Designing A Routine!

The first step in designing a workout routine is to determine what your goals are. If you are just lifting weights for something to do, then it really doesn't matter what goes on in the gym, and you shouldn't be wasting your time reading this article.
The first step in designing a workout routine is to determine what your goals are. If you are just lifting weights for something to do, then it really doesn't matter what goes on in the gym, and you shouldn't be wasting your time reading this article. If you want to be into hardcore bodybuilding, then you want to have a routine that will intensely yet effectively stimulate the entire body to grow quickly.

Intensity is defined as the amount of ones effort put into an explosive movement, such as lifting a weight. The more intensity, the heavier the weight should be, and the more effort put into lifting it. Volume is basically the number of sets and exercises performed. Too much volume and you are basically not using heavy enough weight to reach failure at about 6 to 10 reps, and not tearing fibers deep enough in the muscle to get the correct amount of stimulation for maximum growth. I do not believe in intensity over volume training this early in the game. I usually stick mid way between the two, not too intense, but not to much volume either. The reason I don't agree with low volume training is because I strongly believe that you must work a muscle in a variety of different angles, to maximize muscular growth.

A good rule of thumb when designing a routine is to pick exercises that do not use awkward movements, therefore removing the threat of injury immediately. The exercises you choose also shouldn't limit the amount of weight used because of awkward movements. Incorporate at least 1 basic movement for each body part. IE squat, bench press, barbell curl etc. These movements will help build muscle size, while other, more advanced movements will help shape and form the muscle. The routine that I developed, uses progressive resistance where the weight is always being increased allowing the muscles to gain strength, the backbone of bodybuilding. The last and most important thing to take into consideration when designing a routine for bodybuilding is to make sure that all body parts get worked equally. There's nothing worse than to see a built person with non-symmetrical muscles.

With that said, the next step is to split your body up into muscle groups to be trained on specific days. I've found that training on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday works the best. Choose one of your major muscle groups to be trained each day (chest, back, legs or arms). Once that decision is made, place abs into the equation so they are trained at least twice a week. I've included a copy of my routine, to show you what I believe to be the best combination of exercises to promote maximum muscular hypertrophy!

New Routine: (updated)
MONDAY: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves

*Warmup with squats or leg presses*
Barbell Squat -------------------------- 4 Pyramid sets
or
Leg Presses ---------------------------- 5 Pyramid sets
Seated Calf Raise ---------------------- 3 sets of 15 reps
Leg Curls ------------------------------- 4 sets of 8 reps
Leg Extension ------------------------- 4 sets of 8 reps
Standing Calf Raise ------------------- 3 sets of 12 reps

Every Second Week:
Front Kick ----------------------------- 2 sets of 15 reps each
Abduction (outside leg) -------------- 2 sets of 15 reps each

TUESDAY: Back, Shoulders, Traps, Abs
*Warmup with dumbbell presses*
Dumbbell Presses --------------------- 3 sets of 8 reps
or
Military Press -------------------------- 3 sets of 6-8 reps
Dead-lift -------------------------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Wide Grip Pull Ups ------------------- 3 sets of 8 reps
Seated Cable Rows ------------------- 4 sets of 8 reps
Lying Lateral Raises ------------------ 2 sets of 10 reps
Front Pull-downs ---------------------- 3 sets of 8 reps
Side Lateral Raises -------------------- 3 sets of 8 reps
Rear Delt Laterals --------------------- 4 sets of 8 reps each
Shoulder Shrugs ----------------------- 3 sets of 30 reps

Abs:
Incline Sit-Ups ------------------------- 2 sets of 15 reps
Incline Cross-overs ------------------- 2 sets of 15 reps
Seated Leg Pull-Ins ------------------- 3 sets of 12 reps

THURSDAY: Chest and Abs
*Warmup with flat bench press*
Flat Flye Press ------------------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Incline Bench Press ------------------- 4 sets of 10 reps
Decline Dumbbell Press -------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press --------------- 3 sets of 10 reps

Abs:
Incline Sit-Ups ------------------------- 2 sets of 15 reps
Incline Cross-overs ------------------- 2 sets of 15 reps
Seated Leg Pull-Ins ------------------- 3 sets of 12 reps

