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  1. #1
    Registered User ema2396's Avatar
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    Is this a good workout program?

    I usually do 2 upper body workouts and 2 lower body workouts. My reps can go anywhere from 20 to 6. I usually start with lighter weight and more reps and decrease as I increase the weight. I usually do 4 sets unless I stick to higher reps (15-20), then I do only 3 sets.

    I usually work shoulder in the same day as back. I am not 100% sure how many exercises I do for each, because some hit them both(like face pulls). But a workout would look like: back flies, back rows(dumbell or machine), lat pulldown, face pulls, upright row, lateral raise and back extension.

    For chest I do benchpress, chest flyes, dumbell pullover and I use the chest press machine too. I usually to 2 ex for biceps and 2 for triceps after chest, but sometimes I train them with my back.

    For my lower body I do about 16 sets for heavy weight exercises and 16 for lower weight exercises in a week, split between 2 sessions(I do heavy and low weight the same session). I prefer exercises like hip thrusts, leg press and RDLs. I also do exercises like glute kickbacks and variations for hip abduction (I stick with 15-20 reps for hip abduction). Lately I have been doing some goblet squats too. I don't want to put much size on my legs, I prefer them to stay just toned, That is why I don't put extra focus on quads and hams.

    The places where I don't see much improvement are my back and chest.
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    That's not really a program, it's a general idea of what you "kind of" do. Aside from diet (cal/protein) concerns, if you're looking for muscle gains you need consistency and progressive overload, neither of which seem to be here.

    There's a lot of words like "usually", "anywhere from", "not 100% sure how many", "would look like", "sometimes", "about", "lately", etc.

    You can see gains on any random program and I assume in some form you're occasionally increasing weights, etc., but if you prefer your own routine rather than other options, you should play w/ it to make sure you do the same exercises/sets w/ some ideas on progression and pushing thru stalls. And do it for a period of time before switching things around - rather than doing things diff based on how you feel each workout.
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    Registered User ema2396's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    That's not really a program, it's a general idea of what you "kind of" do. Aside from diet (cal/protein) concerns, if you're looking for muscle gains you need consistency and progressive overload, neither of which seem to be here.

    There's a lot of words like "usually", "anywhere from", "not 100% sure how many", "would look like", "sometimes", "about", "lately", etc.

    You can see gains on any random program and I assume in some form you're occasionally increasing weights, etc., but if you prefer your own routine rather than other options, you should play w/ it to make sure you do the same exercises/sets w/ some ideas on progression and pushing thru stalls. And do it for a period of time before switching things around - rather than doing things diff based on how you feel each workout.
    of course i increase the weights when i can do that with good form and of course i watch my diet. I was wondering if I am not overlooking certain muscles or aspects. And sometimes the gym is crowded and you need to change an exercise unless you are willing to wait for a specific equipment to be available
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    Originally Posted by ema2396 View Post
    of course i increase the weights when i can do that with good form and of course i watch my diet. I was wondering if I am not overlooking certain muscles or aspects. And sometimes the gym is crowded and you need to change an exercise unless you are willing to wait for a specific equipment to be available
    I'm wondering if you are truly challenging yourself, since you've stated you "don't want to put size on your legs, just want to tone".... Like many women, you have an unfounded fear of becoming overdeveloped and looking "too" musclebound, especially when it comes to lower body training. That's why you're using the word "tone." That word truly dosen't exist in the bodybuilding/fitness community, so replace it with the important concept of gaining functional strength and improving overall body composition!! You'll be on the right track then You don't want to lose LBM by not fully challenging yourself..especially in the long run.

    Have you tried BB squats? Lunges (convenient and efficient)? You need to use weight that will produce muscular fatigue and/or failure within each rep range.

    Are you trying to increase your fitness level through HIIT conditioning and steady-state cardio a couple of times a week? This, in addition to keeping track of a healthy diet with adequate calorie and macro consumption, will help you become leaner and more streamlined.

