Looking for some help optimizing my workout plan

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Looking for some help optimizing my workout plan

Postby Questionof_ » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:12 pm

Hi there,

I had a training log here that quickly died. The good news is that I was only too lazy to keep the online log updated, but not too lazy to keep working out.
I did a split-training program for a few month but I often read that compound exercises were the way to go, so I switched up my routine a few weeks ago.

Here's what the plan looks like:

Days 1 and 4:
- Barbell row, 3 sets
- Flat benchpress, 2 sets
- Inclined benchpress, 2 sets
- Bodyweight rows, 2 sets
- Pull-ups, 2 sets
- Military press/Arnold press, 3 sets
- Dips, 3 sets
- Standing rows, 2 sets

These are compound exercises for chest, shoulders, arms and back. I do antagonistic supersets.


Days 2 and 5
- Leg raise, 3 sets
- Stiff leg deadlift, 3 sets
- Knee raise, 3 sets
- Leg extension, 2 sets
- Squats, 3 sets

These are supposed to be compound exercises for the legs and abs.

My issues are with days 2 and 5. And here, I'd really appreciate some input:
- Are there any high-impact ab exercises that don't require a machine? I'd like to work my abs in a 6-10 rep range like the other exercises and I very much dislike doing dozens of crunches.
- I exercise at home and I have a bit of a problem with the squats: I need to use a lot of weight to get into at <12 rep range and I'm worried about my safety, lifting a large amount of weight into and out of the rack without assistance. Any tips?
- Any general feedback on the workout plan?

Cheers,
Q
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Postby JP » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:07 pm

hey mate.

First comment is that the best and most efficient day 2/5 exercise, squats, is in the wrong end of the session.

This is not only for the reason that squats are the best overall strength and muscle builder, but that they also are a technical freeweight compound lift, where you can move a lot of weight. And when you move a lot of weight, you want your body to be at its best.

The trouble in your plan is that you weaken the abs by working the abs first, then some hamstrings, abs again and then quads - and then you go to squats which work your whole body as a unit, not in isolation, but with weakened/fatiqued big main muscles.

When your weights creep up, consider splitting the day 1/4 into two separate sessions as well. As you lift heavier, you need more warm up sets, and more focus on the main lifts, so you may not have time to do it properly if the session is that stacked.

About the squat safety thing, so you dont have any stands which would catch the weight if you would fail? Olympic lifters dont use stands anyway, they just drop the weight behind them if they have to. This is actually pretty easy to do, but if you havent done it before you REALLY need to, it can go wrong and drop down your back, so actually it would be good to try it :D

Alternative is to buy stands... worth the investment!
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Postby Questionof_ » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:23 pm

Thanks for the feedback! :)

I see your point about doing the squats first. My reasoning was that I wanted to do them last so that some of my muscles would already be fatigued and I wouldn't have to use so much weight for the squats. But it's probably better if I do the squats first.

Dropping the weights is out of the question, unfortunately. I work out at home and live in an appartement...
I might have to get a stand after all. It's a bit unfortunate, though, since I can do everything else with just a bench. I'd love to have access to a squat-rack just for the squats, but they don't come cheap and neither do I want to go to a gym just for the squats. Since everyone says that squats are pretty much the ultimate exercise, I feel like I'm missing out, here. :P

I'll have to experiment with more weights and how to handle them, I guess.
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Postby JP » Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:07 pm

then again mate, you buy a squat rack, you have it for life! So per session it will turn out to be very cheap in the longer run...
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Postby ninearms » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:40 pm

Saw horses... Use them for bottom-up squats, and also for spotting your benching. Cheap as chips and usually rated to about 250kg each. Should be OK until you're squatting 600kg.
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end. Then stop.”
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Postby Questionof_ » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:45 am

Thanks for the tips. Saw horses are a good idea, I've never thought of that.

Currently, I'm squatting with 60 Kg (132 lbs according to google) and it's an amount of weight that I can still handle. At some point, I'll need to try saw horses or some other alternative, though, if I keep increasing the weight.
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