Body Building Schedule – How to Organize Lifting Sessions
© Doug Champigny, http://flirtingwithfitness.com
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Body building requires a lot of time and effort on your part, so you always want to get the maximum muscle gains from each visit to the gym. So it’s important to understand how to organize your lifting sessions. If you don’t, you probably won’t get the optimal results from your body building schedule.
Take the standard full-body workout, done 2 or 3 times per week. To maximize your results from your weight lifting you want to put most of your efforts into the biggest muscle groups, since that is where your greatest muscle gains will come from. And because they’re your biggest muscles, you need to hit them when your energy levels are highest – at the beginning of each weight lifting session.
That gives you the order the exercises are to be performed in:
Since the goal in body building is to build lean muscles proportionately, the bulk of the exercises performed at each weight lifting session should be compound exercises. A compound exercise is one that focuses on one main muscle group, but rather than isolate that group it also involves 2 or more of your joints and 1 or more additional muscle groups to a lesser extent.
This lets us organize our weight lifting session even further by adding in the exercises for each bodypart:
- Legs – Squats
- Back – Bent Rows
- Chest – Bench Press
- Shoulders – Overhead Press
- Triceps – Lying Triceps Extensions (skullcrushers)
- Biceps – Standing Barbell Curls
- Abs – Weighted Situps
Be sure to check with your doctor and get the go-ahead before starting any exercise program, and discuss the specific exercises you’ll be doing in case any existing conditions would be compromised. And whenever possible, always train with free weights. The machines in most commercial gyms may look enticing and you may be able to use heavier weights, but most have the weight traveling along a fixed path.
Because it’s the machine, not you, keeping it to the proper path, your supporting muscles aren’t involved. This builds ‘gym strength’, not functional strength. When called upon to use those major muscles outside the gym you stand a much better chance of being injured, since your smaller supporting muscles haven’t developed equally on those machines.
There two other factors that enter into body building you’ll need to discover to organize your weight lifting sessions, but both are dependent on your own personal physiology. First is the number of sets and repetitions you’ll perform for each exercise. Your rep scheme should be based on the type of results you want – lower reps with heavier weights to build strength vs. higher reps with somewhat lighter weights to build muscle mass. Then you can set the number of sets once you know how many reps are in each set.
Second is the number of days per week you’ll work out. If you’re doing full-body workouts you’ll want to hit the gym 2 or 3 times per week, always on non-consecutive days. If your body heals quickly after each workout you may want to go Monday – Wednesday – Friday, while if you find that’s too much and you’re staying sore between workouts you might want to hit the gym on Mondays & Thursdays.
If you’re not doing full-body workouts but doing some type of split-routine instead, again you’ll have to figure out what works best for your own body. In any case, by paying attention to what works for your own body, you’ll soon know how to organize lifting sessions to meet your body building schedule and goals, getting maximum muscle gains from every weight lifting session you do!