grunt grunt grunt
May 1, 2014 7:21 AM   Subscribe

I need a bit of feedback on the (in)efficiency of my gym regimen.

So I am going to the gym about three non-consecutive days a week: two weekdays and one weekend day. Weekdays I have maybe a half-hour, weekends 45 mins to an hour (which is basically the extent of my stamina.)

I know I should be doing squats and deadlifts, but let's put that aside for now (and also until I see a doctor about my knee.) Based on my research on what machines and exercises are least likely to give me some sort of hideous injury, I've narrowed it down to the following.

-Barbell Bench Press
-Lying T-Bar Row
-Chest Fly Machine (locked so I can't overextend on the release)
-Lat Pulldown
-Standing Cable Bicep Curl
-Seated Vertical Row Machine

That generally gets me through the half hour. I feel like there's some unnecessary overlap there, but I can't quite tell.

On weekends, I'm adding the following, which takes me to 45-60 mins:
-Captain's Chair Leg Raises and Crunches
-Decline Barbell Bench Press
-Stationary Bicycle

So does that seem like a decent workout? Any unnecessary overlaps? Am I doing anything that could seriously injure me? Any big gaps standing out (save for leg stuff)?
posted by griphus to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I found the best results happened for muscle growth with me when I spent my gym time concentrating on one type of motion (push or pull). So on "push" days, I did presses (chest, shoulder, legs) and on "pull" days I did rows and lifts and pulldowns. Basically, my weeks were like this:

Day 1: Bench presses, flyes, shoulder presses, legs
Day 2: Rest or cardio
Day 3: Deadlifts, Seated Rows, Pullups, Lat Pulls
Day 4: Rest or cardio
Day 5: Core (abs and lower back)
Day 6: Rest or cardio
Day 7: Total rest

I used different strategies, but generally heavy weight to failure on each set, doing 3 sets of each type of exercise.
posted by xingcat at 7:28 AM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Your workout seems a bit lat-heavy since half of the exercises you put on the weekday one (T-bar row, lat pull down, seated vertical row) work mainly your lats.

You've also forgot about your shoulders. Strict press (barbell or dumbbells), shoulder raise machine (I think that's what it's called). More ideas at ExRx.
posted by astapasta24 at 7:31 AM on May 1, 2014

Pullups. Everyone needs more pullups.
posted by bfranklin at 7:38 AM on May 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

Lower back? I get that you don't want to do DLs right now and need all the lat work to support your bench press, but are barbell rows or hyperextensions/supermans or even the back extension machine a possibility? I feel like your erector spinae will thank you if or when you do start deadlifting.

Shoulders, as mentioned above. Overhead pressing is fun, dammit! Or swap in incline bench instead of decline, which will work your shoulders more, and many people think decline + flat bench is overkill.

Is working your posterior chain a no given your knee issues? Light cable pull throughs or bodyweight/low weight glute bridges or hyperextensions might be good.

I would personally swap the pec deck for dips, whether assisted, bodyweight or weighted as you are able. They are a better chest exercise, in my opinion, and will work your triceps too.

It's kind of trendy but I like anti-extension/anti-flexion type of ab exercises much more than your crunches and leg raises, although I know this is a preference thing for the most part.
posted by jamesonandwater at 1:24 PM on May 1, 2014

For lower back, you might do good-mornings, which are a lot like deadlifts without the squatting part (which would exercise the quads and buttmuscles).

You probably don't need to do both chest flys and bench press, if you're trying not to repeat/overlap.

I would recommend pull-ups instead of the lat pull-down, as both are lat-heavy; you'd probably be able to do less pull-ups than pull-downs, but that's fine!

I'd also throw in some overhead press, and I might do a tricep exercise (like skull-crushers) to balance out the bicep curls, though you're getting triceps done with bench press too, so if you don't wanna, no bigs.

Given the general exercises you've been doing, and the fact that you're not yet doing leg stuff, this is likely what I would do:

Weekday 1: Chest and upper back:
Bench press (warmup set, light weight for 10 reps)
Bench press (heavier set, medium weight for 5 reps)
Bench press (heaviest set for 5 reps)
T-bar row (warmup set, light weight for 10 reps)
T-bar row (heavier set, medium weight for 5 reps)
T-bar row (heaviest set for 5 reps)
Pull-ups: to failure

Weekday 2: Shoulders and arms:
Overhead press (warmup set, light weight for 10 reps)
Overhead press (heavier set, medium weight for 5 reps)
Overhead press (heaviest set for 5 reps)
Dumbbell curl (warmup set, light weight for 10 reps)
Dumbbell curl (heaviest set for 5 reps)
Skull-crusher (warmup set, light weight for 10 reps)
Skull-crusher (heaviest set for 5 reps)

Weekend Day: Core and lower back:
Good-Mornings: (warmup set, light weight for 10 reps)
Good-Mornings: (heavier set, medium weight for 5 reps)
Good-Mornings: (heaviest set for 5 reps)
Crunches: to failure
Captain's Chair Leg Raise: to failure
Russian Twists (is it racist for me to suggest you do these? mods? mods? mods?)
Plank: to failure
Stationary bike with whatever energy you feel like you got left over
posted by Greg Nog at 4:58 PM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cardio. You're missing cardio.

Don't listen to the types who will tell you you cannot or should not do cardio and weights on the same day--it's just patently untrue, and the exercise science research shows that there's a benefit to weight training when it's combined with cardio in the same session. If I were you (and this is what I actually do, in practice), I would add a cardio warm-up to each of your three days.
posted by yellowcandy at 7:32 PM on May 1, 2014

« Older What is it that people want when they give you the...   |   YANMD, but... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.