Is my routine any good?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Lennert, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Lennert

    Lennert Valued Member

    Hello fellows,

    I've been going to the gym for a couple of months now and starting to get the hang of it. At the start I got a training routine handed to me after sort of an intake with an instructor, I used that for a while..

    His routine for me was as follows:

    3 times a week:

    Warming up: 30 mins tredmill, constant speed, 10km/h or more.
    Leg press: 50kg, 3 sets of 12
    Chest press: 35 kg, 3 sets of 12
    20 mins on the rowing machine, lvl 8 out of 10 or more, at 700 cal/hr.
    Shoulder press: 10kg, 3 sets of 12
    Lat. pulldown: 30kg, 3 sets of 12
    Cooldown: 5 mins on the hometrainer...

    After a while though, I decided to change it a little. I'd just like some advice from more experienced people here if it is any good.

    This is my current routine:

    3 times a week:

    Warming up: 20 mins tredmill, 11km/h constant speed with a 1 min end "sprint" at approx. 15km/h.
    Leg press: 65kg, 4 sets of 12
    Chest press: 35kg, 3 sets of 12
    20 mins of rowing, highest friction lvl at 800/900 cal/hr.
    Abdominal crunch: 45kg, 3 sets of 12
    Shoulder press: 22,5kg, 3 sets of 12
    Lat. pulldown: 60kg, 3 sets of 12
    20 mins on the hometrainer at 200 watt or more
    Cooldown on hometrainer...

    I just can't stand the boredom of more then 20 mins of cardio in a gym where they play horrible music to be honest.. In addition to this routine I go running outside (with my own music) for about 45 mins.

    So, is this a good allround routine? Let the criticism commence!

    Regards, Lennert
  2. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    Seems a bit of a mishmash of training.

    You need to decide what your goals are and how much time you can commit to training and then we can help you with a more focused routine.

    For example, if you want to build strength then sets of 4x12 reps will get you nowhere fast. You'd be better splitting your sessions into separate strength and conditioning days. Do you have access to free weights or do you only have weight machines in your gym?
  3. liero

    liero Valued Member

    What are you training for?

    Also. How old are you and what was your fitness level when you started?

    All important factors
  4. Lennert

    Lennert Valued Member

    When I started out, my primary goal was to train for military service. But since the Dutch army isn't recruiting anymore and I allready have a nice job now I just want to become and stay fit. Both condition and strength are important now, because my stamina just isn't great. But I don't need to be able to walk a marathon or something.. so I guess decent stamina and good strength are my goals now.

    I'm 25 and you can consider me completely untrained when I started.

    Edit: I can train 3 times a week for about 1,5 hrs and I usually go running outside once on saturday for about 45 mins. And yes, my gym is very well equipped, lots of free weights are available.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  5. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    I would suggest doing a strength session twice a week and a cardio session twice a week.

    To gain strength you want to be doing something like a 5x5 routine using free weights and compound lifts - benching, rowing, deadlifts, squats, overhead pressing, dips, chin up etc. You can also add in a couple of core exercises if you want.

    Get some coaching on the lifting before you start, bad technique is a recipe for disaster!

    Have a look at the following programs for ideas about how to lift to get strong:

    For cardio you could do a mix of longer runs and interval style training. So at the weekend do your longer run if you want and then in the week do an interval type session.
  6. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

    I see a lack of stretching at the end. You probably should have some form of stretching, just to help speed the recovery.
  7. Lennert

    Lennert Valued Member

    Allright, so I'll cut my training into 2 seperate types.

    I'll have my long run in the weekend, then I'll do my weight lifting on mondays and fridays and an interval session on wednesday. I don't think I will do 5x5.. Isn't that a little too focused on pure strength? How about 3x8?

    I did my first seperate "strength session" today. I didn't start with free weights right away.. I think I'll make an apointment with an instructor for next monday to get some tips on that first. I started off with a nice warming up of 20 minutes of rowing, I think that's a nice warming up for weight training since it's more of a full body workout compared to running. Then I just did my regular exercises except with 3x8 sets.
    It felt like a good workout!

    Any tips on what a good interval session looks like??

    Edit: Oh yeah, I did do a cooldown and some stretching afterwards. Thanks for the tips so far!
  8. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    You don't need to do a 20 minutes rowing warm up for a weight lifting workout. You'd be better off doing more specific mobility drills, something like this:

    The point of splitting workouts is that you can work 'pure strength' one day and conditioning/cardio on a separate day.

    For interval training ideas have a look at Ross Enamait's website:

    or do intervals on the rowing machine or treadmill, e.g. 1 minute fast then 1 minute slower paced.
  9. Lennert

    Lennert Valued Member

    Thanks for the tips Frodocious! You're a great help :)

    Btw, what are the main advantages of using free weights compared to "machines"?
  10. tonyv107

    tonyv107 Valued Member

    Made the switch from 4x8( all working weights) to 5x5 ( 2 warm up and 3 working ). Have a 2day split one upper body one lower body so I lift twice a week and I train 3 times a week. Haven't looked back, I'm seeing quicker gains after the switch to 5x5
  11. tonyv107

    tonyv107 Valued Member

    Machines aren't exacly the worst thing in the world. But they shouldn't make up the majority of your lifts. Free weights allow for a full range of motion and recruit more muscles when doing lifts besides the main muscles being use. Like back squats for example. With a barbell its almost a full body workout. It hits your quads, Glutes, lower backs, hams, you must use your abs and obliques to stabilize your upper body. Leg press only recruits quads and hams. Most stength coaches swear by compound movements over isolation so I would stick to what they say.
  12. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    Basically what Tonyv107 says. Free weights recruit more muscles, including the smaller stabiliser muscles, whilst machines usually work the muscles in isolation - which almost never happens in real life! Machines can also put your joints in awkward positions which, if you use them for long periods, can lead to damage. Machines are designed for the 'average' human being, so if you're taller or smaller than average or you have slight abnormal anatomy, you can be putting yourself in potentially damaging positions. That being said, if you are using free weights you must make sure you are using correct technique and that you don't progress the weights you're using too quickly.

    Most commercial gyms use machines because they don't need qualified staff to show customers what to do, they are quick and ease to introduce to people and the users don't really need to be monitored whilst working out
  13. Lennert

    Lennert Valued Member

    Thanks for the info! I will make an appointment with an instructor and switch to free weights next week.. Meanwhile I'll read up on those links that have been posted, should keep me busy for some time ;)

    Thanks again!

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