While I’ve always been involved with athletics and weight lifting in some form during most of my life, I was not always aware of how important the selection of movements and structure of a training program could be. In hindsight, everything I know now makes perfect sense to me, but I spent a lot of time learning the right and wrong ways to go about setting up a workout routine.
Most guys, especially if they have no background in athletics or previous weight training experience, will go into the gym and blindly mimic the other guys, or they’ll follow a program from one of the latest magazines. While this is not the worst that can happen, I’ve known very few guys who get it right initially from this approach. In fact, some of them spend years doing it all incorrectly.
For many of us dudes, we like to spend a lot of time working our chest, shoulders, and arms, while neglecting the muscles of our back, and sometimes even neglecting our lower body altogether.
I know you’ve seen the typical guys who sport big chests, arms with tiny legs, and a small upper back. If you’re into that look, fine. Keep it up. However, there’s definitely a better way to structure your training, and the benefits are many.
First of all, a good rule of thumb is to balance out your pushing movements with pulling movements. For example, if you’re doing 5 sets of 10 on bench press, you should be doing an equal amount of work for your back, something like 5 sets of 10 of pull-ups or rows.
The same goes for the legs. If you do 5 sets of squats, you should also do 5 sets of something like hyperextensions or Romanian deadlifts to work your hamstrings equally.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for anywhere from 50-80 reps per training session for each muscle group.
An example leg workout would look like this:
Squats 5×5 (25 reps)
Hyperextension 5z5 (25 reps)
DB Lunges 4×8 (32 reps)
Leg curls 4×8 (32 reps)
Total Pushing Reps: 57
Total Pulling Reps: 57
The Reason You Should Do It This Way
Training in this manner will help you build a well-rounded physique, and may help you prevent injury that can sometimes occur when some muscle groups become stronger than others, causing an imbalance.
Another reason to train in this manner is to get more done, which can help you limit your gym time if you have a busy schedule. In other words, you could do a full body routine over 3 days (Roosh has mentioned Starting Strength before), or an upper/lower split spanning 3-4 days.
Here’s another article that covers some more common workout mistakes people make.
Read More: Does Your Posture Suck?