critique my workouts please?

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    beachbrat79's Avatar
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    Question critique my workouts please?


    I'm considering changing up my workout routine and splits but I'd like some input to hear what you guys think about the change.



    I'm 6'4, 260 lbs and athletic, but not in the best shape i've ever been in. I'd be happy if I could be down to about 240-245 lbs and around 8-10% bf. I really don't want to sacrifice strength to drop the weight though so if I stay at 260 i wouldn't be upset.



    My goals are mixed as I'm already a pretty big guy. Chest, back and abs I want to tone without really losing the strength I already have. Arms and shoulders I want to increase strength and size, and legs I want to increase strength without adding too much more size. I already have enough trouble finding jeans that are loose enough in the thighs.



    My current splits are:

    Mon/Thur - Chest and Tricep

    Tues/Fri - Back and Bicep

    Wed/Sat - Shoulders

    Sat - Legs

    I do cardio 4x per week. Usually rowing machine for 30-45 minutes twice a week, and running for distance twice a week.



    I do abs 3-4 times a week after the other workouts. Abs usually involve swiss ball crunches, hanging leg lifts, and a twisting decline situp or crunch

    I am looking to go to a split that is one muscle group per day and just adding an extra exercise b/c the workouts above take way too long. I'm looking to go to this:


    Mon - Chest

    Tues - Tricep

    Wed - Back

    Thur - Bicep

    Fri - Shoulders

    Sat - Legs

    I'm thinking of adding another day of cardio in there also, maybe a day on the bike or another rowing day.



    in the 3-day rotation, I did the following workouts for each muscle group



    Chest:

    flat bench (barbell) 4 sets 8-10 reps - increasing weight each set

    incline bench (dumbbell) 3 sets 10 reps - increasing weight

    decline bench (barbell) 3 sets 10 reps - same weight OR High Cable Crosses: 4 sets 12 reps - same weight



    Tricep:

    Overhead Skullkrusher (curl bar) 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight

    Overhead dumbbell press 5 sets 8 reps - same weight (largest dumbbell available)

    Close-grip flat bench (barbell) - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight

    Superset - Triangle pushdowns - 5 sets 8 reps - increasing weight

    Reverse grip pull downs - 5 sets 8 reps - increasing weight

    Weighted Dips - 2 sets 12 reps, then 1 set to failure



    Back:

    Wide Grip Pulldown - 4 sets 8 reps - increasing weight

    Seated Row - 4 sets 8 reps - increasing weight

    Standing bent over row - 3 sets 8 reps - increasing weight

    Dumbbell One arm Row - 3 sets 8 reps - increasing weight



    Bicep:

    Standing Curl (barbell) - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight

    Preacher Curl 1/2 motion (dumbbell) - 5 sets 5 reps increasing weight

    standing Curl (dumbbell) - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight

    iso curls (dumbbell) - 4 sets 8 reps - same weight

    Rope curls - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight



    Shoulders:

    Seated Military (barbell) - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight

    Seated Military (dumbbell) - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight
    Front Raises (dumbbell) - 4 sets 8 reps - same weight
    Lat Raises (dumbbell) - 4 sets 8 reps - same weight
    Shrugs (barbell) - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight

    Legs:
    Squats (barbell) - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight
    Leg Press (sled) - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight
    Hamstring Curl - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight
    Quad extension - 5 sets 5 reps - increasing weight
    Straight Leg deadlift - 4 sets 8 reps - same weight

    I want to switch to a 5 or 6 day rotation b/c these workouts take too long when combined. Do you see areas that I could improve to help better achieve my goals? I'm open to any suggestions including changing the rotation of my splits. Please feel free to give suggestions as to other exercises to do also if you see overkill or repetition in any muscle group.

    Thanks for the help

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    hey


    What's up man, I'm kinda in the same boat as I'm a relatively big dude that's trying to slim down while making muscle/strength gains. I've been experimenting a bit with my workouts for a while and I'm starting to understand more, so I'll give you my two cents...

    First, the way your workouts are split up is not doing you much good. In your former workout, you only had ONE rest day, and the same with your upcoming routine. In fact, I would say the new workout you outlines there, where you work out one muscle group a fay, is WORSE than the former.

    1) YOU NEED MORE REST TIME!!! Lifting weights six times a week is not going to do much good.

    2) You really need to cut back on the number of exercises and sets you're doing. You may think more sets is better, but looking at your general routine I'm willing to bet that the weights are light. Also, while it's beneficial to do a variety of exercises for a muscle group, it's actually better to concentrate on having more intense sessions with a couple exercises instead of four or five, and then later on, you can switch up the exercises you're doing to shock your muscles into new growth.

    What I would recommend is 3-4 lifting sessions a week, with 2-3 exercises for each muscle group, and added weight and intensity.

    And cardio is CRUCIAL. I suggest everyday you are not lifting that you do intense cardio, and if you want, light cardio on maybe a day or two that you do lift. I'm a big dude, but it's gotten to the point where I go to the park and straight up RUN two miles 3-4 times a week, and it's really accelerated fat loss and strengthened my stabilizer muscles.

    I'm telling you this from experience because I was in the same situation as you. QUALITY, not quantity.
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    thanks for the tips on rest time.

    I have considered it, but a few of the trainers that I know personally said that as long as I'm not feeling continuous muscle pain, then I am probably recovering enough per muscle group where I'm not doing harm with those splits. And honestly, if I take 2 days off I just don't feel good. I sit behind a desk staring at a computer screen 12 hrs a day mon-thurs, and then I'm one of those big armed, no definition bouncers (you know, the ones they were talking about in the arms thread ) thurs-sat nights. Other than dragging the random fighter out of the club, my jobs really are inactive so my only exercise is the gym which really feels good. I do the cardio b/c I know I need it but I don't really like it. I much prefer the weight side.

    On the density of the weights I use, depending on your strength they may be considered light. chest and back are lighter maybe 70% max weight, but bis/tris/shoulders/legs are by no means light and the first two sets I can probably do 8-10 if I really wanted, but by set 3 its down to maybe 6, and by set 5, its usually only 4 reps with a big spot to get 5. I can list the weights and reps from my last workout if it would help, but if its considered light, I don't know what heavy is then b/c I wouldn't be able to do it.

    I do appreciate the advice though. I'm trying to figure out a way to involve more cardio w/o hurting my weight training though. Thanks again
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    ...


    Quote Originally Posted by beachbrat79
    thanks for the tips on rest time.

    I have considered it, but a few of the trainers that I know personally said that as long as I'm not feeling continuous muscle pain, then I am probably recovering enough per muscle group where I'm not doing harm with those splits. And honestly, if I take 2 days off I just don't feel good. I sit behind a desk staring at a computer screen 12 hrs a day mon-thurs, and then I'm one of those big armed, no definition bouncers (you know, the ones they were talking about in the arms thread ) thurs-sat nights. Other than dragging the random fighter out of the club, my jobs really are inactive so my only exercise is the gym which really feels good. I do the cardio b/c I know I need it but I don't really like it. I much prefer the weight side.

    On the density of the weights I use, depending on your strength they may be considered light. chest and back are lighter maybe 70% max weight, but bis/tris/shoulders/legs are by no means light and the first two sets I can probably do 8-10 if I really wanted, but by set 3 its down to maybe 6, and by set 5, its usually only 4 reps with a big spot to get 5. I can list the weights and reps from my last workout if it would help, but if its considered light, I don't know what heavy is then b/c I wouldn't be able to do it.

    I do appreciate the advice though. I'm trying to figure out a way to involve more cardio w/o hurting my weight training though. Thanks again
    No problem...

    While I would agree with the trainers that if you are not feeling discomfort, then you are not doing major harm, I might also add that it might not be THE most beneficial either...

    "Chest, back and abs I want to tone without really losing the strength I already have. Arms and shoulders I want to increase strength and size, and legs I want to increase strength without adding too much more size."

    As I read over your original post, I noticed this. Basically you want to tone your midsection, increase leg strength, and bulk up and strengthen your arms. Well, as I thought it over, my original recommendation stands. Cardio, particular running on a track, would definitely cover the midsection toning and leg power, as HARD running would strengthen those core/leg muscles, burn fat, increase metabolism, raise testosterone levels and increase your endurance. And about wanting to gain bigger and stronger shoulders/arms, a drop in sets/reps coupled with an increase in weight would be perfect. I find it a little off that on those exercises you were doing five sets of FIVE reps, because if you were only able to do 5 reps on a given set, logic would state that five sets of that would be too intense. I think you're underestimating yourself, as you say you're putting up 70% of your max but you're probably putting up closer to 50%. Either that or you need to increase INTENSITY...

    Just my thoughts...
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    ok, sounds good. the 5 sets 5 reps is a workout style that seems to be pretty popular among the other college athletes at my school and the trainers here b/c it is suppose to be one of the best strength workouts which is why I was using it.

    On the 70% thing, that was only for chest and back workout doing 4 sets of 8-10 reps. On the 5x5 sets, the first sets are probably about 70% but the weight increases to possibly up to 90-95%. An example is my 5x5 workout for standing barbell curls (bicep workout):
    set 1: 115lbs x 5 (could do about 12)
    set 2: 125 x 5 (could do about 9)
    set 3: 135 x 5 (could do about 6)
    set 4: 145 x 5 (just right)
    set 5: 155 x 5 (3-4 without a spot, but by 5, a major spot is needed)

