Tweak my program!

  1. Tweak my program!

    Good morning everyone. I've been following the same training protocol for a really long time and I think it's time for a change. I've always been trying to bulk and add on more muscle. My goals really haven't changed; other then finally want to have definition to my abs and better cardio. Below are my workouts. I usually stay within the 6-10 rep range with moderate/heavy weight. I like to pyramid up.

    -Flat BB bench: warmup 135 for 3 sets. 185 for 8 reps. 225 for 6 reps.
    -Flat DB bench: 100's for 8 reps. 110 for 6. 120 for 4. maybe another set of 120
    -Dip machine leaning forward (for decline since we have no decline bench) 180 for 6-8 reps, 3 sets.
    -Low Cable Fly (for decline pecs): 25 on each side, 8 reps for 3 sets
    -Incline DB press: 100 for 6 reps, 3 sets
    -Incline DB fly: 35's for 6-8 reps, 3 sets
    **I alternate incline flys with regular pec deck machine each week**

    -Rope Pulldowns: 55lbs for 6-8 reps, 3 sets
    -Seated behind the neck DB press: 70lb, 6-8, 3 sets
    -Reverse grip one arm cable pulldown: 20lbs, 6-8, 3 sets

    One mile on the elliptical at a moderate pace.

    -Deadlift: 3 sets of 135 warmup, 10-12 reps. 225 x 6reps/ 2 or 3 sets. 275 x 4reps/1 set. I could deadlift more but I've really been trying to focus on proper form and not rounding my back.
    -Cable Row: 150lbs 6-8 reps. 200 lbs 6 reps x 3 sets
    -Bent over reverse grip BB row: 135lbs 6-8 reps, 3 sets
    -One Arm DB Row: 100s' for 6-8, 3 sets
    -Lat Pulldown: 150lbs warmup 10 reps. 180lbs 6-8 reps, 2 sets. 200lbs 6 reps, 1 set
    -Straight Arm Pulldown: 40lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets
    **I alternate bent over reverse grip BB with one arm DB rows each week**

    -DB curls: 35lbs warmup. 50lbs, 6-8 reps for 2 sets. 55lbs 4 reps, 1 set
    -Widegrip EZ bar curl: 70lbs, 6-8 reps, 3 sets
    -Closegrip EZ bar curl: 90lbs, 6-8 reps, 3 sets.

    -Leg raises, 10 reps, 3 sets.
    -Knee's to chest during raise: 10 reps, 3 sets.
    -Planks. Hold for as long as I can. Usually 20-30 seconds. 4 sets
    -Rope crunches: 55lbs, 15-20 reps, 4 sets

    -Warmup with 15 or 17.5lb dumbells doing front raises and side raises for 3 sets.
    -Standing BB Shoulder Press: 25's on each side + plus bar = 95lbs. 6-8 reps 2 sets. 135lbs for 4-6 reps, 3 sets.
    -Front DB raises: 35's for 6-8 reps, 2 sets. 40's for 4-6 reps, 2 sets
    -Side Cable Raises: 20 or 25lbs on stack, 6-8 reps, 3 sets.

    -Triangle Trap Bar Shrugs: 45s on each side, 10 reps, 4 sets.
    -BB Upright Rows: 95lbs (25's on each side), 6-8 reps, 3 sets. maybe put another 10 on each side, 4-6 reps.
    -Smith BB Shrugs: 45's on each side, go to failure for 3 sets.


    Legs/Light Bi's & Tri's/Abs
    -Leg extensions: light warmup with each leg solo, 70lbs. 140lbs, 6-8 reps, 3 sets
    -Laying Leg Curls: 120-130lbs, 3 sets
    -Squats: warmup 135lbs for 3 sets. 185 for 6 reps, 3 sets. maybe 225 depending how I feel. Trying to focus on good form and going down deep.
    -Calve machine

    Same arm exercises described above but only 2 exercises each (2 bi exercises, 2 tri exercises).

    Saturday & Sunday

    What do you guys think? I'm just tired of this routine and haven't been seeing much results over the past year; I think my body is just used to it. Currently 6'0 ft, 215lbs. Couldn't guess bodyfat but im a size 36 in the waist; very little/no definition in abs. As stated above, I would like to continue to add mass; but would like to see some ab definition at some point. I use to go to the gym 5 days a week; but I work long hours and I'm completely shot by the time I get home, which is why I've cut it down to 4 days a week.

    I'm open to suggestions so please let me know what you think. Thanks in advance

  2. you can call me "ozzie" for short.

  3. thanks but those programs are already similar to what im doing. looking for suggestions on tweaking my exercises or volume, etc.


  4. The first thing I would change is to stop limiting yourself to a certain rep range as that alone will lead to stagnation. The next thing I would do is to focus on getting stronger. Your squat and deadlift are very low and you should make it a priority to get much stronger on those.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys

  5. Too



    Pick a big movement for each day and 2-3 assistance exercises to get that muscle group stronger.

  6. I would describe your program as unbalanced.

    For example, the pectoralis major is one muscle with two heads. You have 6 exercises for it.

    The upper back is comprised of 4 major muscles (traps, rhomboids, lats, teres major) with several different heads (or fiber directions: i.e.: upper middle, and lower traps). You only have 5 exercises here.

    Your "legs" comprise 48% of your muscle mass, and contain about 18 different muscles between the thigh and posterior hip alone. You have 3 small exercises. You have no hip extension. You do about 3-4 times as much for your biceps (which is a small, two headed muscle that would get sufficient work if your pulling was balanced) than you do for your hamstrings, which are a large muscle group of 4 muscles, one of which has more than 2 heads....which also do not get sufficient work because they are a MAJOR mover...unlike bicep curls.


  7. thanks guys, this is exactly what i was looking for.

    jason what do you recommend i change for chest and back? maybe instead of hitting arms twice a week, i should focus more on leg movements? if you could provide specific exercises i should focus on, i would really appreciate it

  8. Squat, good morning, dead lift, rumanian dead lift. Chose 1 or two of these for main lefts, then supplement with single leg work, such as traveling lunge, pitcher squats, split squats, single leg deadlifts/RDL's, etc.

    Balance your chest presses with rows (bent over barbell, t-bar, seated cable row, etc.)
    Balance your chest flies with rear delt work (bent over DB raises, face pulls, band pull aparts, cross body pulls, etc.)
    Balance your over head press work with pull ups/pull downs.
    Drop any front delt work.

    That will get you started.

  9. By balancing, are you saying i should add those exercises in when i do chest?

    Als, i always thought it was good to hit chest from each angle. Upper, middle, lower. I guess im overtraining?

  10. You're not over training the pecs. Overusing the shoulder joint would be a more appropriate term.
    Your pecs have two heads: calvicular (collar bone: upper) and sternal (sternum and ribs: middle/lower). Chest presses recruit both. Altering the pressing angle will change where in the muscle vertically is contracting hardest, but I don't think its necessary to use more than 1-2 angles per workout. A flat press and incline press will recruit all the fibers in your pecs pretty optimally. Then dips and/or a fly movement for extra work and you're golden.

    The major concern as mentioned above is overuse of the shoulder joint in the anterior (to the front) chain. The results always result in biceps and/or rotator cuff tendon impingement, tendonitis, and injury or compromise.

    You do not need to balance your push to pull in the same workout...but rather over the course of the frequency cycle. If you train each movement (or muscle) once a week, then your weekly chest pressing volume/effort and rowing volume/effort should be similar. The same goes for the other factors of balance that I mentioned above.


  11. Gotcha, ill adjust accordingly. I also found your comment about back anatomy interesting. Im already doing about 5 exercises but you recommend more. What exercises would you recommend?

  12. I would divide it around movements like such:

    Vertical pulls (pull downs, pull ups, even db rows to an extent) all are very lat/teres major dominant.

    Horizontal pulls (rows, bent over rows, etc.) all have a heavy mid-trap and rhomboid involvement. Horizontal shrugs are also very mid trap/rhomboid based.

    Shrugs obviously target upper traps.
    Prone scaptions (Y's), scapula dips, scapula pull downs (all scapula depression movements) are lower trap dominant.

    Rear delt raises, face pulls, band pull aparts, etc. all target the rear delts with a mild mid-trap involvement.

    Its not so much how many exercises, but just balancing your anterior to posterior (push to pull) work in a plane by plane (horizontal, vertical, scapula shrug, scapula depression) manner.



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