Why Your Gym Routine is (almost certainly) Wrong

by | Mar 1, 2022 | Public Access | 0 comments

When it comes to training there is no shortage of information on the Internet, books and magazines. Heck, your local gym has PTs and hardened gym goers that have been training for decades. Full of anecdotes and tips. Sometimes too much information is a bad thing, it is overwhelming. I know, I’ve been there.

So by writing this article I will try to disseminate the best routines & exercise selection based on where you’re at/lifestyle.

The Bro Split

The great thing about the “Bro Split” is simplicity. Chest day, back day, shoulder day, arm day and leg day. It looks good on paper but in reality it doesn’t work for the natural lifter for very long.

For starters 4-5 exercises, 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps of chest? OK so 20 sets of chest which is a moderate amount of volume. Your intensity is going to deteriorate after the second exercise and if we apply the model of supercompensation you’ve recovered and probably peaked after 48 hours. So what does your chest do for the next 3-4 days? Reverse. Yup, you go backwards. So think of the “Bro Split” as 2 steps forward, 1 step back training. It lacks the frequency of each muscle group twice per week for optimal growth. Unless you’re on pharmaceuticals that lift the ceiling of muscle protein synthesis.

The elite will use this method but train each body part twice a week which is upwards of 10-12 sessions a week! This is the only time I’d consider this method efficacious.

Push, Pull & legs

Push, pull, legs. Another popular method used by gym enthusiasts and body builders alike. This routine is usually done 3-6 times a week. Id only consider this method after 3-5 years of continuous gym experience.

The sessions are divided into Push sessions: Bench, shoulders, triceps etc. Pull: Rows, Chins, Biceps and legs: squats, legs Extensions etc. Some may perform lower body pulling/pushing exercises in push/pull days but that’s personal choice. Again It’s effectiveness is determined by its frequency as outlined by the process of supercompensation and reversibility as outlined previously.

When done with the typical 6 days a week its a highly effective method to build strength & muscle tissue (Hypertrophy) but only if you’ve got no real personal life, don’t intend to do any sport and probably either work a sedentary Job, part time or unemployed. This is because as with anything in life training is a stress and it only gets piled on top of other stresses such as work, relationships, finances etc.

Upper body/Lower Body

In my humble opinion one of the better choices for those with normal lives & commitments. It involves dedicating an entire session to the whole upper body and the whole legs. Am example might be Bench, pulldowns, overhead press, and rows finishing with some arms. 20-30 sets for the whole workout. You apply the same logic to legs. You do each routine twice a week for a frequency of 4. This allows 3 rest days a week in which you can get other stuff done but also recover sufficiently to train with intensity.

Most people will never need to progress past this routine unless they want to compete in bodybuilding or a strength sport by which time you wouldn’t be reading this article!

Whole body

Whole body training is by far the best method for beginners and intermediates which 99% of you are. It uses a 2-3 times a week frequency which is enough for those with busy lifestyles but also not overdoing it.

A Session example may be: Lower body Push, Upper body Pull, Lower body Pull, Upper body Push & finishing with some core/peripherals.

20-30 sets per workout for optimal gains but beginners can get away with as low as 10! You will experience linear improvements and gains for up to 3 years consistent lifting with this method. Consistency being the key word. Taking more than 10-14 days is highly counterproductive and will cause significant reversal/loss of motivation in any plan.

This method also leaves enough recovery on the table for sports participation & its an agile approach so when things go wrong in life its easier to jump back in without stressing about not hitting 30 sets of chest on a Monday!

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