Was at a client's place yesterday and his roommate was asking me some good questions about program design.
Asking about sets/reps, organizing a "split" (like how to schedule what body parts to train on what day), changing angles (like what was done with this lat pulldown), and exercise selection.
I like these questions because it forces me to find ways to communicate and break it down in a way anyone else can figure out. I've yet to train in a gym where I haven't heard a trainer speaking a language their client had zero ability to understand.
I told him this:
1. The particulars don't matter and there's no best way.
2. Train all of the movements throughout the week. Squat, hip hinge, lunge, pull, push, carry stuff, train the core. Throw isolation stuff on top.
3. Mostly compound movements, most of the time, that involve more than one joint at a time.
4. Generally start with your heaviest and lower rep exercises and progess to lighter/higher rep stuff later on.
5. Variety is key. Vary angles, rep ranges, tempos regularly. Every 4, 8, 12 weeks is no matter. Just have the variety. The lat pulldown shown above is usually done upright, a simple lean changes things. Nothing crazy, but it still matters.
6. If you're eating to lose weight, volume/workload shouldnt be quite as high. If you're eating more, bring on the work. Maybe a lot more 3x8-12 kinda rep ranges for the former and more 4x10-15, and sets that last longer to exhaust the muscles if eating to grow.
Lower volume: 8-10 sets per muscle group per day.
Higher volume: 12-14 per muscle group per day and longer sets.
7. If you want to make a muscle or muscle group grow, train it two or even three times a week.
I swear if you put those 7 things together a lot of the rest doesn't matter much.
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