What programs are best for getting results?

June 6, 2015

Q: Do you have any suggestions on how to make a workout program? Also, how do I change things up as I get stronger and more advanced?

A: There are many ways to organize your training routine depending on your lifestyle and level of training. Remember, start with the basics. Weight training is like building a house; you want to build a strong foundation before you ever think about putting on the roof. Here are a few routines ranging from beginner to advanced trainee to help get you going.


Full-body workout

Try a full-body workout. Pick one exercise for each body part and do two to three total sets per exercise. Complete this workout two to three times a week with at least one day of rest between training sessions. This workout allows you to hit each body part more frequently, but the low volume of sets gives your body plenty of time to recover. This routine is great for people who are just starting to lift weights or those who have taken off for a long period of time, or people interested in toning up and dropping weight.


Three-day training split

Add a little volume by progressing to a three-day training split. Divide your workout into three body parts per day and double the volume with two exercises and six total sets per body part. This workout allows you to hit each muscle group with more intensity, but still lets you get everything done in only three days.

This workout is a step up from the full body, but it can be finished without adding an extra day to your training schedule.

It’s a great transition from beginner to intermediate lifter.


Four-day training split

You may even want to try a four-day training split by working only two body parts a day. This program is much more intense than the others I’ve mentioned above because each body part is trained with three to four exercises and a total of nine to 12 sets. This program is more advanced and is generally for more experienced lifters who are more focused on adding size and strength. It can also be used by the average person as a great way to get results and shake up their routines.


Five-day training split

Some people prefer training one body part a day. This program allows you to pay full attention to detail by training each body part with four to five different exercises and a total of 12 to 15 sets. The advantage is that you can hit each muscle from every angle with a high volume of work. The disadvantage is it will take a full seven days to complete one full training cycle. This routine is generally reserved for body builders and hardcore lifters who are much more serious about training than the average person.

Super sets and tri sets

Any of the above programs can be tweaked into super sets or tri sets to increase the intensity and make them more interesting. This is usually done once your body gets used to what you’re doing, and you need to throw it a curve ball to continue to get results. A super set is doing two different exercises back to back without resting. A good example would be doing pushups and cable rows.

Tri sets would be doing three different exercises back to back without resting. A good example would be doing pushups, cable rows and bicycle crunches. Combining these exercises together will prove to be much more challenging and will build muscular endurance as well as strength. Try adding super or tri sets to the above program.

As you see, there are endless ways of organizing your training program. Don’t be afraid to try different things. With trial and error, you will eventually find a system that works best for you. Remember, working out is like building a house. Start with a strong foundation by learning basics and proper form, and get fancy later when the frame of your workout is strong and you are ready for more intense workouts.

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