When people put together a workout, they usually think in terms of exercises. Now, that is not necessarily all wrong, but it does pigeonhole you to an extent. Instead of simply moving from machine to machine, think in terms of muscles you want to train. In the end, your gym success will depend on how many muscle fibers you were able to activate, not how many sets and reps you did.
So, when starting a workout ask yourself: which muscle do I want to train and what does it do? From there on, design a workout where you start working this muscle in a rather weak position. Then, you move on to exercises that allow your target muscle to work with a higher output. When that is done, add auxiliary muscles to further exhaust.
Now, this probably sounds insanely complicated but it is not! As a practical example, let’s assume you are training your lats.
1. Start with a lat pull down with a wide grip where you can only use very few fibers of the lats.
2. Next, would be a close-grip pull down which mimics the natural movement pattern of the lats much more. Now, you will be able to use more fibers.
3. Then, you move on to pulldown where you lean back, making it more of a row/midrange movement.
4. Lastly, partials at midpoint where you work the lats in the absolute strongest position with the help of the biceps.
Here is a possible chest breakdown:
1. Stiff -arm parallel flies
2. Decline flies
3. Decline presses
1. Laying down leg curls where you hold your body upright
2. Laying down hamstring curls, put your body all the way down to the pad
3. Hamstring curls, partial reps only
1. X men
2. Side raises with dumbbells
3. V pulls
These are just examples, you can of course design your own, as long as you stick with the basic principles.
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