2x8-12

    Tuesday:Chest and Triceps
    Flat Bench Press3x8-12
    Incline Bench Press3x8-12
    Dips(leaning forward)3x8-12
    Close Grip Bench Press2x8-12
    Skullcrushers2x8-12

    Thursday:Back and Biceps
    Deadlift3x8-12
    Pull Up3x8-12
    Bent Row3x8-12
    Straight Bar Curl2x8-12
    Hammer Curl2x8-12

    Friday:Shoulders, Traps, and Abdominals
    Military Press2x8-12
    Side Lateral Raise1x8-12
    Bent Over Lateral Raise1x8-12
    Shrug3x8-12
    Weighted Crunch2x8-12
    Weighted Reverse Crunch2x8-12

    Just an idea
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagery
    If you lost strength doing a five day split, what has worked for you? What are you doing now?
    When I was lifting for highschool football (many, many years ago), I made great gains lifting upper body one day and lower body the next. I'd do this 5 days a week. I'd definitely never do this again nor would I recommend it to anyone.

    During college (many years ago), I made great gains doing a 5 day split. More on this in a later paragraph.

    Last year, I made pretty good gains doing a 3 day split and changing my exercises every month. My gains started to decrease so I added more sets (workouts got longer as a result), and my gains kept decreasing. I remembered my success on 5 day splits during college, and thought it'd be a great way to cut down the amount of time in the gym without decreasing how many sets I did for that body part.

    My current routine is at the bottom of this thread. I'm realistic enough to know that this routine won't work forever, and sometime in the future I'll have to re-evaluate and put together something different.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is listen you your body, keep an eye on the scale, keep an eye on your progress, and be willing to try something different if what you're doing is no longer working.

    ~Todd
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagery
    Why do you say that upright rows and lat pull downs behind the back are bad?
    Both have a high incidence rate for injuries. I never had an injury from behind the neck lat pulls but switched to front lat pulls for safety. However, I've had arthroscopic shoulder surgery after tearing cartilage and ligaments doing the last rep of my last set of upright rows.

    ~Todd
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    Taking into consideration your age and the fact that you should be able to recover, I think your split is decent other than two things. You are doing three exercises for all large body parts such as chest, back but only one for legs? You are also doing three exercises for your bi's and tri's. I would cut a set off of the bi's and tri's since you have already worked them earlier in the week with chest and back. Also you need more leg work. Squat machine squats are a waste of time IMO and you should do barbell squats. I know you hate them but don't we all. Plus, you need some hamstring work in there as well, leg curls or stiff leg deadlifts, or you could easily create an imbalance in your leg muscles. More legs, less arms.
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    Thanks for your input. You're right about the legs. I'm definitely going to add in hamstrings and possibly supplement my squats with some other machines.

    What makes barbell squats so superior to the machine? Everyone says barbell is better, but I haven't really heard a good reason why. Personally, I feel like I get a good workout from the machine. I always feel extremely spent afterwards ("feel the burn"). And I also feel like the machine allows me to push myself to the limit more safely than with a barbell.



    Quote Originally Posted by Trapark666
    Taking into consideration your age and the fact that you should be able to recover, I think your split is decent other than two things. You are doing three exercises for all large body parts such as chest, back but only one for legs? You are also doing three exercises for your bi's and tri's. I would cut a set off of the bi's and tri's since you have already worked them earlier in the week with chest and back. Also you need more leg work. Squat machine squats are a waste of time IMO and you should do barbell squats. I know you hate them but don't we all. Plus, you need some hamstring work in there as well, leg curls or stiff leg deadlifts, or you could easily create an imbalance in your leg muscles. More legs, less arms.
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    The main reason I prefer barbell squats over leg presses or machine squats is that when using a barbell there are many other stabilizer muscles other than just the quadraceps that are involved. The lower back, glutes, hamstrings and to some extent even the traps are worked. Plus, there are a few studies out that claim the CNS is stimulated more while performing barbell squats which also leads to more growrth hormone being released in the body. This, in turn, will give you better overall body development.
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    big deads, big squats=big bench

    I also had shoulder pains when Imixed heavy shaping with heavy pressing for long periods of time.
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    I would have to agree with those that say you need to use freeweights to make real gains, and that you dont really need to hit the arms so hard i would say try to work something else in also like back, and the best back workout i think being widegrip pullups and Deadlifts. Finally to get a good chest you MUST bench its probly one of the most important upper body workout you can do IMO.
  

  
 

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