I have been going to the gym almost every day for more than a year now and I learned few exercises and eventually learned how to do them efficiently. Although I probably still have a lot to learn, I just wanted to share my knowledge on workout splits and how to exercise efficiently. When I first started working out, it was actually quite easy and I didn’t have any problem working out all muscles groups every day because I was never intense enough in one muscle area. However, as I worked out more intensely in one muscle group, I had to split the workout into each different areas each day. I was on the 3-way split (chest/triceps, back/biceps, leg/shoulder) for about 6 months, however, even 3 way became too intense and difficult for me to exercise every day eventually. I had many days where my muscles were still sore after few days which needed more time to recover. So I am now on my 4-way split. My muscles now have enough time to recover (4 days apart). So far I have not had a day where I feel my muscles sore the day I exercise that specific muscle group.
Pull/Chin up - starting with pull up as its too difficult to pull up after below exercises
Deadlift - 9-10 sets. Romanian most of the time to hit the lower back. Make sure your weight is focused front.
Lat Pull down - Variations using different bars. Also close/wide grip rotated.
Shrug - not extremely heavy but not too low
Bent over Barbell row - the Key point is shoulder movement, all the way down and up. Variation of grip - Supinated/Pronated
One Arm Dumbbell row - Toward chest gets you bigger lats, Toward stomach targets lower back. Variation of grip - Neutral/Supinated/Pronated
T-bar row - Use smaller plates like 25 pounds which give you wider range of motion
Seated Cable Row - Switch between different bars. Close/wide grip rotated.
Straight Arm Pulldown - Not too heavy. Make sure straight down form is kept. Feel the muscle movement in the back.
Inverted Row - Great with TRX. I feel it better when I place my feet on a gym ball or steps.
I start shoulder with dumbbell shoulder press aka Arnold dumbbell press. You don’t need to come down all the way. It is good enough if you keep your 90-degree angle with shoulder and arm. 9-10 sets. Then I move on to lateral raises. Don’t go too high (over your shoulders) as it will start working too much on your lats. I then move to front/back lateral raise. Same thing here don’t lift too high and one tip for bent over back lateral raise is that you should relax your arm and move up only using your shoulder. It is okay to bend your waist as needed to find the comfort zone for your shoulder. Biceps next. Normally plain dumbbell curl or overhead cable curls. Sometimes I do preach curls or concentrated curl. I work on triceps next. Extensions using the machine or barbell/dumbbell. I don’t do a whole lot of triceps as they are covered a lot with other compound movements such as bench press.
Leg day is always toughest. I sweat a lot and short of breath almost every time I work on my legs. This also means you are gaining a lot, stronger and healthier each time. Training legs get me the most sweat, therefore, the most excited I feel great after I finish working my legs out. I start my leg workout with squats, 9-10 pyramid sets. Then I normally do my calves. Either standing or seated calf raise. After this, it’s incline leg press. At this point, I am already quite exhausted. Depending on how I feel I add in lunges. Then I finish off exercise doing my ab exercise such as leg raise, bicycle, planks, etc.
Woot woot, it’s chest day which is probably the most enjoyable exercising muscle group out of all above. I normally start by relaxing my chest muscles with pec dec fly. Then I straight go do the barbell bench press, 9-10 sets. After this, incline barbell bench press to do my upper pec, 4 sets. Chest dips allow me to do my lower pec, 4 sets. I rarely do my decline press as I feel uncomfortable with my blood rushed toward my face :( Then I go to do cable crossovers. I do all 3 variations (low, medium, high) of cable crossovers 2-3 sets each. I then go do my pushups. 4 sets of 20 each. When the barbell benches are all taken, I substitute them with benches with dumbbells instead. Dumbbell option obviously not exactly same as barbell press and it is good to do a variety of different exercises to maximize your gains in every part of muscle groups in your body.
Then repeat above 4 daily except Friday which will give the muscle group a rest of 72 hours+. I have one rest day/week, mostly on Friday as I try to keep myself busy that night :). Notice how I have those 9-10 sets for the power listings. I found that doing those 9-10 sets gained lots of strength and endurance and most important those are the ones that make me sweat the most.