Critique my workout
November 9, 2012 3:59 PM   Subscribe

Strength trainers/weight-lifters of Metafilter. Could you take a look at my workout and let me know your thoughts? Anything glaringly missing or redundant?

I'm focusing on the compound lifts but there's some other stuff in there to mix it up for fun or simply because that's what I've learnt and know (I find it hard to learn new lifts from a book/video without a trainer). Mostly 3 x 10 reps.

MONDAY (Chest, Tris)
Low incline DB chest press
Chest fly machine/DB flies
Triceps cable overheads
Triceps cable pull down

WEDNESDAY (Legs, Shoulders, Abs)
Back extensions
Calf raises
DB shoulder press
Side lateral raises

SATURDAY (Back, Bis, Ass)
Assisted chin-ups
Kroc rows
DB twist curl
Barbell curl or preacher curl
Hip thrusters
posted by dontjumplarry to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
The workout looks pretty air-tight. For as big a muscle group as it is, I don't see where you are really torching your Lats. Swapping out that twist curl for a SUPER wide pull-down would spice things up. Depending on your goals, you might be able to put in a little trap focus too (though, if your deadlifts are heavy enough and you are going all-in with your lateral raises and shoulder press, that should do it).

If strength is the target, you might drop the 3x10 down to a 3x8 (with a weight where complete failure would be rep 10 or so on the last set) followed by a rest and a heavier set of 4 or something afterward. You still get volume out of that but your muscles get a chance to work against that weight and get that neural boost.

It feels so counter intuitive to take those super heavy low-rep sets but they work for strength like none other... Have a spotter there so you can really go balls out.
posted by milqman at 4:32 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

You don't mention what your goals or current condition are so it's difficult to comment. This workout doesn't make a lot of sense to me, though. You're doing 3x10 targeting hypertrophy (muscle size over strength). You include assisted chin-ups which suggests you're not strong enough to do chins without assistance, yet you're on a split routine (each body part once per week) which is typically more advanced. You say you're focusing on the compound lifts but they're less than 10% of your workout.

If you're relatively new to weight training (less than 2 years), I'd suggest dumping this routine completely for something like Starting Strength. Assuming you're under, say 40, and your recovery is pretty good, there's no reason you can't do squats 3x/week and bench 2x/week. That'll leave you less time to do all the auxiliary exercises, but you may not need them. You'll get more mileage out of the major lifts.
posted by zanni at 1:25 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Everything deals around goals. What are your goals?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:59 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hmm, only thing is I think you should be pressing as more than just an accessory exercise. Maybe every other week press over the bench press and on those weeks on Wednesday switch out your DB shoulder press for a dumbbell chest press.

I've never found 3x10 to be very good for me. Especially with squats. I end up going way too light because it's a mental fuck fest squatting your 10 max. Look into keep on doing what you're doing with maybe a 5/3/1 setup.

This is all based on the idea that you're just trying to get stronger.
posted by zephyr_words at 9:25 AM on November 10, 2012

It seems like a reasonable setup if you're set on doing a 3-day bodybuilding split, but I think most bodybuilding programs would have more days in the gym.

Lat pulldowns, straight-arm cable pulldowns, face pulls, or rear delt flies might be good options for your upper back.

I've had good results from doing a 4-day split where each body part gets hit twice per week, so I do Chest/shoulders/triceps then legs/back/biceps on Monday and Tuesday, rest Wednesday, and repeat Thursday and Friday but with different exercises. I'll do about 6 movements per workout, like you're already doing, but generally 5-7 sets each of 8-12 reps. The particular program I'm using is in this book by Jim Steel, along with a bunch of other good programs, if you're curious.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:46 AM on November 10, 2012

As mentioned above, looks solid if you're going for a bodybuilding-style of program. Would definitely get to the point where you hit some basic strength standards before worrying too much about flyes, and triceps extensions etc.

Everyone has a different set of standards but most fall around the following:

Back Squat: 1RM of 2x bodyweight.
Deadlift 1RM of 2x bodyweight.
Bench 1RM of 1.5x bodyweight.
Overhead Press 1RM of .75 BW.
Full ROM pull ups x10.

I'd make sure you put your six months of Starting Strength, Strong Lifts, Greyskull, 3X8 or other basic powerlifting linear program before you worry about all that specific isolation work.

If you're at or beyond those above standards then I'd consider the following:

Push to pull ratio. I don't see any high angled face pull-style moves. Hit those rhomboids for improved posture and balance out your front/rear imbalances. Really only seeing the Kroc rows, assisted chins and potentially DLs for pulls. I'm going to assume that you're like most people and might consider a 2:1 ratios of pulls to pushes.

Sure you don't want to think about supersets? Could save you a lot of time in the gym. Not the end of the world, but I knocked about 1-2 hours a week off of my gym time with intelligent supersetting.

Room for dips on Monday? (Depends on shoulder health I guess.)

I might think about fitting in a Greyskull/Grease the Groove/Waterbury HFT/Easy Strength high frequency body weight work in. Make sure your pushups, pull ups and dips are dead easy before you really start worrying about that other BB stuff. Can you do 50 real push ups with good form? How many good pull ups? Good dips? If your BW stuff is questionable then don't worry about the curls etc.

If your bodyweight numbers are restricted due to excess weight, then similar issue. Don't worry about those bicep curls if you're above 24-25% BF. Stick with a basic 5x5 powerlifting routine and slim down while getting stronger.

Good luck!
posted by Telf at 6:56 AM on November 12, 2012

« Older Yeah, I get it already!!!   |   Should I fix up an old Fiat? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.