The Game Plan


Before you head to the gym ready to figure out this working out stuff, we have to call a “timeout.” Believe it or not, weight lifting starts with careful planning. Don’t think this planning is supposed to be “on the spot” because to get the best results planning could be done months ahead of time. I know this sounds pretty hardcore, and I’m sure by now you are having second thoughts about my training process, but planning your workouts can be done on a much smaller scale. So, don’t give up on going to the gym just yet!

Before we even begin scheduling weightlifting regimens, we have to start with the basics of what muscle groups to work on. Everyone varies in the muscle groups that they exercise on the same day, but I’ll let you have my personal routine. I prefer to work out a large muscle group with a small muscle group all in one day at the gym. If you work on two large muscle groups per day, you will feel fatigue and there’s a higher risk of injuring yourself. If you work on two small muscle groups, you may not receive the same results as you would if you followed my routine.┬áNow, let’s review the muscle groups.

Madison Pettis and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a scene from “The Game Plan,” a Walt Disney Pictures release.

My personal favorite combinations are:

-Back and Triceps

-Chest and Biceps

-Abs and Shoulders

-Legs (they get their own day because the quad is considered a big muscle, while the calf is the small muscle group)

These combinations don’t have to be followed exactly, it can always be altered to what you personally prefer.

Next, these muscle group combinations need to be ordered according to the days of the week. Scheduling workouts throughout the week is important because it helps save the time that would be spent walking around the gym, trying to figure out which machine to use. Also, planning forces a sense of commitment in completing those workouts on those assigned days. The schedule motivates people to go to the gym because it is a constant reminder to go. Planning ahead is yet another technique in making your gym experience easier.

So, finally we are at the part where I tell you my top secret routine.

This is my everyday weekly routine to gain muscle:

Monday – Chest/biceps

Tuesday- Back/triceps

Wednesday- Legs

Thursday- Core/shoulders

Friday- Chest/biceps

Saturday- Back/triceps

Sunday- REST DAY!!

It may be weird that I repeat chest/biceps and back/triceps twice a week but honestly leg day is a killer! HA. However, this is just an example of a weekly schedule, it can all be altered to fit your needs. Once you have established a routine, it is important that you keep the same routine every week. These muscle groups may be the same but the different techniques you use to work on them can change weekly. Not only do you have to plan what to do every day, but you have to choose which weeks to use heavy weight v. using light weight. All these routines are interchangeable, but they are all imperative to your training.

Grasshopper’s Beginnings

Everyone starts somewhere. Well, I started as a lazy teenager, who’s biggest hardship was motivating myself to exercise. Hard to believe that a teenager is lazy, right? But, I guess I never put much thought into what exercise does to my health. However, all of this changed once I got a job at a naturopathic health food/supplement store, Nature’s Way. This store and the people in it taught me everything about wellness, and what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.

There is three sections to wellness: exercising, healthy eating, and supplements. Luckily, I know all three so by the end of my blog, we’ll both be pros on living a healthy life. There’s a lot more than getting 30 minutes of walking, and eating a vegetable once a week. I know it’s strange to hear a teenager talk about what wellness is, since it is usually considered a topic older and wiser people talk about. However, with my past knowledge and google I can be pretty knowledgable as well.

With the help of a gym partner/mentor, who also worked alongside with me at Nature’s Way, I learned many different techniques, workout regimens that affect how the muscle groups grow. There’s two major workout styles when it comes to lifting weights. There is heavy-weight with low repetitions, and light-weight with high repetitions. Both of these ways produce a different result on the muscles. Heavy-weight causes the muscles to grow in volume. The term “bulking up” is usually associated with this technique because this is where your strength improves and usually weight gain occurs due to the significant mass of the newly formed muscle. While on the other hand, the light-weight technique results in well-defined muscles, that are not necessarily large. Of course, cardio helps burn fat and give you a lean look, however to grow and work the fibers in the muscles a high repetition of light weight is needed. These are just two main categories of weight training, however there is so much more to learn in depth.

Not only, is weight training and exercise important, but healthy eating is as well. The ratio of fruits and veggies, to carbs, to protein is a crucial part of muscle repair, and general health. I am kind of stating the obvious though. So let me break it down, every vitamins and mineral inside food is good for a certain aspect of health, especially when it relates to repairing and growing the muscle. Certain foods, help boost metabolism which helps burn the fat. Foods that are high in protein helps rebuild muscle, which is important to build stronger muscles. Each food group significantly contributes to the recovery and improvement of muscle health.

Vitamins and minerals do not have to come directly from food since most of the US food supply is deficient in the necessary nutrients. Thus, supplements are needed to replenish these vitamin deficiencies. Not only, do supplements provide vitamins and minerals, but certain vitamins have effects on the muscles, joints, and nerve health which is important for working out. Supplements such as, fish oil, which provides Omega 6, which is an oil which helps lubricate joints which helps prevent injuries when working out. There is many different supplements which can advance any exercise.

In this blog, each of these parts will be reviewed in depth to further understand the strong relationship between these factors. So, let’s “bulk up” and explore.