Weight Training Program Evaluation

Question

Hello, I want to know if you can evaluate my workout routine, and also how to get away from this plateau I've been having for the past 3 weeks.

In total, I’ve officially worked out for 8 weeks, and I have seen my chest get some muscle, my abs a bit harder, and my arms a bit bigger. I am 18, 5'8'', and weigh about 142 pounds but I am not sure what part of it is muscle and what part is fat.

Also, almost all my body fat accumulates around my stomach area, thighs, and chest. Mostly around my stomach now since I have more muscle chest muscle.

My Routine:

Saturday: Chest and Abs

Bench Press: 2 set 10 x warm ups.lbs(60,80)
3 sets;10x, 6-8x, 2 - 4x. Lbs 100,110,120.

Flat Bench Press: 1 warm up, 25 lbs
3 sets; 10x, 8x, 6x, lbs 35, 40, 45

Incline and Decline Press: no warm up
3 sets: 10x, 8x, 6x, lbs 35, 40, 45

Flat Bench Fly and Push ups super set.
-3 sets, 10 flies super set with 10 push ups.

Abs workout:

Crunches: 3 sets of 190
Oblique Crunch: 3 sets of 110
Hang Leg Raise: 3 sets of 20

Monday: Biceps - Shoulders -

Biceps Curl: warmup 1set 10 x per arm 20 lbs
3sets; 10x/arm; 6-8x/arm; 2-4x/arm: lbs; 25, 30, 35

Lateral Raise: warmup 1set;10x;15lbs
3sets 10x; 20lbs

Shoulder Shrugs: warmup 1set; 20x; 25lbs
3sets; 20x; 18x;16x lbs; 30 35 40

Preacher Curls: no warmup(bar weight)

3sets;14x; 12x; 10x lbs; lbs added: 20, 30, 40

Back pulley: warmup 1set; 15x 55lbs
3sets;14x, 88lbs

Shoulder Press: 1 warmup 20lbs
3sets;10x 25lbs

Single Arm dumbbell row: no warmup
3sets/arm; 10x 30lbs

Wednesday: Chest - Triceps - Abs

I do my chest workout again, but I try to put more weight or more Reps, but I can't seem to improve

Triceps:
Standing Cable Press downs: no warm up
3sets; 8x 25lbs

Some sitting down triceps workout:
1set warmup 15x 70lbs
3sets 14x 100lbs

Then my Abs workout again, I add 20 reps to each crunches set and oblique. Then add 1 or 2 to hanging raise.

Sorry If your like ugh with all this info. But my plateau seems to be in the chest workouts, its been the same for the past 2 weeks.

The routine I showed you was this weeks routine. Improved workouts from previous week:

Preacher,
Back pulley,
Triceps,
Single Arm Row
Abs

Plateau Workout:
All of my chest workouts and biceps curls.

After each workout I do 20 minutes on the treadmill. After leaving locker room I eat a 20g protein bar, then when I get home I eat at like 8-8:30ish dinner, rice and 3-4 pieces of chicken.

Every breakfast I have 4 pancakes, and scramble eggs(3 eggs). Every meal I drink water, my lunch for the past days were egg omelets.

So any tips would greatly be appreciated about this plateau, and this stomach fat that seems to be increasing.

Thank you for reading

Question submitted by Juan

Response

Hi Juan,

Thanks for the question.

After taking a look at your weight training routine, I’ve spotted some areas where you may want to change or improve.

My first question is where are your leg workouts? By only training your upper body and not training your lower body, you leave 30% of your gains on the table.

Try incorporating leg press’ and squats into your routine. Squats alone will greatly improve your overall strength.

My second question is your exercise sequence for Monday’s workout which is Biceps and Shoulders. Always start with the largest body part first.

In this case, you will want to do shoulders first followed by biceps. This leads me to my third question. Your shoulders and triceps may be still recovering from Saturday’s workout so you may need to take another day off to give your triceps more recovery time. This brings me to my next question. Get rid of standing triceps push downs and substitute that with close grip bench press’ or lying triceps extensions.

My fifth question is your bench press sequence. Stop doing the doubles and quads in your workout. This is your main problem. By doing doubles and quads (ie: 1 x of 2 to 4 repetitions with 120 pounds) each and every chest workout, your not going to see any results. You may see some results after 4 to 6 weeks of this kind of training but soon after, your body can’t handle this progression based on your training level (Most beginners fall into this trap). The only time you should be doing doubles and quads is at the peak of your training cycle and really, beginners shouldn’t even be thinking of doing doubles and quads.

I’ve been weight training for over 20 years and I don’t ever go near doubles. Stop doing doubles and quads immediately and get back on track to a reasonable set and rep progression. Your not at a level yet to be doing doubles and quads.

It looks as if your maximum bench press is around 135 pounds. Here’s what your progression should look like, assuming your max is 135 pounds:

Warm up: 1 x 20 repetitions (40% of max or 55 pounds) - Rest for one minute
Set 1: 1 x 8 repetitions (55% of max or 75 pounds) - Rest for one minute
Set 2: 1 x 8 repetitions (65% of your max or 85 pounds) - Rest for one minute
Set 3: 1 x 8 repetitions (75% of your max or 100 pounds)

At your level, all you need is 3 sets and make sure all your repetitions are unassisted. Really, at your weight training level, you shouldn’t be nearing failure. Of course, you should have a spotter on your final set but he/she shouldn’t be helping you complete the set. If they are, lighten the load until you are able to complete 8 repetitions on your own for your final set. Here’s what you want to do, keep the weight the same with each workout but for your final set, you want to complete 12 unassisted repetitions with 75% of your max - On Your Own. Once you complete 12 repetitions on your own, add more weight to the bar next workout, maybe 20 more pounds and do the whole thing over.

Remember, stay away from the doubles and quads. No more 1 x 2 - 4 reps. After you’ve been training for 8 months or so, you may try a double or quad but never do these types of reps each and every workout.

From what I gather, this is what your weight training schedule looks like:

Saturday - Chest and Abs;

Monday - Biceps and Shoulders;

Wednesday - Chest - Triceps - Abs

This is what your weight training routine actually looks like:

Saturday - Triceps

Monday - Triceps

Wednesday - Triceps

Can you see why you stopped gaining?

Your triceps are a very small and delicate muscle group. Training them in this manner will only hurt them and not grow them. You also mentioned that you try and go heavier on Wednesday. This is why your not progressing.

What you should be doing is spacing your workouts far enough apart to allow them to fully recover. At your weight training stage you should only be doing 2 exercises per body part up to a maximum of 3 sets per body part. Also, you need to start training legs.

Here’s what an ideal weight training schedule for your weight training level:

Monday: Chest and Triceps
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Legs and Abs
Thursday: Shoulders and Biceps
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Back, Traps and Abs
Sunday: Rest

Or something to this effect. If you take a look at this schedule, triceps are two days out of the week but get plenty of rest and recovery time. As for exercise choice, you should be doing one compound movement per body part followed by another exercise of your choice - no more that two exercises.

As for your post workout meal, get rid of the protein bar. Try having one banana and 500 ml of milk or better yet, a protein drink with 30 grams of whey protein and 50 grams of quick acting carbohydrates.

See the following pages for more information about nutrition:

Weight Training Diet

I hope this helps,

Blake









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