    And each individual body part can progress at different speeds and levels. You don't mention how long you've been training for..

    To keep track of calories: www.fitday.com
    Last edited by etet1919; 11-18-2019 at 09:08 AM.
    When I hear people say, " You should tone down your physique," I know I've achieved my fitness New Year's resolution:)

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    Good advice above.

    If you list out your daily workouts, exercises, sets/reps & an idea of your progression plan it would help w/ feedback - a program is more than a list of exercises or muscles, so it's hard to tell exactly what you're doing each workout. Your goals (muscle gain, weight loss, etc.) would also be useful in evaluating what you're doing. My comments were based largely on you saying you weren't seeing improvements in back/chest, which are your 2 largest upper body muscle groups.

    In addition to potential issues w/ consistency, lack of planned progression & pushing through plateaus, and diet (cal surplus for muscle gain, cal deficit for fat loss - which can hide muscle, how accurately you're tracking cals either way), some other things you may want to consider are:

    - How long you've been working out seriously (gains take time to see visible results)
    - Whether your upper body workouts are set up to only hit each group only 1x/week, which is not ideal
    - How much volume you're doing for each exercise/muscle group (can be too much or too little, everything works together)
    - Order in which you do exercises each workout

    Again, all general feedback since unclear exactly what your program is. I don't think you're necessarily overlooking any muscles.
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  6. #6
    Registered User ema2396's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by etet1919 View Post
    I'm wondering if you are truly challenging yourself, since you've stated you "don't want to put size on your legs, just want to tone".... Like many women, you have an unfounded fear of becoming overdeveloped and looking "too" musclebound, especially when it comes to lower body training. That's why you're using the word "tone." That word truly dosen't exist in the bodybuilding/fitness community, so replace it with the important concept of gaining functional strength and improving overall body composition!! You'll be on the right track then You don't want to lose LBM by not fully challenging yourself..especially in the long run.

    Have you tried BB squats? Lunges (convenient and efficient)? You need to use weight that will produce muscular fatigue and/or failure within each rep range.

    Are you trying to increase your fitness level through HIIT conditioning and steady-state cardio a couple of times a week? This, in addition to keeping track of a healthy diet with adequate calorie and macro consumption, will help you become leaner and more streamlined.

    And each individual body part can progress at different speeds and levels. You don't mention how long you've been training for..
    I already said I do use heavy weights with hip thrusts, leg press, RDLs. By heavy weight I mean I go to failure. I can start with 20 reps and increase the weight until I can't do more than 6 in some cases. Anyway, I usually do 4 sets within the 8-12 range, the reps I mentioned previously are done in extra sets(warm up+an aditional set at the end to test how much I can do with more weight). it is just I put more focus on my glutes than legs, not that I am not engaging legs at all. I don't have a squat rack at my local gym,just Smith machine. I know it is not the same doing them on the Smith Machine. I sometimes do them, but I feel safer on the leg press.

    I don't want to lose fat. I am pear shaped, which means I have more fat than I need on my legs than I need and less fat than I want on my upper body. I don't want my upper body to be thinner so I don't want to lose fat, I don't want to grow bigger legs so I don't put as much focus on them as I do with other muscle groups. I want my legs to be balanced with my body, so size is not my current concern. I don't want them to be weak or shapeless either, but I focus more on my glutes because they used to be weaker and not as engaged as my legs. Also, I wanted to add shape to my glutes, my legs were pretty fine when I started. So by tone, I mean I want my legs to have a great shape, not to be proportionally big in size, they are already big... As far as I know the exercises I mentioned work your quads and hamstrings as well.
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  7. #7
    Registered User ema2396's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Good advice above.

    If you list out your daily workouts, exercises, sets/reps & an idea of your progression plan it would help w/ feedback - a program is more than a list of exercises or muscles, so it's hard to tell exactly what you're doing each workout. Your goals (muscle gain, weight loss, etc.) would also be useful in evaluating what you're doing. My comments were based largely on you saying you weren't seeing improvements in back/chest, which are your 2 largest upper body muscle groups.

