Build A Beach Body

Question (Part I):

I have been training for 3 years now and I also took a course for additional experience. Well after getting into the field, I found training once a week hypertrophy doesn't really work, so my question is related to my training.

My primary goal is to get a ripped beach body. I suppose I feel my shoulders/traps are ok, but honestly I feel that I have a huge problem with my forearms and my chest.

I'm benching about 80 kgs and I typically bench for 10-12 reps. I normally do 12 reps and about 3 sets, sometimes changing things up and doing 4-6 reps for a few sets. My chest doesn't seem to be getting any fuller though.

I have devised a program and would like some professional advice. How does this split sound?

Mon- Chest and Tri
Tue - Shoulders
Thur - Back and Bi/Forearm
Fri - Legs

It's once a week for each part, does this seem good to you or is training a part every 3 -4 days better? Thank you for you advise on my chest and routine problems.

Answered by:
Jason Spencer, CSCS

Jason Spencer Online Personal Training

Jason Spencer CSCS

Jason Spencer ACSM Certification

Jason Spencer BS degree

Answer (Part I):

Ten to 12 reps is actually appropriate for your muscle building goal. You want to do no more than 6 to 12 reps in order to stimulate muscle growth, but that stimulation is also dictated by the weight you use.

The weight should be heavy enough to make it extremely challenging to finish the reps. I think your weight choices are just not intense enough at your rep ranges... Your routine seems pretty normal otherwise.

The only thing about it that may or not be appropriate is doing tris on chest days, and bis on back days... Doing bench presses and and things like that for chest can burn out the tris if it is combined with too much other tri exercise on the same day...

This can also happen with the bis when you do back and curls on the same day. This is because to do multi joint chest and back exercises, requires work done by the tris and bis respectively. You may or may not be overtraining the bis and tris causing them not to respond as effectively as desired.


Question (Part II):

Wow, firstly thank you for such a fast response. It is great to get such a straight forward answer, especially from someone with your knowledge. (I Only really know people who know the basics)

For my training routine I normally make sure I fail on either 8, 9 or the 10th rep, then with my spotter helping on the concentric phase to do 2 to 3 more, but never more than 12.

But as you said about my 6 - 12 reps, I could increase the intensity and fail earlier, right?

So a better program would be more specific such as:

1: Chest/shoulder  

2: Back

3: Legs

4: Bicep/tricep 5 6 off and start again on 7 or maybe have 3 days off to fully recover.

Thank you again! :)

Answer (Part II):

No you don't have to necessarily increase weights to fail at lower reps such as 6,7, or 8... As long as you're failing on your own pretty much around 10 or so, you are right in the muscle building range. If you do choose weights that consistently cause failure at 6 or 7, you might bulk up a little quicker or to a slightly larger degree due to the higher intensity of the loads( failure at 6 or 7 means heavier weights than at 9 or 10 ). But this is up to your particular preference...
As for changing your routine to what you mentioned... Yes that would be a better routine in terms of not overtraining your bis and tris on the those individual days but with respect to muscle building, doing only one or two muscles or muscle groups each day leaves too much rest before you get back to that particular muscle the next go around.

The way you set it up, you are only hitting each muscle group once per week. So the proper frequency is very important if you want to gain muscle. So, you've corrected your exercise sequence to a good degree by switching the routine to what you mentioned in the previous email...

But there are quite a few variables that need to be manipulated the appropriate ways (frequency is another one I just mentioned ). I'm just not sure exactly how you are structuring everything else about your workouts to achieve the correct results...

I would love to be able to offer you that guidance and structure I talked about so that you get where you want to be muscle wise with no wasted effort or time...

I have a great muscle bulking program on my site, or even a lean muscle building program that includes fat burning along with the bulking aspect. You could most certainly make great progress with one of these!

If you were to be interested in having me assist you completely through your best routine, all you would need to do is sign up online at the bottom of my page for one of the programs and I would then be able to put together a great and convenient routine telling you the what, how, and when of everything you need to build that muscle you're looking for.

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