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Old 12-05-2009, 03:16 PM   #12
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Casey Butt

So, as far as the H,L,M thing goes, can you explain more? I mean is it saying rep ranges?
LIke on heavy day do 3sets of 3-6 reps, Light day do 3sets of 10-15 reps and medium do 3sets of 6-12 reps?
For bodybuilding purposes, yes, that's the general guideline.
heres that routine I made up (below), dont know if its good or not, it may be terrible, but instead of doing the same excersie for each muscle each day I did a new excersie, Incline, Dips so if I do that would I still wanna do the H,L,M thing?
The routine looks fine. The idea with selecting different exercises on different days is that the exercises fall into H/L/M categories by nature. For example, baring some special circumstances you can use more weight on Bench Presses than on Inclines. The combined weight on DB Presses is usually less than Inclines (not for everyone, it depends on the angle and the person). So those three allocate themselves into a H/L/M scheme. But there are also other, more personal, things to consider. Personally, I find doing Inclines heavy two days after Benches is too much stress on the elbows and shoulders, so I either have to do the Inclines lighter (for higher reps) or do DB Presses instead because DB Presses don't tax my joints like Barbell work does (it's fairly common for people to find that). So for me, it works better to do Benches on heavy day, DB Presses on light day and Incline Presses on medium day.

Some people with robust joints would have no problem pushing those three exercises heavy on all the three training days. So for them they could use 5x5 on all three days (with the exercises themselves dictating the H/L/M classifications). Most people can't keep that up however, so they either have to train well within their capabilities when they lift, or they have to further impose a H/L/M rep scheme with low reps on H day, high reps on L day, and moderate reps on M day.

You've got a lot of fairly joint intensive pressing work in your routine. You might be fine with that or you might run into trouble. If you do run into trouble, realize that it's the fact that you aren't conditioned for such a workload this soon (you might be able to prosper from it in the future, after proper conditioning) or it's simply too much. If that's the case, it's not the full-body routine that's causing the problems it's how you implemented it.

Whenever I set up a H/L/M routine for an advanced trainee I'm always careful to put relatively "joint-friendly" exercises on the L day to start and use higher reps and shorter rests on that day to get the training effect ('cumulative fatigue' training). If that goes well other options may open up. For beginners it's less crucial because they usually don't have the strength and neuromuscular efficiency to get themselves into trouble on a basic routine.

Originally Posted by struck
@Casey: What do you think of this workout outlined here for beginners or lifters who have been currently using splits? A Simple Beginner's Routine - Forums
You have mentioned that the transition from splits to full-body workouts have to be gradual rather than rapid, however, it's tough to grasp the real analogy you have presented. Should a transition be composed of initially starting with less exercises? Or all exercises with less sets? Or perhaps all exercises with both less sets and less reps?
That looks like an excellent program.

The main "trap" that an advanced trainee switching to full-body falls into is doing too much too soon. It's quite a different stress to train the full-body three times per week as compared to a typical split.

Two problems usually show up. 1) Advanced trainees don't take the 'light' days seriously and they end up bringing on nagging joint pains (elbows, knees, shoulders, etc) and/or 2) They train too heavy, too soon and end up burning out fast.

I usually tell advanced trainees to select no more than two exercises per body part per day and choose exercises for the light day that they know aren't "joint threatening" for them. For instance, Close-grip Bench Presses have always aggravated my elbows, so I would not put them on a light day. But two exercises per body part is jumping in on the deep end for most trainees. In most cases it would be better to select just one exercise per body part on each day. After the weeks go by and you've adapted to the program and made some gains you can try adding a second exercise for each body part on the heavy days.

As for sets, rank beginners usually do well with two, advanced trainees can do more - with 3-5 being the general rule.

Advanced trainees starting out on full-body can't train all-out from the get-go. Their joints won't last, they'll hit a wall or their lower backs will spasm within a few weeks. They need to start off with manageable weights, no training to failure, and build gradually from there.

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