Can anyone help me add to the following? I'm trying to put together a good set of exercises for a 1hr upper body workout.
At the moment my sessions go something like the following:
Everything usually 3x10
Dumbell shoulder press
Ab workout "side to side slam with medicine ball" x100
Dumbell bench press
Cable cross over
Anyone have thoughts on how to structure a more effective session or what's missing? (I realise no leg exercises but that is by design since I'm swimming quite a bit right now which gives a decent leg workout)
How are you structuring the session? How many times a week will you be doing this? Goal? (strength, bulk etc)
Looks like there are obvious things missing like back and tricep exercises?
I personally like compound exercises where possible but haven't hit the gym in years. If you'll combine the whole upper body in one 1h session (not sure if possible) go for the 'main' exercise that hit all of the muscles in a group ie not isolation etc
Whatever you choose to do remember that getting stronger is mainly about 3 things: intensity, nutrition and rest/sleep.
In reply to SARS: Deadlifts and front squats, add in overhead squat if you dare! aim for double body weight deadlift.
Leave the curls they wont help. Maybe use the bench press as a test for upper body conditioning. If you cant do a body weight bench press (just one!) you probably have some shoulder/neck trouble to sort out before you get stronger. If you just dont feel strong enough then do some other training to get your there but keep it as a test, not as an exercise in itself. Try this out it can work well. Squats arent just for legs....
In reply to SARS: I'd personally look at more complex excersises (google "complex dumbell routine") its always worth putting something like a squat in, id swap the shoulder press for clean and jerks, mix up the bench press with incline sets, switch your ab workout and crunches to plank with knee raises to torso. or just mix it up a bit and not do the same thing every week. disclaimer: i dont know what im talking about.
In reply to SARS: Hey mate, hope I can help. Excuse me in advance if I seem like a know it all.
Firstly, you said you weren't going to do back exercises because your back is covered by climbing. Well, it isn't. Unless your back is already so strong that you're campusing up the wall (I'm guessing not) or your technique is so bad that you're still relying on back strength to haul your way up (I sincerely hope not), a climbing session isn't enough to get a great back workout. Add in a vertical pull like pull ups and a horizontal pull (row variation). Something you can do to allow a fair amount of rest between sets without taking too much time is supersets. For example, if you were to superset your shoulder press with pull ups, you'd perform one set of presses, one set of pulls, then repeat until you're done all the sets you had planned.
Secondly, you said there was no leg work as you're doing "quite a lot of swimming". You then said you were swimming just one a week. Well, people saying "I don't want to train legs because I do swimming/jogging/morris dancing" is the oldest excuse in the book for not training legs and has little merit to it. A cardio vascular activity like swimming does not train the legs in the same way as a strength based/anaerobic activity like a weight lifting workout. You don't need to train legs like a body builder or a power lifter might (although squats and Deadlifts wouldn't hurt) but at the very least throw some Bulgarian split squats and kettlebell swings in there.
Thirdly, the main thing that climbing needs is a strong grip. So train it! Two climbing sessions and two world that include a little grip work won't be overtraining if that's your concern. Buy a pair of Fat Gripz or similar product and use them on dumbbell and barbell handles for just about every exercise, whether it's a push or a pull. If you absolutely must then simply wrapping some towels/flannels around the handles will challenge your hands. You can also incorporate some direct grip work like farmer's walks, plate pinching or heavy finger rolls.
Fourthly, your core is made up of muscles, so train it like any other group of muscles. Don't waste your time with 100 crunches. Just because you feel a burn doesn't mean it's effective. Try doing standing cable crunches with enough weight that only allows 5-10 reps a set. Look up an exercise called 'full contact twist'. Try hanging leg raises. Do big challenging movements with as much added weight as needed to keep the reps fairly low.
Finally, ditch most of those isolation exercises. I'm not anti isolation and they have their place, but right now since you're only training twice a week for an hour each time, you need exercises which will give you the most bang for your buck. Here's a sample workout (yes, I can get a little geeky once I'm on a roll...)
A1 dumbbell shoulder press 3x5-8
A2 chin up 3x5-8
B1 Bulgarian split squats 4x5 (each side)
B2 kettlebell swings 4x15-25
C1 one arm dumbbell bench 3x5-8
C2 one arm dumbbell row 3x5-8
D cable crunches or hanging leg raises 3x6-10
E farmer's walks (dumbbells with thick handles) 4x20 seconds
1 minute should be enough rest between sets. You don't have to do this exact workout, but I hope it gives you some food for thought and I hope this rambling post has been helpful.
use of exercise ball for core.. you don't have much for your lower abs (they're harder to develop so need focus)
use ball for lower back excercises too... so do the plank on it and things like that.. core can be done whilst resting between sets of other exercises
you can also use the ball for doing any of weights that you'd usually use a bench for.. keeping feet, ankles and knees close together to engage the core whuilst you're doing things like presses for shoulders or chest
lat raises /front raises for shoudlers.. i find that my deltoids get pumped on steep routes so doung more on this muscle group helps
In reply to MischaHY: depends on how hard you climb and how much strength you have already. i think weight training targets muscle groups climbing doesn't and also helps prevent injury, and as a woman i weight train to build strength where i'd naturally be fairly weak.. which definitely helps my climbing
> Thanks all. Lots of interesting ideas.
