For the past year I have been hitting the gym five days a week, while taking the weekend off. I started training in the gym sophomore year of high school, but I quickly realized that my personal training routine was not a very good one. After searching through many magazines and talking to people around the gym I realized that there is no perfect routine, nothing is carved in stone when it comes to lifting. The key to lifting I have found is doing what feels best. That means that your personal routine should make you feel comfortable about training and it should make you want to keep training.
The article I have read emphasizes this has a very important part of training, but the two most important factors that it talks about are that any program should be performed consistently and progressively. The article states three things that help contribute to a program that maintains consistency and progression. These three things are frequency, volume, and intensity. Recovering from a work out is the single most important thing, because it determines how far and long you are capable of lifting.
Frequency has a lot to due with this. For a person in high school or in college, the article says to work out three times per week. However many people in the gym are out of school, they have real jobs and real responsibilities. For them the article recommends two workouts per week. Weight training two to three times a week will give your body the physical time it needs in order to recover from lifting. The article states very clearly that the goal of training is to stimulate the body and not to torture the body.
This article brings a very good point up about how much training that a person should do. Volume has this is called is based on the number of exercises you do, the number of sets, and the amount of rest time in between sets. Time is a very important issue when it comes to volume. Its really all about keeping a good pace during a workout, with a 4-5 minutes between live sets. In all a good workout should take about 1 hour, this includes aerobic exercise also. The article also states what kind of exercises that a person should do.
For the upper body it says (bench press, overhead press, dip), a pulling movement (row, pulldown, high pull), and crunches for the abs. For the legs the article says (squat, deadlift, leg press). Many people go into the gym and try to almost kill themselves. This is where the question of how much intensity should be used in a training program comes in. The author of this article has a clear opinion on this touchy subject. He suggests that a person should train until they may have one last rep in them. This way he feels you will not completely burn out the muscle, ruining the rest of your program.
This really is true because the goal of lifting is to lift more each time not to go till failure. I really feel that this article can help a lot of people who are trying to get started in a training program. I fell that to many people just jump right into lifting blindly. By this I mean that they really have only one goal in mind, and that is just to get big. When really they should have quite a few such as how often do they want to lift, how much do they want to lift, and how hard are they willing to train for what they want.