No matter how good a routine is, it will only give good results for a relatively short time, usually 6 to 8 weeks. This is about how long it takes your body to adapt to the routine, and the gains start to slow down. This is commonly known as a "sticking point" or "stale area", you still have seemingly good workouts, but the results just don't come like they did at first. The best way to beat a sticking point is to keep changing your routines, about every 6 weeks. This can be done many ways, some of them are:
The best routine is not really a "routine" at all, but is constantly changing, in order to fool the body into adding muscle and losing fat. The body does not like to change, and will resist your efforts every step of the way, but it will do what it has to. If your body has to lift weights, it will try to make it easier for itself the next time, by adding more muscle! The next time you train, you should attempt to lift even more weight, forcing your body to add even more muscle.
Beginner: Week 1 and 2: Learn to do the basic lifts for the major body parts. Train every second day using the routine below. Use a weight which enables you to do 12 - 15 reps,(except for abs) and concentrate on using good form. (No jerking or swinging the weights). Women should do slightly higher reps, up to 20 with a lighter weight, for a "fitness" look.
Weeks 1 and 2, and more, if desired.
Take 1 to 2 minutes between sets and use a weight which enables you to do the reps.
Warm up on a stationary bike or stepper for 6 - 10 minutes.
Start with Day 1, take a day off, then do Day 2, next day off, then back to Day 1, alternating them throughout.
After 2 weeks, do 4 sets per exercise, and after another 2 weeks, do 5 sets per exercise.
Now it's time to do several exercises per body part and split up the training a bit. Pick 2 exercises for each body part and do 4 hard sets of each. Keep the reps between 6 and 15, averaging 8-10. Do each set to failure, or very near failure, and take 2-3 minutes between sets.
Day 1: Chest, Biceps, Abs
Day 2: Back, Triceps, Calves
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Shoulders, Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves)
Day 5: Off
Day 6: Off
Day 1: Back, Chest, Abs
Day 2: Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps
Day 3: Off (Abs)
Day 4: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves
Day 5,6: Off
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