The first thing you need to know about exercises are the different types. You have several, but generally they're categorized into four.
1) Compound exercises- require multiple joints to perform
2) Isolation exercises - works a single joint at a time
3) Accessory Compounds - work multiple joints, but are used as a tool
4) Olympic lifts - used by Olympic lifters for increased speed strength and working your power fibers
Bent Over Row
The training method involves antagonistic exercise placement. If you would go straight from a pressing movement to another pressing movement, the synergists, stabilizers and agonist muscles would potentially be fatigued.
For example, bench pressing places the shoulder into the position of flexion, and strict pressing involves the same shoulder muscles to be places into extension. The chest, triceps and anterior deltoids are both depended on heavily. If you would do one after the other, it would potentially get cheated on progression.
That's where antagonistic comes in. Antagonist refers to a muscle that opposes the action of its opposite (chest, upper back; triceps, biceps). You work the bench press, then you turn around and work the opposite (the row).
Progression on this routine should be kept simple. With every push, there's an opposing pull to balance. Add 5-10lbs per workout on this routine. When you can no longer make linear progression, find the weak points and adjust as necessary. For example, if your bench stalls and you can press it over your chest but can't lockout, then you can add an additional movement for the triceps.
The use of isolations and their benefits I often refer to in a snow dog analogy. Think of it as snow dogs. If you have eight snow dogs pulling a sled and one snow dog starts to get weak while the other snow dogs are still getting stronger, by keeping that snow dog in the ground by itself, you're just going to hold the others back. What do you do in this situation? Take out the weak snow dog and strengthen him up. You do this by working him individually and then the snow dogs are all free to progress together and continue getting stronger.
Power cleans has been added. I know not many people do them, but they hit the type II fibers very well.
Studies have shown a movement plateaus, hitting the muscle at a different angle can sometimes increase further motor unit activity in the muscle (ACSM). If you use this logic to incorporate cleans, your squat and deadlift progression will benefit from them greatly...and you'll build explosive strength as well.
Nutrition is key. Make sure you're getting enough calories to grow. If you're gaining too much fat, then cut calories or increase activity. Make sure you are increasing your calories as you grow. You'll need more calories at 198lbs than you did at 194lbs.
Linear progression is very possible in novice trainees. This is because with each workout, your CNS starts activating previously inactivity motor units in the muscles. A motor unit is a single motor nerve cell and the muscle fibers it stimulates.
The key is to add progressive resistance, linearly. If you fail to increase the weight each workout, then you've failed to give your body new reason to grow. The exception is you increased reps, sets, tempo, decreased rest between sets. The best way to do it though is just add weight. Each workout, add 5-10lbs. If you're eating enough calories to support the growth you should make great progression this way.
Get lifting. Good luck.
Personal Trainer- ACE, NASM AFPA; Nutrition Consultant- AFPA
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." - Philippians 4:13"
Last edited by MVP; 04-03-2012 at 11:14 AM.