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what muscle groups work out best together?

What muscle groups are best to work out together in the same day. like day one chest and shoulders or shoulders and arms. Day two legs and back or just legs.
I do not want to over work anything but I also do not want to wast any time as well if you know what I mean. I know if I do arms before chest my bench is really effected. Should I just push on and build endurance or do I need to readjust my work out and what muscle groups on what days.
I know there are probably a hundred answers to this but in short I want to be done with my lifting in 45 min to an hour and 5 to 6 days a week. My main goal is to lose weight add some strength, endurance, and enough lean muscle to help assist with weight loss and staying fit.
Also what is this HIIT that people speak?

9 answers

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For weight loss and especially for beginners I like to to do total body circuits. Perform one exercise for each major muscle group per workout and perform this 3 times per week with a day of rest in between. Stick to compount movements like pushing and pulling, lunging and squating and some core movements to get the most work done in the least time. After you've developed some endurance and stabilization then you can start to split things up. How you do this really depends on your schedule. I would try to keep your resistance training to 3 or 4 days at most and fill in that 5th day with just cardio and core.

An example of a 3 day split would be Chest/Back on monday, Shoulders/Legs on wednesday, and Biceps/Triceps on Friday perform core exercise each day you do resistance training.

An example of a 4 day split would be Chest/Shoulders/Tricpes on monday and thursday, and Back/Legs/Biceps on Tuesday and Friday. Core training all four days as well.

There many differents ways to split up you workout routine, these are only some examples and ones that I have used effectively with my clients. If you do a split where you perform Chest and Triceps on the same day, I would reccomend performing your chest exercises first. Yoru Triceps assist your Chest muscles in pushing movements and tiring them out first will be a limiting factor in your chest exercises. The same goes for your back and biceps.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Your perform a period of high intensity activity such as pedaling very quickly on a bike or running quickly on a treadmill for a short period of time and the either perform some sort of active rest like pedaling slower or walking, or rest completely and then repeat. The idea is that you can increase your calorie burn after your workout. This effect is known as EPOC or Excess Post exercise Oxygen Consumption. There is some debate as to the actaul effect EPOC has on metabolism and some would say it's negligible at best. Regarless this is a fun way to change up your cardio routine and in practice it seems to work. I like to alternate days of steady cardio with days of HIIT training.

So definitely give HIIT a try.

Gool Luck


7 years ago

Ken I never took the time to thank you for the information.
Thank you!!! and just to keep you posted I have lost almost 100 pounds sense I started this I would say your advice was right on target. Thanks!!!

Corey Brown 20k
6 years ago

This is just my two cents worth....I'm nobody special, just someone who likes to be fundamentally strong. I like to work out muscle groups that work together to do a job. For example, a strong back provides a good platform to use your arm I work my Biceps and Back in "super-sets." I do the same thing with my chest and triceps. On Leg days, I super-set forearms and go directly into shoulders/traps afterwards. I take two days off consecutively from weights and focus only on cardio. I do 15 minutes of cardio before and after EVERY WORKOUT and abs can be worked daily as well. This has worked well for years.

Kabul, Afghanistan

viking1gunner 35
5 years ago

I will usually use total body workouts with a client until our goals shift directly toward hypertrophy training (increasing lean mass) I find that a four day split of either upper/lower or back/leg/bicep and chest/shoulder/triceps to work best in this case. I tend to favor an upper lower split versus the second one though. You would simply alternate upper body days with lower body days four times per week.

5 years ago

Thanks Ken,
One exercise for each major muscle group per workout seems on the limiting to me or am I missing something?
Is it really bad to do resistance training more then 4 days a week?
I just feel like I should be doing a lot more.

Corey Brown 20k
7 years ago

On the split routines you would do 2-3 exercises per major muscle group.

While you could definitely lift 5 days per week, you have to ask yourself why? How will this help me to reach my goals any faster? alot of the programs that you see in magazines that promotes this training strategy are written for bodybuilders, by body builders and are very often based on "gym science" and not evidence based research. Training 4 times per week hitting each major muscle group twice per week is plenty of stimulus to generate the change your looking for. If you want to workout 5 days per week that great! Do some type of HIIT or Metabolic conditioning work on that day. So Wednesday would be a cardio/conditioning day in the above 4 day training schedule.

7 years ago

Corey, that's amazing and I applaud you for your effort, commitment and success.

How long would you consider doing the total body circuits before entering into split training?

Your question (this thread) a year ago is exactly what I am curious about now.

Biap1206 35
6 years ago

Dear corey,

First, a good conversation with the trainer to determine whether it is realistic your goals and adjusted if necessary.
Splitset training becomes widely used by bodybulders and let's be honest this is training focused on the appearance.
I can tell a long story about the types of training with their advantages and disadvantages.
It is therefore very important to work with a trainer who has an understanding of anatomy and physiology and many training forms. We are all people but also very different.

Greetings from the Netherlands

6 years ago

I am suggesting you first you lose your weight than start muscle game. If you need proper guide than visit here or post your problem here everyone can help you or proper guide you.

Teuaranoa 0
4 weeks ago

add your answer!

Corey Brown member since Nov '10


H2i | ManagerToledo, IA
11/11/2010 at 4:02 PM