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How to build a GYM program

Lately I have seen a few programs online or from clients that were to say the least problematic , you cant underestimate the value of a good and organised program.

There are a few things you want to keep in mind while building or receiving a routine , these base principles are crucial for your advancement and without it you will plateau quite fast.

Set number per muscle and exercise order

This one is quite basic and make sense , you need to dedicate more sets for bigger muscles such as the Chest , Back and Legs comparing to the Shoulders + Bicep / Triceps ,

As much as the muscle is bigger it will require more sets in order to promote growth.

If you are new to the gym or coming back from a long break 8 sets for the bigger muscles and between 3-5 to smaller ones is more than enough.

Later on you should aim for around 11-16 for the bigger ones and 6-10 for the smaller ones.

As well you will want to train the big muscles before the small ones , thats for the reason that if you will start the training with Tricep pushdowns for example you will pre-exhaust the tricep which will limit your Chest movement hence you won’t progress with your chest compounds movement which are more important for your general progress than the tricep isolations.

Exercise order and selection

You will want to stick to multi-joint movements ( exercises like Bench press ,Pull-ups, Squats etc ) for the majority of the program.

These exercises activate more muscles and we are able to lift more weight in comparison to the single joint movements (such as Flys ,Bicep curl, Leg extensions etc).

There is a logic behind finishing the muscle with a very targeted iso-exercise in order to overload the muscle but most exercises have to be heavy compounds in order to promote overall muscle mass growth.

You also want to make sure that you pick a verity of exercises that engage the muscle from different angles , for example its better to pair the Flat Bench press with Incline DB press rather Flat DB press.


Pick your routine split wisely 

A very common mistake is to split the routine for five different parts and dedicate a full session for each muscle. While its very interesting to have a bunch of different programs its not efficient for two main reason. 1. With this split each muscle will get attention only once a week, 2. There is a limit on how many sets are efficient per muscle , all the sets that come after that limit actually damage the recovery and growth. (you want to engage the muscles not destroy them). In the same time it is smart to split your routine with time because as up to a certain level more experienced gym goers will need more sets per muscle in order to overload it.

It’s smart to pick your split by how many times you can actually commit to go to the gym and how much experience do you have

Full-body program: if you can go 3 times a week and up to 1 year of gym experience

A/B: if you can commit to 4 times and go to the gym between 6 month to 3 years.

A/B/C: if you go 5-6 times a week and have more than 2 years at the gym.

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