Saturday, April 4, 2009

Counting is the key!!

Of all the six body parts – chest, back, biceps, triceps, legs and shoulders, the ones of the chest, back and legs are considered to be the larger muscles.
§ Depending on the fitness status, the workout is divided into a 2-day or 3-day split, where in 3 muscle parts and 2 muscle parts are targeted on a single day.
§ Usual combinations include, synergistic muscles – the muscles around the main target muscle which assist in the particular movement – with the larger muscle group being targeted first.
§ E.g. while performing exercises for the chest, the triceps group of muscles also get involved. Hence, it makes sense to train them on the same day. However, amongst other reasons to support this order, the larger muscle being the chest group of muscles, the order is Chest – Triceps.
§ The same way, the usual combinations are Back – Biceps, and Legs – Shoulders. These combinations are not a rule of thumb, but just very commonly found and hence taken as an example.
§ Please remember the combination of muscles and the order is decided by your goals and targets as well as the different principles of weight training (Joe Wieder’s principles and many more..)
§ Most commonly used principle is the “Pyramid principle” – where you start with less weight and more repetitions in the first set, and then progress onto more weight and slightly lesser repetitions in the next set and so on. The logic is quite simple- that the heavier the weight, the lesser is your ability to repeat the movement frequently.
E.g. this would look like, 1st Set – 5 kg x 15 reps, 2nd Set – 7.5 kg x 12 reps and may be 3rd Set – 10 kg x 8 reps.
If this looks like what your workout card looks like, please understand, that every set, the focus must be on completely exhausting your effort (the last rep must be nearly impossible), and not strictly follow the counting! Use the counts as a guideline and decide for yourself..

Like I mentioned earlier, the focus of this article series is to enlighten you as to how a workout is designed, so that you know why you are doing what you are doing! Please solicit your trainer’s opinion too!!!!

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