And now, for your learned criticism and historical assessment . . . Part Five.
More often than not the question will arise: How often should I train each bodypart? I am going to take some time here and briefly review some comments and suggestions that I have made thus far in this text. This may seem a bit repetitious, but it is rather in line with the above question.
One fact we are sure of is that when an exercise is carried to absolute failure on each set (2 to 3 sets max), very brief amounts of exercise ARE best for rapid results.
We find also that if we do brief amounts of exercise and do not work to the maximum effort, the muscle fibers will be STIMULATED into further size and strength.
LIkewise, if we perform long workouts consisting of 12-15-20 sets per bodypart, and do not carry these to maximum failure (which would be literally impossible for this huge amount of sets), we find that the recovery ability of the body will EXHAUST itself from trying as hard as possible to replace the energy expenditure caused from this extreme volume of exercise.
Concluding from the above comments we find that we are either stimulating the muscle fibers enough from too little exercise not carried to failure, or we enter a state of being overtrained from too much exercise, thus, little or no gains are registered.
Now, we know for a fact that one exercise per bodypart carried to its absolute limit for 2 to 3 sets maximum is approximately right for gaining size and strength while remaining within the bounds of the recovery ability. This applies to most beginners and intermediate bodybuilders. I mentioned earlier that the recuperative abilities of an individual will reach new levels of tolerance. In this case one could probably perform as many as 2 to 3 exercises (2 to 3 sets each, max effort) per bodypart. Now this would be the absolute LIMIT without overtraining by doing TOO MANY exercises per bodypart.
Recovery from workouts requires 48 hours rest (between workouts) in the smaller muscle areas and as much as 72 hours to 5 days in the larger ones. From this last comment we find part of the answer to our original question, "How often should I train each bodypart?" Three times per week would be the absolute maximum for the smaller muscle areas (using only one exercise per bodypart), and one and no more than two workouts per week for the larger muscles such as the thighs, lower back and chest. Applying this point of fact, we will be able to maintain a good energy level and the body reserves of chemicals (created by proper nutrition) will continue to gain more output for gaining in size and strength.
However, you must take into consideration -- You can't do justice to a workout that incorporates all bodyparts in one workout. This practice invariably causes a standstill in progress due to the enormous drain on the body's reserves (recovery ability, etc.) even if your diet and rest are adequate.
The "amount intensity" of the workout and the "time limit" are important here. If your desire is to work out 3 times per week, consider this sample routine.
Six day per week schedule. Work 4 or 5 different bodyparts every other day.
Do only one exercise per bodypart (3 sets each, max effort).
* indicates bodyparts worked only twice per week *
Delts, *Thighs*, Biceps, Forearms, Triceps
*Chest*, Lats, *Lower Back*, Traps
Delts, Thighs, Biceps
Chest, Lats, Lower Back
Traps, Forearms, Triceps
On this type of schedule you could possibly use two exercises per bodypart.
Calves and Abs -- These areas could be exercised (max effort) 6 days per week with result producing effects, because there is very little energy expenditure lost from the recovery ability of the body from these two movements.
A training session properly performed should never take much more than 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. This should be adhered to regardless of the training endeavors (bodybuilding, powerlifting, or training for a specific sport, etc.)
This time factor for training will allow a maximum of 2 to 3 minutes rest between sets, two minutes rest between different bodyparts and the average time of 1 minute (6 seconds to perform 1 rep) to properly perform a set of 10 reps.
Also taken into consideration is the time needed for sufficient warmups preceding the various exercises. Following brief and intense workouts in the manner we have discusses thus far will allow you to do as much as possible in the shortest amount of time, and you can fully recuperate while almost certainly STIMULATING your muscles into growth.
Next: Types of Injuries and Preventative Measures
Enjoy Your Lifting!