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Jo
October 9th 03, 12:57 PM
I have several questions that I can't seem to be able to resolve…
Could you please help me out?

First, there is the issue of frequency. How often should one exercise
each body-part? Most agree that the absolute minimum should be 3 times
a week. But is that a minimum for exercising in general or for each
individual muscle group?

Assuming that one could theoretically exercise each and every day,
what would be the recommended frequency?

There are theories that the maximum should be 4 times a week, and that
it should be broken up to 2 couples of consecutive days with a day in
the middle when one doesn't even go near a gym. But even then, there
are systems where one exercises all muscle groups every day, creates
two sets of muscle groups and exercises one set per day alternating
between the two (getting a complete workout in two days) and where
only one muscle group is exercised each day.

How does one figure out what is the best system for them and what is
the criterion? Is muscle soreness any indication? Or do different
systems do different things for each person? If that is the case, how
long should someone follow a system before deciding what that system
does for them?

And then there is the issue of intervals between sets. It is evident
that different intervals have different results. It seems for example,
that those striving for definition should exercise with smaller
intervals and that those striving for muscle mass should exercise with
longer ones. But even then the durations given for the intervals vary
considerably.

How does one figure out what interval works for them? Is the interval
depended on the size of the muscle exercised, with bigger muscles
requiring longer intervals?

Is heart rate any indication? Assuming one has a heart rate monitor,
could they calculate their intervals according to their heart rate
(meaning, drop your heart rate to this number before you go again if
you want definition and to that number if you want muscle mass)? Or is
heart rate not important and intervals intend to give the time to the
muscle to do other things that are not measurable that way?

Those are my questions for the time being.

Thank you!

spodosaurus
October 9th 03, 02:31 PM
Jo wrote:
> I have several questions that I can't seem to be able to resolve…
> Could you please help me out?
>
> First, there is the issue of frequency. How often should one exercise
> each body-part? Most agree that the absolute minimum should be 3 times
> a week.

No. Most don't agree on most things, and few would agree on this point
regarding body part training frequency. Change minimum to maximum and
then you could probably get a disorderly majority.

>But is that a minimum for exercising in general or for each
> individual muscle group?

The depends on how you set up your training and what you're actually
doing. Seems like you may need to do a bit more reading. A good
beginners book that you can begin to build your knowledge base from is
"beyond brawn" by Stuart McRobert (available at hardgainer.com and other
places).

>
> Assuming that one could theoretically exercise each and every day,
> what would be the recommended frequency?

Frequency for bodyparts? Why not train the whole body with a few
compound exercises twice a week?

>
> There are theories that the maximum should be 4 times a week, and that
> it should be broken up to 2 couples of consecutive days with a day in
> the middle when one doesn't even go near a gym.

There're as many theories as there are people. Pick one and we can
shoot holes in it for you.

> But even then, there
> are systems where one exercises all muscle groups every day, creates
> two sets of muscle groups and exercises one set per day alternating
> between the two (getting a complete workout in two days) and where
> only one muscle group is exercised each day.

What exactly are your goals? It sounds like you're just making this up
as you go along.

>
> How does one figure out what is the best system for them and what is
> the criterion?

That depends on what your goals are, your committment to training, and
the results of trial and error periods that are given long enough to
show real results one way or the other.

> Is muscle soreness any indication?

It can be, but you can gain mass and strength without those muscles
being sore. You'll usually be less sore as you get a few weeks or
months into your training.

> Or do different
> systems do different things for each person?

I can answer that one with an emphatic 'yes'...and 'no'...

> If that is the case, how
> long should someone follow a system before deciding what that system
> does for them?

That's up to you. Switching every couple of weeks does not give you a
chance to really evaluate a training regimen, and it does not really
give your body and nervous system a chance to adapt to it.

>
> And then there is the issue of intervals between sets. It is evident
> that different intervals have different results. It seems for example,
> that those striving for definition should exercise with smaller
> intervals and that those striving for muscle mass should exercise with
> longer ones.

nope. Those striving for definition should reduce their caloric intake
or increase their caloric expenditure (via low level cardio activity
usually).

> But even then the durations given for the intervals vary
> considerably.
>
> How does one figure out what interval works for them? Is the interval
> depended on the size of the muscle exercised, with bigger muscles
> requiring longer intervals?

Stop thinking in terms of individual muscles and instead in terms of
compound and isolation first, and then muscle groups second. Rest
intervals depend on a bunch of factors: goals, your conditioning,
individual exercises, etc etc etc

>
> Is heart rate any indication?

It can be.

> Assuming one has a heart rate monitor,
> could they calculate their intervals according to their heart rate
> (meaning, drop your heart rate to this number before you go again if
> you want definition and to that number if you want muscle mass)?

