The Ultimate Workout Plan

The+Ultimate+Workout+Plan

Tristan Beach (2021-2022), Staff Writer

In recent years, the yearn for a better body image has skyrocketed among teenagers. Major trends have taken various social media platforms by storm, pushing the idea of self-improvement, health, and overall muscle-building. Some people, however, do not have the opportunity to begin the long journey of improvement. Luckily for those in the Katy area, there are countless options to choose from. The most popular of the gyms are VillaSport and LA Fitness. Students often travel to their gym of choice in a group of their friends to workout together.

Being in the Information Age, access to information has never been easier to consume. Now, anyone who wants to attempt to improve their health and body image can find all of the necessary information with only a couple of keystrokes. Pages upon pages of results are provided for the simplest of Google searches.

 

Workout plans

The most common suggestion is the actual workout plan. There are many different programs anyone can choose from that fits their goals. These programs are most commonly referred to as “splits,” or how one can split up the workouts throughout the week. The most common and most reliable split is called the “Push, Pull, Legs” split. The “push” refers to the muscles used to push something, so the chest, shoulders, and triceps. The “pull” refers to the muscles that are used to pull something, so the back and biceps. And “legs” obviously refers to the legs.

Although many muscle-isolating machines can be used to help amplify muscle growth in any specified area, compound exercises should be prioritized. The most common compound lifts are the bench press, which targets the chest, the deadlift, which targets both the back and legs, and the squat, which targets the legs.

Each individual workout is split into “sets” and “reps” or “repetitions.” A “set” refers to a group of reps performed at one time. For example, one set would contain 10 repetitions. Of course, every person is different, with some people being stronger than others, and others being weaker. So, the amount of sets and repetitions must be modified to fit one’s strength level. Some exercises may require a higher rep range, as it is necessary to grow that specific muscle group.

This does not mean the posture, technique, or form should be disregarded to achieve the set rep range. Form should be held above everything else. This also means that just because the desired rep range is reached, it does not mean that the exercise is over. This means the weight must be increased, or the amount of reps must be increased in order to promote muscle growth. Legs are a good example of this.

 

Push day (Monday, Thursday)

 

Chest-related

  • Barbell bench press: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Incline chest press: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Cable flyes; any height variation (each variation puts an emphasis on a specific portion of the chest, e.g. high-to-low, low-to-high, etc.): 3-4 sets of of 10-12 reps
  • Chest dips (assisted dip machine, bodyweight, dip machine): 3-4 sets of of 10-12 reps

 

Tricep-related

  • Pulldowns (preferably with a much longer rope; if none, resort to a cross-cable pulldown): 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Tricep dips (assisted dip machine, bodyweight): 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps

 

Shoulder-related

  • Dumbbell shoulder press: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Lateral raises: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Shrugs: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps

 

Pull day (Tuesday, Friday)

 

Back-related

  • Rows (t-bar or dumbbell): 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Lat pulldown: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Pull-ups (assisted or bodyweight): 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Deadlift: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps

 

Bicep-related

  • Curls (any variation, dumbbell, barbell, cable, etc.): 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps

 

Leg day (Wednesday, Saturday)

 

Overall leg (more than one muscle group)

  • Squats: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Leg press; any foot placement (each variation puts an emphasis on a specific portion of the legs, e.g. high, low, wide, etc.): 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Lunges (dumbbell, bodyweight): 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Goblet squats: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Romanian deadlifts: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps

 

Quad (isolated)

  • Quad extensions: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps

 

Hamstring (isolated)

  • Hamstring curls: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps

 

Calf (isolated)

  • Calf extensions: 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Calf raises: 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps

 

As time goes by, an emphasis must be placed on progressively overloading, which means gradually increasing the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in the workouts in order to promote muscle growth and prevent neutral or, in the worst case, negative growth.

 

Meal plans

Also among the results are meal plans, commonly regarded as one of the hardest parts of anyone’s health journey. Depending on the goal, whether it’s a bulk, cut, or recomposition, the appropriate alterations in a diet can be advised by thousands of other, experienced bodybuilders and athletes online. Many of said professionals have their own websites and brands that aim to help novice weightlifters find their goals and eventually reach them.

A “bulk” refers to the gain in body weight as a whole. The goal is to eat in a caloric surplus, meaning to eat more, or much more than previously consumed. Although muscle gain should be prioritized, fat gain is essential, due to the increase in energy and hormonal function. This, coupled with a workout routine, would cause an increase in weight and strength.

A “cut” refers to the loss of body fat. In order to achieve a lower body weight, it is advised to eat in a caloric deficit, meaning to eat less than previously consumed. This phase usually comes after a successful bulk, or when a target weight and strength goal is reached. This, coupled with a workout routine, would begin the process of losing the excess fat the body has stored.

A “recomposition” refers to the process of losing fat while gaining muscle simultaneously. This method is the least used by more advanced lifters, as any substantial gains are usually seen by novice lifters, as their bodies are gaining muscle at a higher rate due to their previous lack of physical activity, and a recomposition takes much longer than a traditional cut-bulk process. When practiced, a recomposition would essentially combine the methods of a cut and a bulk. A “calorie cycle” would be imposed, where on some days a calorie surplus would be optimal, while other days, a calorie deficit would be optimal, depending on the workout routine and goal.