In my previous post I talked a little bit about when it’s a good time to change training routines, why I decided to change mine and how the new one will look like. It’s been exactly two weeks since I made the switch and right now I want to share my first impressions on the new training program I’m doing right now.
As you may know already, with my previous training routine which I have been doing for about 6 months I was hitting each body part (except legs) twice a week and with the new routine I am hitting everything just once a week, but harder and with the same or more volume.
Here is the new 5 day training split:
- Day 1: Legs
- Day 2: Chest & Cardio
- Day 3: Back & Cardio
- Day 4: Arms & Cardio
- Day 5: Shoulders & Cardio
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: Rest
I also try to include some abs here and there, but I don’t have a clearly defined program for it and to be honest I have been skipping abs quite a lot. Anyways I am super happy with the new split because I have enough time and energy to put into each muscle group and overall, I can focus better on each body part.
Volume & Intensity
In terms of volume I am doing about 18 to 20 sets per workout, except for leg days when I do 20 to 25 sets. The great thing about hitting a single body part per workout is that you can really kill it in the gym and then you have enough time to recover that muscle group until the next workout.
In terms of intensity, my weight lifting workout last about 30 to 40 minutes, maybe 45 minutes for legs, so I do 1 set including the resting time in less than 2 minutes. Since I changed the training routine I started using heavier weights so this is another important factor that should have an impact on my muscle growth. So the intensity is definitely higher and the volume is about the same or a little bit higher.
Another change that I noticed is that now I get muscle soreness after each workout. This never happened with the old routine because the training frequency was higher and the intensity was a bit lower.
As far as cardio goes, I have been doing some changes to it as well, because I started doing less and less cardio lately and I didn’t lose that much fat since then. So, right now after my 30-40 minutes weight training I have a very strict cardio session that goes like this: 30 minutes of running on the treadmill at the speed of 10. This means a 5 km run. I do it 4 times a week.
My plans for the next 6 months or so are to stick with this split, and focus on getting stronger on a few key exercises per each body part. It’s been over a year since I started working out and I never really tracked my progress in terms of strength, so one of the things on my to do list is to get one of those little notebooks or writing pads and write down the number of sets, reps and weight for a few key exercises in each of my workouts and actually see if I am going in the right direction or not.
In order to accurately track my strength progress I am going to stick with the same exact exercises each workout and have them done in the same order so that my records will be accurate and relevant. Changing the order of the exercises you are doing is going to mess things up if you are trying to measure your strength progress, because of interference between the exercises. You won’t be able to perform the same on incline bench press when you do it at the end of your workout as if you would do at the very beginning.
So, for example if I do squats as the first exercise on my leg day and then do leg press and my other exercises, this will be the order on every workout, at least for the movements that I am tracking.
As I said I am happy with the new split and I am very confident that it will make me some more muscle gains and some more fat loss.