Weight Lifting Routines
Here are good weight lifting routines for intermediates. If you are a beginner, please see our weightlifting routines for beginners. (Its page link awaits you near the bottom of this page. It's fine for you to read this page, but please do not begin training at this level.)
That would be like building a house on sand: why risk collapse?
If you are an intermediate trainee, there's nothing wrong with using the full-body routines presented on the beginners' page. That's especially true if you've been away from the iron game for a while.
The principles for training safely during routines apply to intermediates as well as to beginners.
For that information, see our Exercising Safely for Strength Training page. (Its link awaits you near the bottom of this page.)
As an intermediate trainee, you've earned the right to begin designing your own routines as well trying any routines that interest you from bodybuilding or fitness magazines or books.
Once you begin looking, though, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of options you now have.
Permit us to suggest a sensible way for you to experiment to determine which weight lifting routines work best for you.
You now have a year of writing your training log behind you, and you should use that to help determine which exercises are the most productive for you.
Initially, we recommend sticking with full-body workouts for a few months (or years or forever!).
However, instead of doing the same exercises each time, it's better to have more variety. Alternate workouts.
Let your "A" workout be based on squats and your "B" workout be based on deadlifts.
Still, be very cautious about using exercises that McRobert doesn't describe.
In addition to following the principles for training safely during weight lifting routines, ensure, too, that you warm-up correctly and perform reps perfectly, which we explain how to do in the Strength section that is listed on the menu buttons.
Furthermore, it's critical to work out intensely. You've spent a year earning the right to do that, and the time has come.
A. squat, parallel bar dip, prone row, standing calf raise, back extension, weighted crunch, gripper work, finger extensions.
B. Sumo deadlift, standing overhead press, standing bicep curl, side bend, neck work with towel, l-flye.
Reps and Sets
We are glad that you asked!
The point of weight lifting routines for lasting weight loss is to stimulate overcompensation in order to increase lean muscle mass. Your doing that as efficiently as possible means training with an eye towards your unique genetics.
Muscles are made of different kinds of fibers. Slow-twitch (Type I) fibers are necessary for most low-intensity movements as well as posture. Fast-twitch (Type IIA, Type IIB, and Type IIC) fibers are necessary for lifting and high-intensity movements. Fast-twitch fibers contract two to four times faster and fatigue faster than slow-twitch fibers.
Though the ratio of fast-twitch to slow-twitch fibers in your muscles is genetically determined, at least some types of exercise can change how some fibers perform.
Vigorous exercise can increase the size of both kinds of fibers. "Muscular hypertrophy" occurs when individual muscle cells grow larger, which increases the size of the muscle.
However, even in physically active older people, there is an age-related fall in the percentage of fast-twitch fibers. This fast-twitch atrophy has the effect of a very gradual muscular dystrophy, which partly explains the age-related loss in strength and slower body movements of older persons.
Though this age-related loss of muscle mass and strength may be inevitable, it can be retarded and even reversed by weight lifting routine. Chronological age is not biological age. The older we become, the more biologically diverse we may become while remaining chronologically similar.
So, we are wise when we engage in weight lifting routines and especially when we do so efficiently and as part of a total program of well-being (such as the one presented here on this free website).
The usual rep practice is to use a variety of rep ranges: 5-7 (low), 10-12 (medium), and 15-20 (high). If you use different rep ranges for a muscle group and train intensely to failure, you may hit 80% or so of the muscle fibers in a muscle.
We offer you a simple way to determine in your own gym what your ideal rep ranges are for your various muscle groups. The problem with it is that it does involve determining your one-rep maximum weight on various exercises.
Although the danger can be minimized, in general it's dangerous to use very low reps.
Nevertheless, doing them can be productive. Because they strengthen tendons and ligaments more than higher reps, they are important in building strength.
In this particular case, it has nothing to do with ego; it has to do with running a calculated risk in order to train more efficiently. (I (Dennis) have never hurt myself doing heavy singles, but, then, I only do them occasionally.) If they use them at all, folks in their sixties and beyond should only infrequently use very low reps.
If you are interested in how to test yourself, simply send in the form and request our free information. The request box is at the bottom of this page.
(Don't worry about privacy. We will never share your e-mail address with anyone and you will receive only what you request.)
If you don't want to bother doing the testing, you probably won't go far wrong if you keep your reps between 8 and 15.
Whew! This stuff can get complicated, can't it? Well, the other way to look at it is that it's interesting and enables you to understand why weight lifting routines achieve fat loss.
There's still a lot to be understood about how to build more lean muscle mass, and we doubt that any single person understands everything that is already known.
Point: keep your mind engaged in your training. Never stop learning.
There are many ways to do split routines, and we suggest that you investigate them for yourself (see the three books recommended below). Here's a bodybuilding program that I've tested thoroughly and like. We adapted it from Lawson's X-Treme Lean.
Feel free to adjust the rep ranges to suit your genetics.
It is imperative to keep continuous tension throughout each rep. Use power pulses on every exercise except deadlifts. Unless otherwise noted, rest 60 seconds between all sets. Keep whatever rest period you select consistent. The exception is the drop sets: do not rest between the three sets. Go to positive failure in all sets (except for deadlifts and squats where you should stop one rep short). Always keep form strict and avoid using momentum. Measure TULs and keep them over 30.
This program involves drop sets and supersets. If you are new to weight lifting routines, we do not recommend using such intensity tactics.
Intermediate trainees of weight lifting routines may use them sparingly.
If you have never tried a power lifting routine (as opposed to a body building routine), we encourage you to do so. The Wendler book (listed below) is excellent. You may only want to do power lifting or you may want to mix body building routines with power lifting routines.
If you would like our free, rep range report simply fill in the box at the bottom of this page and request the information. Don't worry about privacy. We would never share your e-mail address with anyone.
Highly recommended books
If you gained useful information from this weight lifting routines page, the following books are highly recommended.
Click on the first link listed below to go to our page on protein shakes.
Protein ShakesAlternatively, for the recommended reading list, or the rep range report, or the weight lifting routines for beginners, or the weightlifting tips page, or the exercising safely page, see the pages listed below.
Our web pages to help you further
In this the strength/weight training section of our website we have the following pages:
You will find the direct links to those pages on our site map/index, which is listed at the bottom of the navigation/menu buttons, to the left of this page.
Meanwhile, here are some of those links:
Weightlifting Tips, Part 1 Tips, Part 2
Weightlifting Tips, Part 1
Tips, Part 2Alternatively, use the page link immediately below to go to the Strength Training main page, which is the first page in this section of our website.
If you are looking for more about weight lifting routines, you can search our website or the World Wide Web.