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  1. #1
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    Work out getting stale

    So I started going back to the gym for a little less than a month and am in a good habit and rythm now. Now that that part is achieved I need to increase my focus and effort while in the gym. I am going a good 3 days a week for at least an hour. Sometimes I get in a second session but that is usually cardio or kayaking the lake. I have been doing my old "whole body" routine because I wasnt sure if I would make it more than twice a week. Now I need to work more exercises in and put htem in a proper grouping. Something I havent done in decades. I do have a back issue I am working around. Basically fused vertebrae that can lead to muscle spasms or pulls if I am not careful. Strength helps it a lot. Not just core but overall. If my legs and shoulders are stronger then I rely on my back less. My motivation is just to reduce back issues that have started cropping up again and also to get better overall strength for a week on the Appalachian trail that I have planned with my daughter this summer. And hey, of that makes me look better in a tank top for my Mexico vacation in September I wont complain either.

    So, how do you guys group your exercises? I am assuming I will have 3-4 sessions a week. I want to make at least one of them body weight stuff so that I can do it at home in case I cant make the gym. I think I have plenty of core stuff there. So its the 3 gym sessions I want to work on. Doing the identical routine 3 times seems like I could be focusing more. should I do something upper body, core, legs, upper body? I could do legs at gym and core at home or gym.

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    You’ve got a few different options. At first are you someone that wants it planned out or can be more go with the flow? I’ve gotten to a point that while I have a primary objective I adapt based on equipment available and how my body is feeling that day.

    In general when on a shorter number of days there are things you can cut out like arm specific days and core specific days. Your core gets plenty of work if you incorporate a proper back day and compound movements.

    If I had three/ four days I’d prob do something like this:
    Day 1 - legs to include squats but excluding dead’s
    Day 2 - chest and triceps
    Day 3 - back and deadlifts
    Day 4 - shoulders and biceps

    That lets you space out heavy squats and dead movements. On day 4 you may not even need biceps and could add in the core work since most good back days will incorporate a lot of biceps.

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    In general supersets and alternating in other exercises are your friend. You can even split the parts a part to be fresh. Aka superset chest with curls. I usually throw in smaller accessory work in on leg day between squat sets like forearms, good mornings, etc.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend looking into Wendler 5/3/1 and downloading a Wendler tracking app to calculate your weights for you. Buy the book(s) if you can. A typical Wendler week is four workouts - squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press.

    Make sure you focus on good form and range of motion before trying to get heavy. Get coaching or video yourself as necessary to tweak your form.
    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
    I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend looking into Wendler 5/3/1 and downloading a Wendler tracking app to calculate your weights for you. Buy the book(s) if you can. A typical Wendler week is four workouts - squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press.

    Make sure you focus on good form and range of motion before trying to get heavy. Get coaching or video yourself as necessary to tweak your form.
    So Some things to consider with a program like this is having a spotter in my opinion. Going to maxes etc or low rep heavy programs it’s good to have someone. Just some food for thought. I know I’m not a big fan of asking for random guys at the gym to spot.

    Also standing overhead presses I believe are in the program. In general I’d advise against that for someone with back issues. Often people overcompensate with standing presses to lift more. If aesthetics are part of your goal. It’s better to brace and isolate the muscle.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    You can bench from a squat rack with safety bars in a pinch. Bench is the only lift where a spotter would be nice IMO - on squats you can just set up the safety bars or use rubber plates and teach yourself to just dump the weight.

    TBH I only use a spotter or bench in a squat rack when testing my 1RM, which is pretty infrequent. Maybe once every 3-4 months.

    This is another good reason to start on the lighter side - so that by the time you get heavy, you should be experienced enough to know when you’ve maxed out and not take that next rep, and experienced enough to know how to dump the plates if you do end up failing a rep. Or roll the bar off you (I’ve done that before, and OUCH. But it works).

    I have limited shoulder mobility and chronic shoulder injury so I’ve just removed the OHP from my program altogether.
    Ben

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    Varsity Member Alex.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
    I have limited shoulder mobility ... so I’ve just removed the OHP from my program altogether.
    I'm in the same boat, what do you do to work your shoulders/triceps/whatever else OHP does?

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.C View Post
    I'm in the same boat, what do you do to work your shoulders/triceps/whatever else OHP does?
    Benching works the anterior parts of the shoulder, deadlifts and other pulling movements work the posterior part of the shoulder. Plus accessories to bench and deadlifting, including dips, pull-ups, chin-ups, and rows. IMO doing heavy overhead stuff isn’t necessary to build shoulder strength.
    Ben

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    Varsity Member APinNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.C View Post
    I'm in the same boat, what do you do to work your shoulders/triceps/whatever else OHP does?
    Late to the party, but John Meadows has a good write up on how to build boulder shoulders without using the OHP as your main lift. Mountain Dog has some of the best shoulders in the business

    https://www.t-nation.com/training/sh...untain-dog-way
    We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” ― Charles Bukowski

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    Quote Originally Posted by LesserBlackDog View Post

    I have limited shoulder mobility and chronic shoulder injury so I’ve just removed the OHP from my program altogether.
    I have this problem with my knees and struggle to find leg day stuff. I typically just go walk the big hills around me while carrying a loaded pack. I absolutely cant do leg curls. the popping and discomfort is too much even with very low weight.

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