Fitness
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How many different body parts should I work out in 1 week?


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My private trainer (not a gym trainer, but private) told me that women don't really need to work out their chests, but focus on their back, legs, butt, biceps/triceps, and shoulders.  Hmm... I used to work out my chests madly... didn't really see much happening tho. gah.

I also remember him telling me to do my back & shoulder workouts together... or was it back & arms.... oh my god my horrible memory is taking its toll on me!

lol but he gives me nasty, painful shoulder workouts EEEEK!!

anyways! but now, I'm back in Korea and I can't work out with him anymore.. so I'm trying to split my workouts (weight lifting, not cardio) 3 times a week.. but I don't know exactly how many body parts I should train ...  could you guys help me out?

 

How does this look?

- Monday: Legs & Butt

- Wednesday: Shoulders

- Friday: Arms & Back

 

im so confused, help me please!

21 Replies (last)

First off, what are your goals?

But regardless.... Fire your trainer - he's telling you to ignore a major muscle group in favor of isolation movements?

"Women don't need to work out their chests" - pfffff.... women have the same muscles as men. We might not have the same hormones, and our skeletal structure is different (so that we have room for a baby), but when it comes to muscles, men and women can train the same.

You shouldn't be doing a body part split at all, unless you've been lifting for years and are chemically enhanced (i.e. steroids).

Ditch the trainer and get a full body routine from Melkor's FAQs.

Original Post by amethystgirl:

You shouldn't be doing a body part split at all, unless you've been lifting for years and are chemically enhanced (i.e. steroids).

Ditch the trainer and get a full body routine from Melkor's FAQs.

 ^This

Thanks for the input...

But hmm... why shouldn't I split my workouts?

I don't see what the negative side of it would be.

I mean, wouldn't it actually be MORE EFFECTIVE because you're focusing on different body parts and are really kicking your ass?

Total weekly volume of exercise per muscle group or movement pattern would be roughly the same but the effect on strength and body composition wouldn't be.

 In beginning and intermediate trainees, muscle protein resynthesis returns to baseline within 48 hours following a single bout of resistance training. If you split your workout you're 'hitting' the muscle group once every 7 days, which means that out of every week there's 5 days there's nothing much happening to your muscles.

 If you do a whole-body workout every second day you're pushing your body to increase muscle protein resynthesis just when the effect of the last workout is fading.

 This doesn't necessarily apply to more advanced trainees who can need 4-7 days for optimal recovery following a bout of resistance training, but the majority of people training with weights will never actually be advanced strength trainees.

Melkor

- Thank you for the wonderful reply!

I do understand what you're saying..

But like.... I don't think I'm a beginner or even intermediate..

Recently, I've changed my entire work out. I've never done deadlifts before, but I started using them and I would be lifting heaaaaaaaaaavy weights. Deadlifts usually take you a week to fully recover, and I could definitely see that, because my back was sore for almost a week.

When I was focusing on each body workouts, I'd be sore for not just one or two days, but like 3-4 days.

And when I work out, I work out until I can't even stand up or walk properly.

I do it hardcore haha. That's how my private trainer taught me to work out, because, I mean.... you're seriously pushing your body u know?

What do you think? Do you think I should still just stick to full body workouts??

If your back was that sore, you were doing the deadlifts wrong.

I lift heavy, but it does not take me a week to recover from deadlifts.

Yet another reason to ditch this trainer.

 Generally, a man can gain about 40lbs of muscle bodyweight, and a woman about 20 from baseline untrained status. A trainee isn't considered advanced until you're within 80-90% of your genetic potential, or have gained 16-18lbs of muscle since you started training (32-35lbs for a man).

 Does that describe you? 

You can also use performance-based standards to get a more precise measurement of where you stand relative to your potential, which should allow you to get a reasonable idea of how complicated your training needs to be. While advanced trainees need quite complex programming to manage fitness and fatigue to peak performance for competitions or whatever goal you have, if a beginner uses a too-complex advanced program all you're accomplishing is limiting your rate of development to no good end.

amesthystgirl

- i thought i was dying. but here's the background info. my trainer created this extreme fat loss program that took him 10 years. it's was supposed to be like... a 3 month program, but since i had to leave for korea in like 3 weeks, he had no choice but to jump in to the very hardcore phases. he said that my body would ache alot. Voila, haha!Tongue out

I don't know... I've always thought that he was quite intelligent and he definitely knew what he was talking about. Maybe I've been "interpreting" him wrong here lol eeeeek!! Sealed

I weigh 5 kgs lower than I was before (lost it in like 2 months?), but seriously.... I look sooooooo much fitter than before. Like it's more than 5 kgs that I've lost!

 

 

melkor

- a woman can gain max of 20 lbs of muscles from the very beginning of her working out years?? That's it? That's like only 9 kgs! Surprised

Oooohkayyy, so I looked at that chart thing :) and once again, it seems like I'm in the advanced level.

&& I do have quite a lot of strength for a woman Wink

Melkor, I think I might need to talk to you more specifically like through messaging. I'll tell you what kinds of exercises I've been doing recently with this trainer, and please do tell me what you think about the work outs and what's best for me!!

