For the past couple of weeks, I have been putting together information from this and other boards and trying to come up with a much more structured routine than I have kept in the past. In building some strength over the past six months of working out, I want to start focusing more on mass and getting bigger (while at the same time, slowly burning fat down). I am open to critiques and have tried to provide references from where I found different information when possible (additionally, if you can provide any other resources to check out, I'm always interested in gaining more knowledge...):

Training Splits
(in part: Training>Exercise Science>"New guy training question")

Monday: Chest & Back (30 minutes of cardio)
Tuesday: Biceps, Triceps, & Forearms
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Shoulders & Abs (15 minutes of cardio)
Friday: Quads, Hams, Calves
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Rest (30 minutes cardio)

Rather than type out everything, the theory behind the movements for each muscle group is on the bodybuilding.com website, written by David Gluhareff - "Serious 4-Week Mass Routine!"). Some of the movements I will need to substitute because of how busy the gym will be when I go, but can go back to the "normal" exercises once summer hits.

A few questions though:

  • This article suggests changing the routine each week - the movements, the repetitions, and the number of sets (consequently, the weights used as well). While routine change helps stimulate body change, is this changing too-frequently? (I'm assuming one would restart the four-week cycle after the end of the fourth week.)
  • There are a lot of threads (on bodybuilding.com and on this website) about the different combinations for splits. Some suggest working opposite muscle groups (biceps & triceps; chest & back), while others suggest complimentary muscle groups (because the biceps are stressed most with back movements, pair those together). What's the latest suggestion?
  • I've gathered that intense cardio sessions will hold back large gains in muscle mass. At what point are you doing "too much" cardio? Is it linked to the intensity of the cardio session or how long? I'm assuming the biggest factor is the caloric deficit - is this the only concern, or are there other processes affected by cardio? The commonality seems to be issues with intensity, so my longer cardio sessions were going to be light, with my shorter session being more intense. Is this counter-productive?


If you see anything that can help me improve this, I would appreciate the input.