WARNING: You should consult your physician before beginning any excercise routine.

The following is a collection of workouts and the theories behind them. We stress that there are many different training philosophies because many people have all had success with them. It's more of a matter of finding which one will work for you. More often then not, it's best when a person varies his workouts. Now as you read through these workouts, you'll notice that there really are only two types; Split routines and full body routines. You can mix and match any way you like, but it always comes back to those two. Incidentally, these workouts are certainly not limited to the exercises you see here. One can easily be substituted for another as long as you targeting the intended muscle group. But never substitute a compound movement (double jointed exercise) for an isolation exercise (single jointed movement)... it's a bad trade. One final word: you should always warm up before beginning any workout!

The Split Routine: Even though the split routine is advocated in a lot of muscle magazines, they usually neglect to mention that they're really meant more for the intermediate to advanced lifter. Having said that, I want to point out that many a beginner has made great advances with this type of routine.
The theory behind this type of routine is that as your muscles grow bigger, they'll obviously work harder due to that that fact that you're lifting more weight! The harder they work, the more time it will take for them to recover! by working each muscle group only once every 6 or 7 days, it will give them ample time to do just that. Here's a typical split routine:

The 4 Day Split: Before you read any further, I just got to tell you that I think this routine is a pile of shit! this is the typical muscle magazine routine. The only way you can possibly make gains with this is if you're on the juice! There's just way to much volume. Personally I think the only thing you'll end up with after a short period of time is tendonitis and chronic fatigue. Nonetheless, it's yours to read.

Now that's a grand total of 54 working sets in an 8 day period.

The full body Routine: This is the old stand by type routine. Twenty years ago this is what you would have found in a lot of bodybuilding/weightlifting references. Many today claim that this is an inferior way to train. I beg to differ. I think it's great for a beginner, or for a guy who can only get to the gym about twice a week. For the intermediate or advanced trainer, if he was to train this way continuously he would have to watch his volume or he would quickly overtrain. This type of routine should be done twice a week, with about 2 to 3 days rest in between. I wouldn't recommend doing every set to failure either. Some sets yes, but not all.

The Hardgainer Routine (otherwise known as HIT): This is a routine that's seems to be gaining popularity. It's based on the belief that the "average" man or woman cannot make the gains so often reported for other routines, and that other routines leave the vast majority grossly overtrained. It never really done much for me but that doesn't mean shit. A large number of individuals have made great strides sticking with this type of routine. Further to that, I think it's a great routine for an athlete involved in football or hockey during the "on season". It will be just enough combined with his regular activities to keep his back, legs, and chest strong enough to afford protection from injuries. This routine spans a time frame of 16 days. All working sets have to be done to failure, with a rep range not going beyond 12 reps. Once you reach 12 reps, increase the weight you are using by 20%.

The 6 and 20 routine: This is the routine that I subscribe to the most. The theory behind it being that to get the most out of your workout, you have to stimulate both the slow and fast twitch muscle fibers in your body. (see the muscle fiber article in the beginners section if you require an explanation) Something I'd like to point out about this routine: The sets of 18 to 20 reps that are described ARE NOT done to failure. Whereas the sets of 6 to 8 reps ARE. This means that for your sets of 18 to twenty, you have to find a weight that will bring you close but not quite to failure. I stress this because I believe that bringing a muscle group to failure in more then 1 workout per 7 or 8 days will just lead to the good old overtraining syndrome.
Another term for this type of workout is called "Active Rest". When you hear this term it really applies more to the idea that If a person were to go 7 or 8 days without any stimulation to a muscle group at all, it would begin to detrain. But really it's 6 of one 1/2 dozen of the other in the end. You can put different names on it but it's all the same. It's a three day a week workout, but like I said you can mix and match.
Here's how it goes:

Some quick notes: You'll notice that legs are only worked once a week. There's two basic reasons for this. There's a firm belief that legs should only be worked once a week, and I have a tendency to believe it. Furthermore, I think that doing dead lifts gives your legs a small amount of work all be it limited.

As well, I think dead lifts should only be done once a week, because squats (if you're squatting with good form) does give your lower back some limited work.
You can actually slip the 18 - 20 rep sets in during rest periods between your heavier sets. Kinda turn them into a superset, so-to-speak. I think it best to do it that way, actually, because you really don't want to spend anymore then 1 hr in the weight room in a "sitting". You'll only become catabolic (yikes) if you do that.

The Volume Routine: That's just what this type of routine is, big on the volume. Now there are some amongst us who will say that this type of routine is a waste of time. A waste of time compared to what? Sitting at home and shoveling doughnuts into your face? I think not! let's face it, if you're going to the gym then your 10 times better off. But this type of routine was never intended to make gains, really. It was intended more for giving a person some variety in their routine. With that in mind, it really should only be done every couple of months, or when you feel that you're getting a little bored with things, or that you feel your routine is getting a little stale.
All sets are done 18 - 20 reps to failure, so you'll have to pick weights that reflect that. Don't expect to get that many reps on your last set of each exercise 'cause you won't. No big deal.
As well, don't rest very much between each set. 20 seconds is about all. See how quick you can complete the workout.
By the way, would you believe that a whole book was written on this type of routine? It's entitled "German Volume Routine". Oh sure, they get into lots of technical details and use lots of scientific research and blah, blah, blah, but here it is in a nut shell. Maybe I'm just bitter that I haven't been able to come up with a quick way of making money.

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