From my experience people often think that they're alot more advanced than they actually are.  (Not refering to you though, OP)

I'm at an intermediate level for my weight class (319lbs) according to EXRX.net standards, but I still use a beginners routine because I can still add weight to every workout and I'm still making gains.

 

 

littlesimongeorge

- what's the "319lbs"?? Is that the max that you can lift or something??

 

 


man.... I'm so confused now.... I thought I "finally" met the right trainer and the right program/workout for my body. I'm really disappointed and sad...

Original Post by sooji:

littlesimongeorge

- what's the "319lbs"?? Is that the max that you can lift or something??

 

 

 

man.... I'm so confused now.... I thought I "finally" met the right trainer and the right program/workout for my body. I'm really disappointed and sad...

 319lbs is the upper limit of the weight class.  I'm 282lbs so I fall within that class.

 Well, for an extreme fat loss program - that would probably involve some heavy lifts at the start and then some circuit training from hell a la Real Fast Fat Loss. If you're doing low-rest circuit training I can see why you wouldn't want to include bench presses, the injury potential from dropping the bar on your face in a fatigued state is pretty high.

 I think - well, generally it's rule #1 time; everything you do does something. And the 20lbs is a bit of a rule of thumb more than a max; there's certainly something to be said for genetic variation too. In general though, that's the expected results parameters for someone starting at a healthy stable adult weight. If you're an underweight teen there's no telling what your maximal gains will be once you start a proper exercise program and get enough food to actually feed your muscle.

 A rule of thumb that works for men's stage weight in bodybuilding is that in contest-ready shape (<5% body fat) you can expect to weigh in at (your height in cm -100) kg without the use of drugs, but I don't know a decent estimate for women off the top of my head.

#13  
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Hm, this whole time I was under the impressions that I should be splitting my resistance workout between upper and lower body.

Generally I workout 4 days a week- 2 upper, 2 lower. Are you guys saying it would be more beneficial to do a total body workout 4 days a week? If so, does that even apply if 2 or more of my workout days are consecutive?

I have been lifting for just under a year, but probably still a beginner.

sooji - at one point, you were suffering from exercise bulimia, correct?

I don't know where you are in your recovery, but was this trainer aware of your history when he prescribed a 3-month program to be completed in 3 weeks??

 

edit to add: If I'm totally off base, just let me know.

An upper/lower split is within useful parameters for a beginner/intermediate trainee; when you've reached the point where you need more training volume per movement pattern or muscle group. Well, more than a whole-body session can deliver; training sessions much longer than 1 hour aren't as productive due to cumulative fatigue so it makes sense to split workouts up into push/pull or upper/lower so you can do more volume per muscle group without CNS fatigue interfering with performance and fatigue causing issues with form.

 With Monday-Thursday for upper body you've got two days off and then work the muscles again which is slightly lower frequency than strictly optimal from a muscle protein synthesis perspective, but leads to less accumulated fatigue so it might be more optimal from a CNS perspective.

 In some measure this is all post-hoc stuff: observation and experience suggests that 3xweekly is optimal the first 6-9 months of working out, upper/lower or Push/pull for the next year or two, and then a slightly more complicated program - if your goal is to increase muscle mass.

 This is not necessarily optimal for any other goal you may have performance-wise.

melkor

- oh yeah, I was lifting some heavy weights!! killed me ha. and yes, he didn't want me to rest for a long time. the resting periods were very very short (ex: sip of water). Right..... everything you do does something.... I agree....

I sent u 2 messages, please do check and reply!

 

amethystgirl

- yes, I used to suffer from exercise mia, but I can definitely promise you that I've recovered from it. I've actually pretty much recovered from all of my eating disorders. Laughing The trainer only knew about my anorexia (several years ago) and I didn't talk much about my eating disorders. But I can definitely promise you that I've recovered!

Original Post by melkor:

observation and experience suggests that 3xweekly is optimal the first 6-9 months of working out, upper/lower or Push/pull for the next year or two, and then a slightly more complicated program - if your goal is to increase muscle mass.

 This is not necessarily optimal for any other goal you may have performance-wise.

"Muscle mass" would be for guys mostly, right? For those who want to look bigger, that plan up there would be optimal?

#18  
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Thanks for the reply Melkor- always appreciate your insight.

Sounds like what I am currently doing is not too far off from where I should be then considering I am at about 12 months of consistant training now, which is reassuring. I will look into switching up my upper/lower for push/pull once in a while, just for some variation if nothing else.

**Sorry to rob your thread sooji :)

 

trikki

Hahahaha no problem *grrrr* Tongue out

Wait a minute, I'm a bit confused.. so was Melkor saying that lower/upper body workout was best for beginner/intermediate trainees who are pretty well experienced, and need to focus on specific muscle groups?? And it's better than a whole-body workout, because the latter may take more than an hour, thus making your body too exhausted to properly workout?

Original Post by sooji:

 

my trainer created this extreme fat loss program that took him 10 years. it's was supposed to be like... a 3 month program, but since i had to leave for korea in like 3 weeks, he had no choice but to jump in to the very hardcore phases. he said that my body would ache alot. Voila, haha!Tongue out

 

This makes no sense.

Was your trainer certified?

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