    When you talk about hard running, are you doing HIIT training? or just going for 2 or 3 miles at a good pace? I already run 4 miles+ twice a week at about a 9 minute pace. I also row on a rowing machine for about 10,000 - 12,500 m (30-45 minutes), but if you are suggesting HIIT training, I have thought of that also, but I don't know a good site to teach me about it. I'm up for giving it a try though.
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    i completely agree with handtohandking you're overtraining with 27 sets for tris alone
    i personally use and like the max-ot style which is about 6-9 sets per body part of 4-6 reps maximum weight and intensity
    although i think a 5 x 5 workout would be fine
    i prefer to pick the heaviest weight i can use for an exercise and use it for the 2-3 sets for that exercise (i.e. today i did 3 sets of flat bench at 275 for 4-6 reps each set) i don't like the idea of pyramiding i just do 3 warm up sets which i don't count towards total sets and then go from there
    that's just my opinion however and other ways work well for other people
    i can say with a great deal of certainty however that very very VERY few people will grow doing as many sets as you outlined before
    just pick 2-3 exercises per workout and vary it up and don't go above 9 sets and you should grow well
    and obviously it should go without saying that diet is the most important factor whether bulking or cutting

    good luck!
    glen
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    ok, so the overtraining needs to come down. I can try to do that. That will definitely cut time off the workouts. Glen, do you think I should stick with the 3 day rotation twice a week if I cut down the exercises? or would muscle growth be better at a 5 or 6 day split?

    But how do you do a 5x5 workout without that kind of number of sets? Maybe its just hard for me to realize, but to me, how could I grow my arms if I am only doing 2 exercises for bis at 5x5 (10 sets) and 2 exercises for tris at 5x5? (oh and I don't include my warmup sets in with any of those sets, 5x5 or otherwise)

    Is that 3 sets at 4-6 reps a strength/size method? sounds like it. What do you do for toning?

    I'm still working on my diet b/c its hard for me to regulate it right now due to some family concerns, but I'm not eating bad, just not as regularly as I should be.

    Thanks
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    well the only way to "tone muscle" is to get your diet down and do proper cardio

    and yes, believe it or not, your bis and tris will grow with a few sets i do 2 exercises for each a week a total of 6 sets per and for some that would overtraining (i happen to respond well to that) you don't need a lot of sets remember you DON'T grow in the gym you DO grow while you out of the gym and recovering

    check your pm box i sent you some stuff that i think is VERY helpful

    best of luck
    glen


    p.s. this is what i believe and although there are many many people that agree that low set, low rep, HEAVY weight, and maximum intensity is the best way to grow, not everyone agrees
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    Hmm you seem like a pretty big guy already. Personally I would cut first, then address your composition from there. You can't really cut and bulk at the same time, the best most of us can do is keep existing muscle while cutting the fat, and gain very little muscle if any.

    You should seriously give the high intensity, low rep workouts a try. Your strength increases quickly with this type of rep/set scheme, and mass follows. Combine this with some HIT cardio 3-4 times a week on off days (yes I would only lift 3-4 times a week), and you should be in good shape. Make sure to clean out your diet... I really can't stress enough that the majority of your results are as a direct effect of your diet.

    Well I suppose the best advice would simply be to change up your routine constantly, keep it changing every month or so, and your body won't be able to "taper off" results from getting used to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypo
    Hmm you seem like a pretty big guy already. Personally I would cut first, then address your composition from there. You can't really cut and bulk at the same time, the best most of us can do is keep existing muscle while cutting the fat, and gain very little muscle if any.

    You should seriously give the high intensity, low rep workouts a try. Your strength increases quickly with this type of rep/set scheme, and mass follows. Combine this with some HIT cardio 3-4 times a week on off days (yes I would only lift 3-4 times a week), and you should be in good shape. Make sure to clean out your diet... I really can't stress enough that the majority of your results are as a direct effect of your diet.

    Well I suppose the best advice would simply be to change up your routine constantly, keep it changing every month or so, and your body won't be able to "taper off" results from getting used to it.
    Can you give me an example of the High intensity Low rep workout? 3 sets x 4-6 reps @ 90%? something like that? What kind of rest between? Is it supersetting stuff also? What are teh splits too? especially if you are saying only workout 3-4 times a week?
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachbrat79
    Can you give me an example of the High intensity Low rep workout? 3 sets x 4-6 reps @ 90%? something like that? What kind of rest between? Is it supersetting stuff also? What are teh splits too? especially if you are saying only workout 3-4 times a week?
    You seem to have alot of questions about how to set up a basic routine. You most certainly need to cut back on your workouts.

    I suggest you follow the tenents of Max-OT;

    1. Each workout should last approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
    2. Train only 1 or 2 muscle groups per workout/day.
    3. Do 6 to 9 total heavy sets per muscle group.
    4. Do 4 to 6 reps per set.
    5. Rest 2 to 3 minutes between sets. (STR)
    6. Train each muscle group once every 5 to 7 days. (ITR)
    7. Take a 1 week break from training every 8 to 10 weeks.
    .
    This link is to the full training course for this method..... http://www.freedomfly.net/Documents/MAX-OT.pdf
    BEWARE: Max-OT is a great method but the method and training course is by AST Sport Science so the chapters on diet and supplementation are alot of sales hype to sell their products. Their diet relies heavily on supplementation. You'd be much better off with real food.
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    this is my split(add what ever excercises work and feel good for you)
    day1-legs
    day2-chest and abs
    day3-back and shoulders
    day4-bicep and tricep
    and you can change the days order
    cardio only 2-3 times a wkon stationary bike set on random hill and at maxium intensity done only for 16-20 mins
    and rep range is from 6-10
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