You could, but I think you'll find very few here that would go to that
trouble (and it would only be one factor to consider, not the sole factor).

> Or is
> heart rate not important and intervals intend to give the time to the
> muscle to do other things that are not measurable that way?
>
> Those are my questions for the time being.
>
> Thank you!
>


--

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Donovan Rebbechi
October 9th 03, 02:46 PM
In article >, Jo wrote:
> I have several questions that I can't seem to be able to resolve?
> Could you please help me out?
>
> First, there is the issue of frequency. How often should one exercise
> each body-part? Most agree that the absolute minimum should be 3 times
> a week.

But they don't.

> But is that a minimum for exercising in general or for each
> individual muscle group?

Most people would agree that you need at least once a week. There are rapidly
diminishing returns for more frequent than 2x/week.

> Assuming that one could theoretically exercise each and every day,
> what would be the recommended frequency?

I don't think it matters a whole lot, but a good rule of thumb would be to
keep to no more than 4hrs/week total.

> There are theories that the maximum should be 4 times a week, and that
> it should be broken up to 2 couples of consecutive days with a day in
> the middle when one doesn't even go near a gym. But even then, there
> are systems where one exercises all muscle groups every day, creates
> two sets of muscle groups and exercises one set per day alternating
> between the two (getting a complete workout in two days) and where
> only one muscle group is exercised each day.
>
> How does one figure out what is the best system for them and what is
> the criterion?

I don't think there's much consensus on whether a 2 day split repeated twice
is better than 3 whole body workouts per week.

As a general rule, powerlifters are more likely to do whole body workouts,
bodybuilders are more likely to do split programs. Some athletes don't even
weight train all muscles in their body.

What are your reasons for lifting weights ? Perhaps it would help more if you
posted your goals and your program, and we can comment on and suggest
appropriate refinements.


> Is muscle soreness any indication?

Not really.

> Or do different systems do different things for each person?

Maybe.

> And then there is the issue of intervals between sets. It is evident
> that different intervals have different results. It seems for example,
> that those striving for definition should exercise with smaller
> intervals

Not really true. Using resistance training as a cardio program is probably one
of the least effective fat loss strategies there is. Better strategies include:
(1) dieting
(2) real cardio
(3) a strength program (which increases lean body mass hence raises metabolic
rate)

> and that those striving for muscle mass should exercise with
> longer ones. But even then the durations given for the intervals vary
> considerably.

There are different strategies and beliefs. I don't know how much merit these
have. Bodybuilders are more prone to believe in exhausting workouts (higher
reps, short rests, or techniques like supersetting). In practice, the
difference in the effect of different resting protocols is probably fairly
small. Powerlifters are usually very muscular and bodybuilders are usually
extremely strong.

> How does one figure out what interval works for them? Is the interval
> depended on the size of the muscle exercised, with bigger muscles
> requiring longer intervals?

I think this is correct -- you will usually need longer rests for exercises
like deadlifts and squats. You also will feel more tired if you do more reps.

> Is heart rate any indication?

Probably not. The problem is that the mechanism associated with muscle fatigue
doesn't have very much to do with oxygen uptake or heart rate.

Cheers,
--
Donovan Rebbechi
http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/

Jo
October 10th 03, 09:32 AM
Thanks so much for the responses!
What I would really like to achieve would be strength, definition AND
size!!! :
(To be honest Strength is only an objective because I am jealous of
people that pump weights that seem incredible to me!)
My understanding is that these objectives need to be approached one at
a time… I don't think I have a lot of excess weight but I have
hard-to-beat "love-handles". (I did a fat-percentage measuring at the
gym but haven't got the results back yet. They do it with a thing that
pinches you at different spots and then they use a computer program to
get the results). I am trying to deal with the love-handles with diet
and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at 65% four times a week (I do the
aerobic exercises after resting for 5-10 minutes from my
weight-training).

My plan is to get rid of them as much as I can and then go into a
"size-building" program and go back to definition around March.

I have a pretty clear idea of what works for me in terms of diet.
That's why I was only asking about frequencies and intervals.

I also have a problem with feeling tired and sore most of the time. I
am currently following a program from Global-Fitness where I exercise
chest/shoulders/triceps on Monday and Thursday and legs/back/biceps on
Tuesday and Friday. The trainer at the gym doesn't like it, especially
the legs/back combo on the same day. I'm just over-eager I guess and I
feel that I wouldn't be getting a proper workout if I only do each
body part once a week. Also my arms never look the way I would like.
I've been through periods when my body was in excellent shape but my
arms where like sticks. But what I am starting to understand now after
this posting and reading is that I wouldn't HAVE TO exercise all body
parts with the same frequency. (Is that correct?)

Any comments or additional pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you once more for the responses!
Jo