    In addition to potential issues w/ consistency, lack of planned progression & pushing through plateaus, and diet (cal surplus for muscle gain, cal deficit for fat loss - which can hide muscle, how accurately you're tracking cals either way), some other things you may want to consider are:

    - How long you've been working out seriously (gains take time to see visible results)
    - Whether your upper body workouts are set up to only hit each group only 1x/week, which is not ideal
    - How much volume you're doing for each exercise/muscle group (can be too much or too little, everything works together)
    - Order in which you do exercises each workout

    Again, all general feedback since unclear exactly what your program is. I don't think you're necessarily overlooking any muscles.
    I hit the lower body twice a week, I hit upper body muscle groups only once a week in 2 separate days. I already said I do 4 sets on most of my exercises, exception being only hip abduction exercises where I only do 3 sets, because my reps are higher for those. I already mentioned my normal rep range and I already told you what I would do in a session. The exercises I mentioned for my upper body are the exact exercises I do in my sessions. So the 4 exercises I mentioned for chest are the exercises I do on chest day. Same about back day I already mentioned the exercises.

    For lower body I don't have a fixed program, the setup is usually more difficult so many times I have to adapt to the equipment that is available if the gym is crowded. I already mentioned that I do about 16 sets a week for exercises where I can go heavy like hip thrusts, leg press, RDL, and I do some more sets for lighter weight exercises(12-16 sets). I make sure the 2 sessions are balanced (I don't do only heavy weight in one and light weight in the other). I start with the exercises where you can go heavy. So 1 day I can do 4 sets hipthrusts, 4 sets leg press, and 3-4 sets of 2 additional lighter weight exercises like hip abduction. Another session could be 4 sets RDL, 4 sets leg press and another 2 lighter weights exercises 3-4 sets each.

    I have been working out for almost a year.

    So I could do lower body on Monday, back and shoulders on Tuesday, llower body on Friday, chest and arms on Saturday. I don't have fixed days of the week though, but I do make sure to take rest days so I don't hit the same muscle 2 days in a row.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by ema2396 View Post
    I already said I do use heavy weights with hip thrusts, leg press, RDLs. By heavy weight I mean I go to failure. I can start with 20 reps and increase the weight until I can't do more than 6 in some cases. Anyway, I usually do 4 sets within the 8-12 range, the reps I mentioned previously are done in extra sets(warm up+an aditional set at the end to test how much I can do with more weight). it is just I put more focus on my glutes than legs, not that I am not engaging legs at all. I don't have a squat rack at my local gym,just Smith machine. I know it is not the same doing them on the Smith Machine. I sometimes do them, but I feel safer on the leg press.

    I don't want to lose fat. I am pear shaped, which means I have more fat than I need on my legs than I need and less fat than I want on my upper body. I don't want my upper body to be thinner so I don't want to lose fat, I don't want to grow bigger legs so I don't put as much focus on them as I do with other muscle groups. I want my legs to be balanced with my body, so size is not my current concern. I don't want them to be weak or shapeless either, but I focus more on my glutes because they used to be weaker and not as engaged as my legs. Also, I wanted to add shape to my glutes, my legs were pretty fine when I started. So by tone, I mean I want my legs to have a great shape, not to be proportionally big in size, they are already big... As far as I know the exercises I mentioned work your quads and hamstrings as well.
    I read both replies to mine and air2fake.

    You've only been lifting for 1 year. If you stay consistent with weight lifting, a healthy diet and cardio conditioning you will continue to see improvements in OVERALL lean body composition!! I understand that it can be frustrating when spot- reduction (of adipose fat tissue) does not exist. But if you continue to train full body, adding sculpted lean muscle to your shapely frame, and don't skimp on complex carbs, complete proteins, veggies, etc., you will become more athletic looking...you'll feel more content with your natural shape
    When I hear people say, " You should tone down your physique," I know I've achieved my fitness New Year's resolution:)

    Cheers to everyone having 2020 vision/insight this decade...
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    Registered User ema2396's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by etet1919 View Post
    I read both replies to mine and air2fake.

