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Old 04-27-2004, 04:35 PM   #1
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Question about changing routines.

When changing routines, can it be beneficial to alternate between mass, strength and endurance routines? I am currently doing 3 sets of 10-12 reps for increasing mass and am changing routines shortly. I am thinking of changing sets/reps to target strength for 4-6 weeks - say 5 sets of 6-8 reps - to give my routine a kick along. Then I am thinking of following that with 4-6 weeks of high rep training for endurance with sets of 15-20 reps of lower weights before going back to my current routine.

I know that changing routines at regular intervals is good for progress and helps with progress but would like any thoughts on the above. Would the endurance phase may counteract the mass building phase? Would it be better to do each for a shorter period, say 3-4 weeks on each routine? Could it be better only alternating between strangth and mass training routines? Any feedback would be appreciated.

 
Old 04-27-2004, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: Question about changing routines.

just do whatever comes natural

 
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Old 04-27-2004, 06:50 PM   #3
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Re: Question about changing routines.

I think that's an excellent idea. I see guys at my gym change from low to high reps, etc and it doesn't affect them in any negative ways at all. I've never went to the higher rep count but do switch between lower and medium rep counts with no adverse effects. You aren't going to lose any progress going to higher reps for a while.
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:40 AM   #4
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Re: Question about changing routines.

An extended period at too high a rep range will effect your size. Endurance training will stimulate Type I (slow twitch) muscle fibre, and will have the effect of making your Type II (fast twitch) muscle, act like Type I. Basically, looking at it from purely a size point of view which I assume from your post is your goal, Type I fibre is smaller than type II (among it's numerous other properties) so you may lose some size. 20 reps would be walking the line. You may want to aim just a little lower to minimise the effect.

 
Old 04-28-2004, 04:12 PM   #5
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Re: Question about changing routines.

Like Endorphin said, an extended period of high reps will affect your size, but 4-6 weeks shouldn't make a noticeable difference. It took me about 8 months of high rep training just to shred one inch off of my arm for competition.

Another option is to alternate within each week ex:

Monday: Strength
Weds: Endurance
Friday: Size

that's just another idea if you don't like doing the same thing every workout.

talk to ya later
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: Question about changing routines.

A question on a related note:

I have been doing a routine for 6-8 weeks now, seeing decent results for the first time. I am doing pyramid sets of 10, 8, 6, and 4. My split is typically:
Monday: Legs & Shoulders
Tuesday: Biceps & Back
Thursday: Chest & Triceps
Friday: Shoulders & Biceps
I also do 25-35 minutes of cardio each workout. I always try to vary the order of the exercises and throw in some different exercises now and then. Now that I have been doing this routine for a while, I think I should switch it up a bit to keep seeing progress, but I'm not really sure what to change. I do basically the standard exercises, mixing freeweights and a few machines. Any suggestions?

Also, I am eating pretty well but I have stubborn love handles that I can't get rid of. I have been working out consistently in some form for the last year, and I can't seem to shed the last little bit of fat around my midsection. I am 28, 5'-10" and about 170lbs. Last time I checked, I had about 8.5% BF, but it seems like thats all at my love handles. Any suggestions? Is it going to be impossible to shed that fat while trying to gain muscle?

 
Old 04-29-2004, 12:31 PM   #7
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Re: Question about changing routines.

I would suggest going from 4 sets to 3 sets. I doubt 4 sets is doing you any better than 3 would.

As far as losing those stubborn love handles and gaining muscle I would say you won't be able to do that. Now you can probably maintain your muscle and lose the handles but when you're talking a little bit of stubborn fat the key is usually having a very clean diet and getting your calorie count just right. If you are at 8.5% body fat and want to lower it your diet is going to have to be better than "pretty good", it's gonna have to be "damn good". You may also want to stop doing the cardio in conjunction with the weight lifting and seperate the two for better results.

As far as switching up your weight lifting you've got all sorts of options. One thing to keep in mind is work your larger muscles (chest, back, legs) and compound movements first then go to the smaller muscles like biceps, tris, etc. Some examples of changes could be doing splits like this:

chest/bis
shoulders/back/tris
legs/abs

or

chest/back
shoulders/tris/bis
legs/abs

etc, there are all sorts of options here.
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Old 04-30-2004, 04:25 AM   #8
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Re: Question about changing routines.

Thanks for the info. When I switch things up, should I also change the exercises I'm doing? Or is doing a different split enough of a change?

 
Old 05-01-2004, 10:54 AM   #9
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Re: Question about changing routines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgconner154
Thanks for the info. When I switch things up, should I also change the exercises I'm doing? Or is doing a different split enough of a change?

A different split is enough of a change usually but changing exercises would probably only enhance your progress but isn't necessary. Another option is to stay with the same exercises but change the order up a bit while still keeping with working major muscle groups first. You could also take one exercise you do 3 sets on, change it to 2 and then add another exercise where you do 2 sets that work the same muscle group.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:21 PM   #10
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Re: Question about changing routines.

Cool, thanks.

 
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