“I don’t know what to do”
Whether you’re a gym newbie or tired of using a stale routine from your college/ high school days, coming up with a program for your current situation can be daunting. Here are a few basics to think about…
Most people have heard of the “back/biceps, chest/triceps, shoulders, leg” day splits. Which is fine, if you’re an intermediate to advanced body builder. Otherwise, you’re going to see more results using a full body, upper/lower, or push/pull split. Instead of thinking about body parts, the focus should be on body movements. Which include:
Horizontal Pressing: Bench Press, Chest Press, Push Up, Chest Fly
Horizontal Pulling: Seated Rows, Face Pulls, Bent Over Rows, Chest Supported Rows, Rear Delt Row or Fly
Vertical Pressing: Shoulder Press, Military Press, Arnold press, Handstand Push Ups, Sumo/Dolphin Push Ups
Vertical Pulling: Chin Ups, Pull Ups, Lat Pull Downs, Straight Arm Lat Pulls, Overhead Lat Extensions
Lunge: Forward, Back, Side, Walking, Kick Forward, Kick Back, Curtsy
Deadlift: Sumo, Conventional, Single Leg
Squat: Back, Front, Single Leg, Goblet
Plank: Side, Single Arm, Single Leg, Elevated
Additional: Farmer’s carry, Anti-flexion abs, Anti-rotation abs, Sprints, Olympic Lifts, Medicine Ball Throws
If you plan on lifting 2-3x/ week, I would do a Full Body routine. Pick one exercise from each category and do 2-4 sets. Got more time on your hands, like hitting the weights 4x/week? Try a Push/Pull Split. Some will even separate the legs into it’s own day, but you’ll see bigger and faster results by doing more legs… so I add them in as much as possible. I put the Deadlift in with Pull days, Squat and Lunges with Push days. And Plank… that’s everyday friends. Have a LOT of time on your hands (5-6x/week)? Upper/Lower splits can fix that! Horizontal and Vertical Pushing/Pulling examples are the Upper, while Lunge, Squat, and Deadlift are Lower. Again, Plank all day.
As I’ve mentioned before, you should be able to lift as much with your pulling exercises as you do with your pushing. I’d also recommend doing 2x the amount (reps, sets, extra day of training during the week) of pulling as pushing.
Finally, once you start hitting 200lbs for exercises, then you’ll need to start thinking more about recovery time and rearranging your program.
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions!