How to create a training program for the gym
After you have finished studying the introductory program for a beginner, a logical question arises - what to do next? At such moments, people open the Internet and take the first set of exercises they come across. However, it may not suit them in terms of training, be illiterately composed or compiled for a specific person. He has some abilities and limitations, and you have others. It is not difficult to create a simple and effective program for the gym. You will be convinced of this now.
Step 1 - choose a training split
Split is a way of distributing the training load on different days to different parts of the body. During the introductory period, you got stronger and prepared for more work. Volume refers to the number of exercises, sets, and reps. Since there should be 6-8 exercises in one lesson, and the duration of the training session should be within 60 minutes, you cannot simply take and add new movements. This is where split comes in.
There are many different splits: two-day, three-day, four-day, five-day. Scientifically proven to grow muscle mass and burn subcutaneous fat, you need to work out the muscle group twice a week (calorifier). Four and five day splits can be afforded by professional athletes who train intensively and recover with the help of pharmacological preparations.
For most gym goers, two-day and three-day splits are fine. After a few months of doing full body at a time, it is wise to start with a two day split. With three workouts a week, you will have to alternate classes: A-B-A in one week and B-A-B in another.
Examples of alternating workouts:
- Top and Bottom - You work the lower body separately (Workout A: legs and abs) and the upper (Workout B: chest, back, shoulders). The muscles in the arms are stressed in the pushing and pulling movements.
- Presses and Rows - In one session, you squat, work the muscles of the chest and shoulders, and in the second, the muscles of the back of the thigh and back.
- Antagonists - division into legs / abs / shoulders and chest / back / arms.
After 2-3 months, you can move on to three-day divisions:
Presses, deadlifts, legs are a popular variation of the men's 3-day split. When, with the transition to a three-day split, you increase the amount of exercise, transferring your leg workout to a separate day.
- Chest / shoulders / triceps, legs / abs, back / biceps are another common option.
- The front of the thigh / abs / middle beam of the shoulders, the back of the thigh / rear beam of deltas, chest / back / arms are a popular option for girls, since it allows you to give more load to the hips and buttocks.
After you have chosen the right split for yourself, you need to figure out the composition of the exercises, sets and reps.
Step 2 - choose the number of exercises
It is reasonable to do no more than eight exercises in one lesson. As you already know, exercises are basic and isolated. Basic (multi-joint) are named so because they affect entire muscle groups. For example, in squats, the entire mass of the hips, buttocks and abs work, and in the bench press, the pectoral muscles, the front bundle of the deltoid muscles and triceps. Isolated (single-joint) act on one muscle, involving one joint in the work. For example, in sitting leg extensions, only the quadriceps work, and in the reduction of lying dumbbells, only the pectoral muscles.
For each muscle group, there should be: 1-2 basic and 2-3 isolated movements. Basic should go first.
For example, a complex for legs and abs might look like this:
- Barbell Squats or Leg Press
- Dumbbell lunges
- Calf curls in the simulator
- Gluteal bridge
- Raises legs in support on the uneven bars
After you have chosen the exercises, you need to check how they suit you, and then move on to choosing a set-repetition mode.
Step 3 - choose the number of sets and reps
There are different rep ranges that allow you to develop certain physical qualities:
Up to 6 repetitions per set - develop mainly strength, to a lesser extent muscle hypertrophy;
- Within 6-12 - more hypertrophy, less strength and endurance;
- From 12 and above - more endurance, less hypertrophy.
Most experts agree that a 6-12 rep range is appropriate for muscle growth and fat loss, but there may be exceptions. Basic exercises require good coordination and strength, so they need to be put first and done in fewer repetitions - 8-10 per set, when single-joint movements can be performed without risk in more repetitions - 12-15.
The more reps you do, the fewer sets: 5 sets for 6-8 reps, 4 for 8-10 reps, 3 for 10-15 reps.
Add a set-repetition mode to our lesson and get Workout # 1 (A):
- Barbell Squats or Leg Press - 4 × 10
- Dumbbell Lunges - 3 x 12 per side
- Hyperextension - 3 × 12
- Machine Leg Curls - 3 × 12
- Glute Bridge - 3 × 15
- Raises the legs in support on the uneven bars - 3 × 15
- Plank - 60 sec
As for rest, it is equal to 1-1.5 minutes between sets of large exercises and up to 1 minute between sets of small exercises. The next step is to build the program.
Step 4 - putting it all together
Let's say we chose the simplest top and bottom split, where workout A is legs / abs and workout B is back / chest / shoulders.
Since we already have a complex for the legs and abs, we will make a complex for the upper body. Multi-joint exercises for the back - horizontal pulls to the waist and vertical pulls to the chest, for the chest - horizontal presses and push-ups, for the shoulders - vertical presses. As ancillary, we can take dilutions and adduction of the hands, and for the back we can use one-handed traction.
Workout # 2 (B) might look like this:
- Pull-ups in the gravitron - 4 × 10
- Horizontal block thrust - 3 × 12
- One Arm Bent Over Row - 3 × 12 per side
- Seated Dumbbell Press - 4 × 10
- Side Dumbbell Raises - 3 × 12
- Press on an incline or horizontal bench - 3 × 12
- Reduction of dumbbells lying on a bench - 3 × 12
There is a slight difference between male and female training. For example, men may ignore the gluteal bridge. Buttocks shaping is a feminine idea. Women are better off doing the incline bench press (calorizator) instead of the horizontal press. The horizontal press, contrary to misconceptions, does not increase and does not at all decorate a woman's breast, when an incline bench allows you to shift the emphasis to the neckline, making it more attractive.
Author: Ekaterina G., nutritionist, fitness blogger (specially for Calorizator.ru)
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