Have a question about varying strength routines

aippolito1
aippolito1 Posts: 4,894 Member
So I have a routine for my full body that I want to do twice a week so I can cut down on how long I'm in the gym doing strength weekly. I was splitting up arms/chest/shoulders, abs/legs and then had another day for shoulders/back. Well, that got tiring because I felt like I wasn't seeing results only working each muscle once a week. So now I've been doing full body, takes about an hour and a half, and doing it twice a week. My problem is, I'm getting kind of bored with it and feel like I've seen progress in muscle growth with other things and would like to incorporate those too. So, my question to you guys is, if I were to do my full body workout once a week and then on the other day I would NORMALLY do it again, if I did a Jillian Michaels video (No More Trouble Zones) which I've had success with in the past but got bored with doing every other day, do you think I would still see progress in my muscle tone since they're two separate work outs?

I can't do NMTZ every other day because it makes me too sore so I think I'd like to ease into it by doing it once a week in addition to my normal full body work out at the gym but I'm worried since they're different work outs, they wouldn't be consistent with each other and I would see even less progress in my muscle growth & tone. Ugh, just want my flabby arms gone, and I want my thighs to get smaller!!

Replies

  • samiramom
    samiramom Posts: 11 Member
    Hey...What do you do the other 3 days during the week as I see that you work out 5x per week? I ask because if you are getting cardio in on the other 3 days then the 2 days that you are concerned with for strength should be varied as much as possible. When a routine begins to either make physical progress or you become bored, it is time to change it. You want to keep your muscles guessing as much as possible. Simple changes could be as little as changing the amount of weights or reps per set or a drastic change could be to create a whole new routine. Remember, there are thousands of combination of exercises to target your areas of concern so feel free to change it up. Using NMTZ is just another twist on keeping your muscles guessing.

    I use a variety of tools...Taebo, The Firm, Jillian Michaels, treadmill, free weights, Zumba, dancing, etc...and I can get on "kicks" and then change up once I am no longer challenged. I have found that while I may have thought I mastered a particular routine, when I came back to it a few weeks later, it was as if I hadn't done it...so your body gets use to what you do...just shake things up a bit...it is okay...the most important thing is that you are exercising and that you are seeing progress.

    Keep up the good work!
  • crisanderson27
    crisanderson27 Posts: 5,343 Member
    I too am sort of up in the air on my exercise routine. It's working, and I'm happy with it...but I can't help but wonder if something else would work better, or if I couldn't be doing 'more'. Impatience is a large part of it I think. I saw such great gains in a short month to month and a half, and now that they are slowing down lol...I want MORE.

    As to your specific question...changing it up can never hurt. Your body is like a set of scales...it wants to keep things the same...and all it is concerned with is survival. If you're unhealthy in weight and lifestyle, and surviving, it'll maintain it. If you're healthy in weight and lifestyle, it'll maintain that too. Doing the same workouts every week will eventually result in no gains, as your body acclimates to it. The same goes for diet. Keeping your muscles and metabolism guessing with different inputs and exercises seems to be the best way to avoid that.
  • aippolito1
    aippolito1 Posts: 4,894 Member
    I do cardio the other days. I run or do the elliptical or roller blade, or if I have a double at work (I wait tables), I count one of my shifts as extra cardio. I've never really done any other kind of strength workouts other than just using weights or machines at the gym besides JM's NMTZ video and for awhile last year I took a Turbo Kick class once a week... so I don't really know how varied my strength routine should be and if it would help me see better results in my muscle growth/tone. Makes sense that it would if the same is true for cardio but I guess it just doesn't make sense in my mind.
  • End6ame
    End6ame Posts: 903
    Check out StrongLifts 5x5:
    http://stronglifts.com/stronglifts-5x5-beginner-strength-training-program/

    It is a free weight barbell routine that you do 3 days per week. You add 5lbs to each lift every gym day. Adding the weight every day helps keep you motivated. You will get stronger faster. The program is advertised toward men but it works just as well for women.
  • crisanderson27
    crisanderson27 Posts: 5,343 Member
    I do cardio the other days. I run or do the elliptical or roller blade, or if I have a double at work (I wait tables), I count one of my shifts as extra cardio. I've never really done any other kind of strength workouts other than just using weights or machines at the gym besides JM's NMTZ video and for awhile last year I took a Turbo Kick class once a week... so I don't really know how varied my strength routine should be and if it would help me see better results in my muscle growth/tone. Makes sense that it would if the same is true for cardio but I guess it just doesn't make sense in my mind.