> I'm still going to skip training the legs in the gym though. I have quite chunky legs already, from years of swimming as a kid. Last thing I need is to bulk up further in this area!
skip legs day? lol
trust me doing legs once a week is not going to give you thighs like a german cyclist.doing squats does your whole body.
In reply to SARS: First of all doing an hrs hard weight training will be counter productive. Base your routine around squats, deadlift, weighted chins and dips, bench press, and walking lunges with a weight held straight overhead. These big compound moves will give your core a good workout. I haven't came across anyone with a weak core that can deadlift more than twice their bodyweight. If you want a decent routine email me...
> (In reply to SARS)
> Big lifts are as good as cardio for losing weight. The real deep hunger you get after a good swim sesh you get after a good DL or squat day.
Very true. I do a fair bit of endurance events and some of the lads I ride with have pot bellies and really poor body composition because they do no form of resistance training. I've even heard a couple say they don't want to lift weights in case they get too big! WTF. They could lose the belly, develop some shoulders and probably not weigh any more than they do currently, and lets not forget the more muscle you carry the more calories you burn.
Hi mate, I would suggest that you try to understand what all the different muscles of the body will do and in which exercises they are used. Sounds simple but when you apply a bit of thought to your routine you can develop much more efficiently. For example:
You want to train triceps, shoulders, chest, biceps and back.
Think about what exercises you will do to work each muscle group.
Now consider which order you will train them.
If you begin with tricep curls and then do shoulder press and then bench you will fail on shoulders and bench press because your triceps are already fatigued. This means that your deltoids and pectoral muscles will not be overloaded as intended.
Now consider you begin with bench press, your chest gets fatigued as well as to a lesser extent, your triceps. Then do your shoulder exercises (Bear in mind you can do these without needing to use your triceps if you think about it). Finally, finish on triceps when this muscle group is fatigued. You wont lift as much weight as when you are fresh obviously but throughout the workout your triceps will have done a lot of work and will have been overloaded.
Basically begin with big exercises and then fail down to smaller ones. Eg. Pull ups followed by rows and then bicep curls.
If you are trying to build beach muscles then you can take fairly routine exercises and structure them more effectively. If you are training for something more functional (injury prevention) then it requires a bit more thought.
I'd suggest the rule of thumb that you should do the exercise that requires the most muscular co-ordination and envolves the most joints first and work towards simpler movements.
eg deadlift before bench press
pistol squat on a gymball with overhead kettlebell being at one end of the scale and crunches ot bicep curls at the other....
I guess for advanced body building this dosent apply as you are not stressing the nervous system to the same degree and as above you might want to pre fatigue muscles before a compound exercise (flys before benching etc).
Interesting thread, I only added weights to my training (running and climbing) a year ago and it has got me over a plateau
In reply to SARS: sunday;incline bench
incline dumbbell press
tricep push downs
reverse grip extensions
seated dumbbell curls
ez bar standing curls
seated preacher curls
lat pull downs
t bar rows
still leg dead lifts
over head bar press
reverse pec deck
In reply to SARS: 8 sets of 20 pull ups (4 wide grip and 4 narrow.. Reduce reps by about 25% when adding about 10 to 15 % weight) alternated with leg extensions 3x15
4 sets of 8-12 reps shoulder presses on machine or dumbbells alternated with leg curls sets of 15 repsseated rows 4x12 (sometimes locking off for a few seconds and therefore reducing reps) alternated with squats 3x15
Front raised combined with lat raises 10-12 of each for 3 sets alternated with bicep curls 3x12
Overhead tricep presses combined with press ups. 3 sets of high reps
Triceps pushdowns alternated with bicep cable curls. 3x high reps.
Abs.. Leg raises with exercise ball between feet _gets hip flexors too) alternated with upper an crunches then general an crunches whilst laying on ball.. 3 sets of,high reps of all three exErcises.
Lower,back.. Plank, kneeling on ball, hyper extension, on leg box on ball.. Usually choose two exerciseS and do 6 sets.
Do this sort of thong twice per week always,after hard catsup like interval training on bike for 45 mins.
Do cardio pretty much,every day and core three to four times a week
Climb four to five times week.
