Weightlifting Part 3: Routines: How to Find Yours

Okay, so now that you’ve hopefully learned some new things about weightlifting, and you’re thinking maybe I could give it a shot, it’s time to pick a routine style! And if you’re freaking out thinking what, I have to pick a type/style now, don’t worry. I’m going to go through the different ones here and tips for finding your best fit.

1. Full Body

The first type of lifting routine you could do is full body. This means that each lifting workout you do, you do exercises that hit all the muscles in your body. Basically, you’re not focusing on a single muscle group or groups. Each workout you want to hit legs, biceps, back, triceps, shoulders, and chest with rest in between days. It is very important to have rest days, especially when doing full body. This shouldn’t be an issue because typically you’ll only do 3 lifts a week, spaced out making sure you have 2-3 rest days in between each lift.

Pros:

  • Build a balanced body from hitting all muscles in your workout
  • If you miss a workout, it’s okay because you’ve already worked all your muscles that week.
  • Can maximize calorie burn from continuous movement

Cons: 

  • Can take longer amount of time
  • More difficult to focus on building/growing a single muscle group
  • Can lead to overtraining and putting intense fatigue on the body

Who this works for:

  • People with limited time to workout (only lifting 2-3 days a week)
  • Beginners
  • Athletic teams (allows them to work full body)
  • Those who love cardio, but want to start incorporating lifting

2. Split

Split routines focus generally focus on 2-3 muscle groups at a time (unless doing upper vs lower body). There are numerous ways to split up your routine based on what works and feels the best for you. Some of the possible splits are:

1) Two Day Split: Upper body/Lower body

2) 3 Day Split: Push day (chest, shoulders, triceps), Pull day (Back, biceps, forearms), Leg Day

3) 4 Day Split: Legs, Chest/Triceps, Back/Biceps, Shoulders and Abs

These are just ideas. It is still important to take rest days although the number of days will differ depending on your routine. Aim to allow 2-3 days in between working each muscle group. For example, when I was lifting on my own, I did 4 day split like this: Legs, Back/Biceps, Chest/Triceps/Shoulders, Legs. So yes I did legs twice because you know…booty is important. But seriously though. It is.

Pros:

  • Focus on shaping and growing certain muscles
  • Easier to switch up your routine
  • More manageable because you aren’t fatiguing your whole body at a time

Cons:

  • More difficult to miss a workout because you wont have worked all your muscles
  • Less calorie burn
  • Muscle and Strength imbalances more likely

Who this works for:

  • Advanced lifters who haven’t seen much progress/muscle growth or have seemed to hit a plateau
  • Bodybuilders/Fitness Competitors
  • Those looking to grow a specific muscle(s) or wanting to focus on more specific muscle growth

No matter which routine you decide is best for you, the important thing to know is that you’re getting stronger and bettering yourself and your healthy by lifting! Also, don’t be afraid to try different routines until you find what works best for you, and then even when you do, don’t be afraid to switch it up or add new exercises in. Also, it’s very important to make sure that you do not compare you lifting journey to anyone else’s. It can be easy to get caught up in the progress photos and looks you see on social media, but just remember that everyone started somewhere different and is currently at a different place in their journey than you. Weightlifting and fitness in general is all about continuing to grow and get better, so keep focusing on you and your workout and the results will come! And hopefully you too will fall in love with lifting the way that I and so many others have!

What strength training routines do you like best?

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