Questions about break days / split training

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Old 01-20-2011, 11:52 AM
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Default Questions about break days / split training

Hey there!

I am switching from a circle training programm I used to do daily (with one break day on Friday) to a strength based programm and am not sure how often I should/could train. The exercises are the usual suspects: Push-ups, pull-ups, dips, curls and some more weight exercises each of them in 3 sets and with added weights so that I can perform 6-12 repetitions with them. When I look online for resources many people suggest three training days (M-W-F) but to be honest, to me this seems to be way too much break days. So I wonder if I could avoid break days if I split my training and work on another muscle group instead on the next day. Would that be enough recovery time?

In my example this would mean working on arms and abs, then working on legs and back, then repeat (AA-LB-AA-LB-AA-LB-Restday) and rest on Friday.

Or what about that idea, I could group the strength and endurance based exercises (crunches, lower back exercises etc.) together and have one strength day and one circle day and rest on Friday (C-S-C-S-C-S-R).

I really dislike the idea of days in-between where I could do nothing. As I sit most of the time, each day I do not train somehow affects my health (lower back). What could one do on break days? Cardio (running, cycling, walking), gymnastics? Also what option would be the best if I plan to built muscle?

It would be nice if someone with some experiences could help me out here.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:11 PM
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You need to listen to how your body reacts to the training. The important thing is to allow your muscle time to repair before you stress them again. There is a point where you are overtraining. If you take a day off from weight training you can certainly still do cardio on the off day (although if you do a really hard leg day you may want a day off).

There are many good plans but most that do 3 day splits do something like:
Day 1, Legs
Day 2, Back, Abs
Day 3, Arms, Shoulders

You can do these on consecutive days while still allowing each muscle group at least 2 days off. You can do cardio on the same days or save your cardio for day 4. If you want to build muscle I would decrease the repetitions to the 5-6 range before failure. Use a lighter warmup set then 3 sets to failure maintaining correct form. You should be eating .5 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight.

Check out Bodybuilding.com if you haven't already for lots of great workout and diet information.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:03 AM
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This might be the answer I was searching for....thanks a lot!
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