    I know what you mean. My workouts are three days a week, two seperate workout breakdowns (a, b, a...then the next week b, a, b)...and are highly varied. Here's the break down:

    Workout A
    1A. Knee dominant - 5 x 5
    1B. Horizontal push - 5 x 5
    1C. Horizontal pull - 5 x 5
    2A. Ab - flexion - 3 x 5
    2B. Ab - static 3 x 30 seconds



    Workout B
    1A. Knee dominant - 5 x 5
    1B. Vertical push - 5 x 5
    1C. Hip dominant - 5 x 5
    1D. Vertical pull - 5 x 5
    2A. Ab - rotation - 3 x 5
    2B. Grip and neck training - 3 x varies

    Exercise Progressions - with regular weight training you can just add weight to the bar. With bodyweight progression is mostly about changing your leverage. These are just a few examples, I'm sure we could come up with dozens more if needed. You can always add resistance in the form of a weighted vest or backpack or resistance bands.

    1. Knee Dominant -- squats, lunges, step-ups, bulgarian split squats, unilateral bent leg deadlift, partial one leg squat, one leg squat, box or stair pistols, full pistols.
    2. Horizontal Push -- pushups, decline pushups, resistance pushups, side to side pushups, stair one arm pushups, negative one arm pushups, full one arm pushups.
    3. Horizontal Pull -- body row, resistance body row, negative one hand row, incline one hand row, full one hand row.
    4. Ab - flexion -- crunches, situps, resistance or incline situps, reverse situp, resistance or incline reverse situps, hanging knee or leg raise, hanging pikes, rollout from knees, rollout from feet, dragon flag. Also included are oblique moves like side lying crunches with or without resistance and side lying two leg raise.
    5. Abs- static -- 4 point prone bridge, 3 point prone bridge, 2 point prone bridge, 4 point supine bridge, 3 point supine bridge.
    6. Vertical Push -- pike pushup, hindu pushup, divebomber pushup, decline pike pushup, decline hindu pushup, decline divebomber pushup, one arm pike pushup, negative handstand pushup, handstand pushup with head touching floor, full handstand pushup.
    7. Hip Dominant -- supine hip extension, good morning, one leg stiff leg deadlift, split one leg good morning, one leg supine hip extension, hyperextension, one leg hyperextension, natural glute-ham raise.
    8. Vertical Pull -- jumping or assisted pullups, pullups, resistance pullups, side to side pullups, negative one hand pullups, one hand pullups. All these can refer to chinups or neutral grip pullups as well.
    9. Ab - rotation -- twist crunches or situps, resistance or incline twist crunches or situps, russian twists, lying windshield wipers, standing rope rotations, hanging windshield wipers.
    10. Grip and Neck Training -- for grip you can use handgrippers, deadhangs from a pullup bar (especially a fatbar or gripping a towel). For neck nothing beats wrestlers bridges. If you are involved in a striking martial art or sport, finger and fist pushups are very important also

    Basically for each body part...I can pick ANY of the exercises I can complete from the lower lists (they're listed easiest to hardest). This keeps things interesting and still works out the key body parts. I noticed Grglandr posted up a 5x5 free weight link...and this is the same thing basically, only with bodyweight.

    Cris
  • kdiamond
    kdiamond Posts: 3,329 Member
    Check out "New Rules of Lifting for Women" - its a great program in 7 stages, each stage has 2-3 different workouts, keeps you from getting bored and you increase your strength and endurance.