Publié le 04/28/2014

The workout and its principles

When we talk about the workoutin bodybuilding, it means that we use the loads to create a stress on one or several muscular groups to provoke the growth of one or these groups. However, if we stick to a simple workout we remain in a generality but it is really much more complex than we think.

The term of workout focuses on different approaches (workout distribution) and various methods that will be set up and used according to the practitioner level, his objectives, his physiological capacities and his available time to workout. In addition, the bodybuilding workout is divided into different exercises consisting of a number of series which are also composed of a number of repetitions. This number of repetitions will be defined by the objective.


The practitioner level

The degree of applied stress depends on the practitioner level (novice, intermediate or advanced). The muscle of a beginner in bodybuilding cannot used to this type of stimulation. It will have some tendency to react more quickly and more easily to the stress applied by the workout with loads.

In fact, there will be no need apply intensely this stimulation for having the muscle growth. But more a practitioner is experienced and more stress on the muscle must be in high intensity. The muscle being used to a certain amount will grow if this stimulation is sufficient to force this muscle to adapt again.

More a practitioner will have many years of workout and more he must bring a sufficient stimulation (stress) to cause growth. This growth is an adaptive response of the muscle to the stress of workout.


The workout distribution

The muscle growth is closely linked to the quality, quantity, frequency of workout and the practitioner level. The workout distribution will be too in connection with these factors to cause growth.

If you are beginner in bodybuilding, the muscle will respond very quickly to the stimulation during the sessions. This stimulation did not need to be of a high intensity and the frequency of workouts on these muscle groups may be more closer. In contrast, an advanced practitioner should stimulate more intensely his muscles in order to force them to adapt and grow. The intensity and the workload being strong, the muscle group will need more time to recover. So be careful to space the sessions for a same muscle.

All this will determine the workout in full-body, half body, split, double split.


The full-body: this workout distribution consist to workout the whole body in a same session. The practitioner will select one or two basic exercises for each muscle group at the rate of 3 sets per exercise.

In this method, 2 to 3 sessions per week are sufficient. The whole body will be worked at each session and it will avoid returning too often in gym. It is ideal for a person with not much time to train or a beginner seeking to accustom his body to the workout.

The half-body: this workout distribution is a variation of the full-body. It allows to work on each half-body twice a week, so on 4 workouts. You can work the whole body twice a week and prepare it to its transfer on a split distribution.

With this half-body method, the practitioner will be able to add an additional exercise for each muscle group. The number of series will constant.

The split routine: this workout distribution divide the body into muscle groups. In this regard, a big muscle group is worked with smaller group. For example, the pectorals with the triceps, or quadriceps with the hamstrings and the calves.

This distribution allows to devote more significantly to target groups and allow more recovery time between the sessions dedicated for these same groups. In fact, they will be worked every 5 days in which they can recover and to develop. During this type of workout, 5 exercises will target the large muscle group and 3 to 4 the smallest.

Finally, for the athletes with a very very good capacity of recovery, they will be able to follow the double split method.

The double split: this type of workout distribution acts on two muscle groups in the same day but in two separate sessions. For example, the pectoral muscles will be worked in the morning and the evening will be devoted to the back.

This method allows to work intensely on each muscle group twice per week. This can be very beneficial for the muscle growth. However, if the athlete is not vigilant, he can quickly fall into overtraining. In this case, the workout will be counter-productive.

The exercise will be substantially the same as in a simple split. The double split distribution is often done on short-period for not tired the body of the athlete.

Well, the choice of the workout routine used is established. It will therefore be important to determine to which type of workout we will orient ourselves (the force workout, the volume or the dry and muscle quality). Depending on the objective, the choice of exercises and the number of repetitions can be determined.


The different types of workout

It is important to note that each type of training will be preceded by an appropriate warm-up to prepare the muscle for the effort and avoid the injuries.


The force workout

For the force workout, the athlete will direct his choice to basic movements such as the bench press bar or the incline bench press for the pectorals. The number of repetitions per series will be 2 to 6 reps in general and 5 to 8 series per movement.

The used load must be between 85 and 110% of the maximum. The recovery time will be 2 to 3 min between each series. One or two insulation movement may be added.


The volume or hypertrophy workout

For the volume or hypertrophy workout, the choice of exercises will focus mainly on basics movements. They consists of 3 or 4 movements followed by 1 or 2 insulations movements. The repetition range will be between 8 and 12 repetitions per series and about 5 series per exercises.

The used loads will be between 60 and 80% of the maximum.

Example for the quadriceps: squat, press hack squat and leg extension.

In this type of workout, the recovery will be around 1mn to 1mn30 for the greater muscle groups.


The dry workout

For to gain muscle and to dry it, the workout will contain longer series including 15 to 20 or even 30 repetitions in order to burn the fiber at the maximum. To avoid losing too much strength during this period, a work force will be retained for the movement n ° 1 which will be a basic movement. And then the workout will be more focused on the insulation in order to accentuate the muscular cut.

The used loads for this type of workout will be in 50% of the maximum or sometimes even less.

The recovery time will be shortened at least 30 sec to 45 sec.

The basics workout being raised, the content of the sessions can be modified and must be changed regularly to create muscle confusion that the body needs to evolve. It necessary to not get into a routine that would very likely lead to the stagnation of performance and muscle development.

Moreover, it is interesting and important to workout per cycle because each type imposes constraints on the muscles that must subsequently recover in order to evolve. It would be inconceivable to make the workout force throughout the year because the muscle would be really exhausted and this turned out however productive.

The workout periodization is necessary to achieve the fixed objectives and not to lose the motivation. The routine leads to the demotivation and stagnation.

The workout need variety. It is done by changing factors such as the intensity, the type of used series (super set, decreasing series, series giant...).

All of these aspects make the workout so interesting and we motivate to do it. This is why, reflection is needed to optimize at best all the efforts made in gym throughout the year.