As Personal Trainers, we ask every client what their weekly gym schedule will look like and then we map their goals accordingly. If you are working 1-4 body parts, you will typically need 3 days a week, alternating your work out and rest days. Typically with strength training we see these 2 popular scenarios:
Mon, Weds, Fri
Tues, Thurs, Sat
Combination Routines are an excellent way to work two body parts that naturally complement each other in one gym session:
Back & Biceps (Back First then Biceps)
Chest & Triceps (Chest First then Triceps)
Triceps & Biceps (Best in Super Sets)
Chest & Shoulders (Chest First)
Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (Chest First or Super Set Chest w/Shoulders and add triceps)
Thighs & Glutes
Hamstrings & Calves
Now Pair your days with your Training Routines. Example:
Mon = Back & Bi’s
Weds = Chest & Tri’s
Fri = Legs
If you are working more than 4 body parts a 4 Day Split is excellent. Example:
Mon = Back & Bi’s
Tues = Legs
Weds = Day Off
Thurs = Chest & Triceps
Fri = Shoulders & Abs
Utilize your off days for cardio or perform 30 minutes of cardio after your strength training so you can take full advantage of all your strength before fatiguing the muscles with cardio (Power Walk, Elliptical, Bike, Short Run).
You also might chose to perform an overall circuit training regime, Pilates class, or Yoga class 3-4 days a week where you get more of an over all body workout each training day.
These are typically great with a 4 Day Split scenario:
2 Days in a row, one day off, 2 days in a row again
These are the very basic combinations and the combos are endless depending upon your specific workout times, weekly progress, and personal goals. Map it out. Ink it to paper at least 2 weeks at a time. It will help you define your workouts and it will provide you with a solid “Self” Workout Journal to chart your progression.
The last big key for starting your strength training workouts is to be as consistent as you possibly can. The same workout times and training schedules will help your body begin to regulate. Remember every time you workout you are adding fuel to your metabolic furnace. Your metabolism spikes and your system begins to burn calories! When you perform weight resistance exercises which build muscle, not only do you burn calories during the duration of your workout, you also burn about 100 more calories over the next 24hr period. Crucial: Be sure you feed your muscle need within 30 minutes of your workout with a serving of protein. Take a protein shake along with you to the gym for easy access!