    You've only been lifting for 1 year. If you stay consistent with weight lifting, a healthy diet and cardio conditioning you will continue to see improvements in OVERALL lean body composition!! I understand that it can be frustrating when spot- reduction (of adipose fat tissue) does not exist. But if you continue to train full body, adding sculpted lean muscle to your shapely frame, and don't skimp on complex carbs, complete proteins, veggies, etc., you will become more athletic looking...you'll feel more content with your natural shape
    Thanks. Most people I know that lift are guys and they see results much faster.
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    You don't mention anything about your diet/calorie intake? A person can have the best training program on the planet, but if their calorie intake doesn't match their goals they end up spinning their wheels.
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  11. #11
    eye of the tigress etet1919's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ema2396 View Post
    Thanks. Most people I know that lift are guys and they see results much faster.
    You're welcome ema!

    Kimm is right about how important a lifestyle diet is. I also want to add including the right amount of unsaturated healthy fats into your diet will keep anyone's appetite in check!

    Guys typically do see results faster...higher testosterone levels are typically responsible for this. But women can train the same way as men, do the same programs, train with intensity and purpose....Have you browsed through the workout programming subforum yet? Curious as to whether any particular program has caught your eye?
    When I hear people say, " You should tone down your physique," I know I've achieved my fitness New Year's resolution:)

    Cheers to everyone having 2020 vision/insight this decade...
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    Registered User ema2396's Avatar
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    I don't track my calories that much anymore. I did at first,but now I got used to it, I usually feel how much I need. I ocassionally put in a tracker what I eat in a day. Usually I eat at maintenance level or slightly more. I try to keep my protein at about 2g/kg of bodyweight. I eat fatty fish like mackerel/salmon on average 2 days a week (I eat big portions). I have gained 4 kg since I started, but I am not sure how much it is muscle. I certainly look more lean than I would have normally looked at this weight, but I certainly gained some fat as well. On short, my body proportions are the same, I just got a bit bigger and I look leaner than usual at this weight.
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    Originally Posted by ema2396 View Post
    I don't track my calories that much anymore. I did at first,but now I got used to it, I usually feel how much I need. I ocassionally put in a tracker what I eat in a day. Usually I eat at maintenance level or slightly more. I try to keep my protein at about 2g/kg of bodyweight. I eat fatty fish like mackerel/salmon on average 2 days a week (I eat big portions). I have gained 4 kg since I started, but I am not sure how much it is muscle. I certainly look more lean than I would have normally looked at this weight, but I certainly gained some fat as well. On short, my body proportions are the same, I just got a bit bigger and I look leaner than usual at this weight.
    Have you looked at the forum nutritional stickies macronutrient intake info for reference?

    The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that to "increase muscle mass in combination with physical activity, you need to consume between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per day, or 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight. For athletes seeking optimum performance, a recommendation of 1.6 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight may be beneficial. The minimum fat requirements recommended are .04 grams per pound of bodyweight." But keep in mind, these are athletes (with regards to protein requirements) with very strenuous fitness regimens which include years of heavy lifting and adherence to very high cardiovascular conditioning levels. They can burn off additional calories easier than most.

    Muscle usually is more compact on a woman, so you will appear leaner at a weight that is healthy for you! But if you only track calories, or TDEE, on occasion, then you can never sure whether you're taking in the optimal amount of calories for your goals. Portion sizes are very important, as well. It's easy to overestimate how much of each nutrient is needed. We all do it at times
    Last edited by etet1919; 11-19-2019 at 05:37 AM.
    When I hear people say, " You should tone down your physique," I know I've achieved my fitness New Year's resolution:)

    Cheers to everyone having 2020 vision/insight this decade...
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