Building Your Own Weightlifting Regimen (Program) – What To Include In Your Program

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These are the weightlifting program must-haves if you want your regimen (program) to bring you results –

Compound Lifts

Lifts that take more than one muscle group to perform. Including one or two of these compound lifts in every workout, will add strength-building aspects to your program.

They help you build lean muscle, and increase your athleticism, strength, mobility, and cardiovascular fitness. They also burn more calories, because you use more than one muscle group to perform them which requires the use of more energy (calories).

Here are some examples:

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Lunges
  • Pull-ups
  • Dips
  • Bench Presses
  • Push Presses
  • Push-Ups

Accessory Lifts

Accessory (Isolation) Lifts are used as partners to your compound lifts. You can add 2-4 accessory lifts per day, depending on the volume of your compound lifts.

Most programs are built on accessory (isolation) movements; because these are single-jointed exercises and are used to increase the shape and size of a body part. These are great for improving your aesthetics. (example: if you wanted to isolate your biceps, you’d do bicep curls. To isolate your calves, you’d do calf raises. These exercises target the muscles you want to isolate.)

Here are some examples:

  • Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Extensions
  • Tricep Push-Downs
  • Calf Raises
  • Leg Curls
  • Leg Extensions
  • Front Raises

Sets and Reps

The “go-to” standard for sets and reps in most bodybuilding regimens is 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Shaping is great for your muscles, but strengthening them is important too. To work on strength, be sure to do heavier compound movements in the 4-6 rep range. Traditionally, compound lifts are done in fewer reps with heavier weight and isolation (accessory) movements are done using lighter weights for more reps.

A final note* Rest: The less time you rest between sets, the more difficult and intense your workout will be. Short periods of rest (30-45 seconds) will tax your muscles and cardiovascular system. Longer rest periods (1-2 minutes) will give you more time to recover before your next set. Progression: Progression is the key ingredient in any successful training program. Your body changes and adapts over time. You can’t do the exact same movements using the exact same amount of weight for weeks and months and expect different results. You need to push yourself and your muscles. After you’ve developed a solid foundation, start increasing the amount of weight you’re using, increase the number of reps. you’re doing, and/or decrease rest periods between sets.

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