FRIDAY: Biceps, Triceps, Forearms
*Warmup with dumbbell curls*
Barbell Curls --------------------------- 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Cable Triceps Extensions ------------- 4 sets of 8 reps
Incline Dumbbell Curls --------------- 3 sets of 12 reps
Rope Press downs --------------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell Kickbacks ------------------ 3 sets of 8 reps
Wrist Twists --------------------------- 3 sets of Failure

Every Second Week:
Preacher Cable curls ------------------ 3 sets of 8 reps


Old Routine:
MONDAY: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves

*Warmup with squats*
Barbell Squat -------------------------- 6 Pyramid sets
Standing Calf Raise ------------------- 3 sets of 15 reps
Leg Curls ------------------------------- 4 sets of 8 reps
Leg Extension ------------------------- 6 sets of 8 reps
Wide Stance Dumbbell Squat -------- 3 sets of 8 reps
Seated Calf Raise ---------------------- 5 sets of Total Failure
Stiff-Leg Dead-lifts ------------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell Lunge ----------------------- 3 sets of 16 reps
Standing Single Leg Calf raise ------- 3 sets of 15 reps
Front Kick ----------------------------- 4 sets of 25 reps
Adduction (inside leg) ---------------- 4 sets of 25 reps
Abduction (outside leg) -------------- 4 sets of 25 reps

TUESDAY: Back, Shoulders, Traps, Abs

*Warmup with front pulldowns*
Dumbbell Press ------------------------ 3 sets of 8 reps
Dead-lift -------------------------------- 4 sets of 10 reps
Seated Cable Rows ------------------- 4 sets of 10 reps
Lying Lateral Raises ------------------ 4 sets of 10 reps
Front Pull-downs ---------------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Rear Pull-downs ----------------------- 3 sets of 8 reps
Side Lateral Raises -------------------- 3 sets of 8 reps
One Arm Cable Rows ---------------- 3 sets of 8 reps
Front Push-downs --------------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Bent-over Rear Laterals -------------- 4 sets of 10 reps
Rear Cable Shrugs -------------------- 3 sets of 20 reps
Shoulder Shrugs ----------------------- 4 sets of 30 reps
Incline Sit-Ups ------------------------- 2 sets of 20 reps
Military Leg Raises ------------------- 4 sets of 15 reps
Incline Cross-overs ------------------- 3 sets of 15 reps
Bent Knee Crunch -------------------- 3 sets of 20 reps
Seated Leg Pull-Ins ------------------- 4 sets of 15 reps

WEDNESDAY: Rest

THURSDAY: Chest and Abs

*Warmup with flat bench press*
Flat Bench Press ----------------------- 4 sets of 8 reps
Incline Bench Press ------------------- 4 sets of 10 reps
Flat Flye Press ------------------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Incline Flye Press ---------------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Decline Flye Press --------------------- 3 sets of 10 reps
Incline Sit-Ups ------------------------- 2 sets of 20 reps
Military Leg Raises ------------------- 4 sets of 15 reps
Incline Cross-overs ------------------- 3 sets of 15 reps
Bent Knee Crunch -------------------- 3 sets of 20 reps
Seated Leg Pull-Ins ------------------- 4 sets of 15 reps

FRIDAY: Biceps, Triceps, Forearms

*Warmup with dumbbell curls*
Stand E-Z Bar Curls ------------------ 6 sets of 8 reps
Cable Triceps Extensions ------------- 4 sets of 8 reps
Cable Curls ---------------------------- 3 sets of 16 reps
Rope Triceps Extensions ------------- 4 sets of 8 reps
Seated Curls --------------------------- 4 sets of 16 reps
Dumbbell Kickbacks ------------------ 3 sets of 8 reps
Preacher Cable curls ------------------ 6 sets of 8 reps each
Rope Hammer Curls ------------------ 3 sets of 8 reps
Wrist Twists --------------------------- 3 sets of Total Failure

SATURDAY: Lagging Muscles, Abs

Any muscles that need a bit of extra work, or you feel didn't get enough punishment during the week, should be exercised today, along with abs.

Incline Sit-Ups ------------------------- 2 sets of 20 reps
Military Leg Raises ------------------- 4 sets of 15 reps
Incline Cross-overs ------------------- 3 sets of 15 reps
Bent Knee Crunch -------------------- 3 sets of 20 reps
Seated Leg Pull-Ins ------------------- 4 sets of 15 reps

SUNDAY: Rest

Train safely, effectively and most importantly, keep it natural.