As I don’t give many updates on my blog about what I’m currently doing training-wise. I thought I’d write this article on my current program. The reason being is because I think it might benefit people who’re just getting started on their health and fitness journey.
My Program Is Built Around Compound Exercises
Compound exercises are exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. For example, the leg press is a compound exercise because it works your quads, glutes, and to a lesser degree your calves and hamstrings. Whereas a calf raise isn’t a compound exercise as it isolates your calf muscles and it doesn’t target any other muscle groups.
I Do Include Some Isolation Exercises
This program is built up from a majority of compound exercises but there are a few isolation exercises thrown in. This is to get extra volume (hard sets) to specific muscle groups.
For example, if you do a dumbbell row, your biceps are worked, but they’re only the secondary muscle group. The primary muscle group moving the weight is your lats.
And for that reason, I find that smaller muscle groups like your biceps can benefit from direct training. Where they’re the primary muscle group. This would mean doing an Isolation exercise like a bicep curl.
Isolation exercises help us target a specific muscle group while letting our other muscles rest.
My Current Program
Monday – Chest, triceps and calves.
Barbell bench press – 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Incline dumbbell bench press – 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Flat dumbbell bench press – 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Tricep pushdowns – 3 sets of 8 -10 reps and the Standing calf raise machine for 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Tuesday – Back and biceps.
T bar row – 3 sets of 8 -10 reps.
Dumbbell row 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Chin-ups 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps ( add weight using a weight belt when you can get 3 sets of 10 reps with good form ).
Dumbbell bicep curl – 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Wednesday – Day off
Thursday – Chest and shoulders
Incline dumbbell bench press – 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Seated dumbbell shoulder press 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Standing lateral raises 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Rear delt fly machine 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Friday – Legs
Leg press 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Dumbbell Romanian deadlift 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Leg extensions 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
The seated calf raises 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
Saturday & Sunday off
Notes On The Program
- Always warm-up for the first exercise. After you’ve completed your first exercise you’ll be warmed up for the rest of the workout.
A template for warm-ups sets:
First Warm-up set – 50% of your working weight for 12 reps.
Second Warm up – 70% of your working weight for 4 reps.
Third Warm-up set – 90% of your working weight for 2 reps.
For example, if you can leg press 100kg for 8 – 10 reps here’s how your warm-ups might go:
First set – 50kg x 12 reps.
Second set – 70kg x 4 reps.
Third set – 90kg x 2 reps.
- Have 3 – 4 minutes rest between compound exercises and 1 – 2 minutes rest between isolation exercises.
- Always control the weight don’t let the weight control you.
- Always leave 1 – 2 reps in the tank. This means not training balls to the walls on every set. It’s okay to train to muscular failure (when you can’t perform any more reps) on your last set of isolation exercises because the risk for injury is very small on those exercises.
- Once you can get 10 reps with a given weight put the weight up by 2.5 – 5kg and aim to get 8 reps.
- Focus on getting just a little bit stronger week after week.
- When Romanian deadlifts get heavy use straps. Because your leg and back strength will be stronger than your grip strength at a certain point. Straps help you to keep progressively overloading your glutes and hamstrings even when your grip strength can’t keep up.
After 8 Weeks Of Doing This Workout Have A Deload Week Or Have A Week Off The Gym
It’s very hard to just go on and on without having a full week off from the gym or even just training lighter. Make sure to have a little break from lifting after every 8 weeks or so for one week.
Either have a full week off from the gym or reduce the weight by 50% and perform the same amount of reps for each exercise during the deload week.
My Experience With This Workout Program So Far
After having some time off the gym because of a condition called costochondritis. I’ve had almost 3 weeks back in the gym now and so far my:
- Bench press has increased from 50kg x 10 to 75kg x 8 and I know it’s going to keep increasing. Hopefully, I can get back to my best numbers of 115kg x 3 with patience and consistency.
- Dumbbell row has increased from 22kg x 10 to 34kg x 8 and I’ll hopefully get back to my best of rowing the 50kgs dumbbells again soon.
- Dumbbell shoulder press has increased from 14kg x 10 to 18kg x 9. Which is far from my best of shoulder pressing 40kg dumbbells. But hopefully, I’ll be back there soon.
- And my leg press has gone from 170kg x 8 to 190kg x 8. Which is also far away from my best of repping in the mid to high 200kg’s.
But so far this program is doing what it was made for. Which was to make progress.
And even though I’m considerably weaker than I used to be. The act of working out and making progress from week to week is still just as satisfying.
So if you’re thinking about starting a training program and think that you’re “too weak” I’d say just start. No one really cares what you’re doing.
It’s comparing yourself to who you were yesterday that matters not who somebody else is today. If you do the right things success is predictable. In the gym, that starts by committing to a workout routine.
Thanks for reading.
If you’d like any extra help send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.