In reply to SARS: I don't really have a solid plan at the moment as I'm training for my first half marathon. When I'm done I'm starting a periodization plan for climbing though. I won't post the whole thing, but here is the part for the strength and power phase
4 weeks: strength and power
Twice a week: Grip, upper body
Deadhangs 3 sets of 4x5-10 secs. 1 minute rest between reps, 3 minute rest between sets
In reply to SARS: I'm sure there is lots of great advise above but my advice would be to introduce Gymnastic ring training rather than weight training. 2 sessions a week a push based session and a pull based session. My strength has had huge gains in 4 weeks. From being able to do 15 maybe maximum 20 pull ups on a good day! To 30 pull ups and even a one arm pull up. Research (building a gymnastic body) online
> (In reply to SARS)
> seated rows
> lat pull downs
> t bar rows
> machine rows
> nautilus pullovers
Is that just a list of exercises you do or the order in which you normally do them? If my gym had a nautilus or hammer strength pull over machine that would be top of the list work the back without tiring out the arms.
Again not sure of your goals but triceps after chest day and biceps before back isn't normally a good idea. Others would say a separate arms day is a waste of time and just follow the old chest and tris back and bicep where a few sets of curls or extensions are added on to the end of the main workout. As I do chest and back twice a week so fit in a fair few sets (shoulders get done once a week also do a full on leg day and a separate squat/deadlift session)
In reply to Paul Kinnaird: its just a list of what i do.day order is wrong way around.i put in a rest day where and when i feel i need one.as have 2 days off a week
dont climb anymore so im not doing it for that,just to get bigger and stronger
I'm coming around to your thinking. After front squats on Sunday I really felt it. Main difficulty with this though is that Sunday is the only day when the gym's quiet enough to get to the bars for squats etc.
Need some back workout in there. Right now it's all push/front apart from bicep curls. Add chinups instead of these and it kind of renders bicep curls obsolete. Or replace cable crossovers with chinups. Try and get 2 compound excersizes for pulling, 2 for pushing. Add assistance excersizes if you want but its not really necessary.
Deadlifts (amazing core + legs workout as well as back. learn to do them safely and you'll feel like youve really gotten stronger!)
> (In reply to Ian Black)
> I'm coming around to your thinking. After front squats on Sunday I really felt it. Main difficulty with this though is that Sunday is the only day when the gym's quiet enough to get to the bars for squats etc.
I've really gone for the maximum intensity in the shortest time. Never ever train bi or triceps as they get a good enough workout from weighted dips and chins. Even my ab work is minimal as my core gets a good workout from all the big moves. I definitely think keeping as brief as possible 20-30 min is the way forward.
Have shoulder and bench press in there now but agree, want to add deadlifts.
I'm in two minds re chin ups. Yes a good exercise, however, I'm also bouldering twice a week at a reasonable level V5+. So I'm trying to avoid exercises which weaken me for a next days bouldering. E.g. tomorrow.
Tother day I went down to a different gym that i have access to (EIS Sheffield) and they have got what I can only describe as a playroom for grownups: monkey bars, balance boards, sand bags (up to 25kg), some kind of horse collar things, soft boxes, ropes, medicine balls and a sideways trampoline.
I had a great time pissing about but is there anything structured many one can recommend? (For a performance focussed power/Olympic lifter)
> (In reply to cb_6)
> Is there any advantage of zurcher squats over front squats?
None really, just preference. Mainly I don't have a rack so dead lifting the bar and resting it on my thighs to hook my elbows under the bar is more practical than attempting to clean the weight into place, given the lack of mobility in my shoulders and flexibility in my wrists for the rack position. Both movements hammer the core while making the legs work. In my view, squatting with a heavy barbell will make you stronger whether the bar is on the traps, the front delts or the crooks of the elbows - as long as you're going heavy enough to push yourself of course.
I have the same problem at my usual gym, no squat rack. Hence the power cleans and front squats or over head squats, I'm at a bit of a plateau just now so looking for something else might try your zurcher pick up manouver to up the weight but it sounds horrific!
Tonight was first time for a while (new job last week), did;
Deadlifts 60, 100, 120, 140, 180, 190. 10-3 reps
Pull ups 2 sets bw, 5 sets with 20kg, 3 sets plyo to catch top of smith press
Dips 8x4sets 20kg
1 arm pull down 50-60kg 1-2 reps x 3
A new invention (that I probably can't claim): over head press with EZ bar but holding the handles of the plates (awkward and balance, and ace) 3sets 10 about 30kg
Stretching before and after, had a really nice time actually.
> Dumbell shoulder press
> Ab workout "side to side slam with medicine ball" x100
> Dumbell bench press
> Crunches x100
> Cable cross over
> Bicep curl
> Barbell/dumbell raise
DB press switch to arnold presses as better for overall shoulder health
no problem with the abworkout although woodchoppers are a nice alternative
db bench are great just make sure you get a decent back arch and shoulder blades driven right back on the neg.
crunches ok but balance with 45 degree hypers and reverse hypers (if available).