Over the past few months of performing total body training 3-4 days per week I am finding that I have favorite exercises that work well for my physique. Actually, I have favorite exercises, rep ranges, and number of sets that just seems to work well for me. The main reason these exercise parameters work well is the fact that they do not irritate my joints or put me in a position to risk injury. For upper body training I tend to stay in the 10-20 rep range per set and for lower body I tend to stay with 20-40 reps per set. Each set is taken very close to absolute failure. Here is the workout:
Incline Smith Chest Presses 3 sets of 10-20 reps. This exercise doesn’t bother my shoulder at all. I know many gurus bash the smith machine but I have yet to find someone to get injured on it. For me it just makes sense.
Pulldowns 3 sets of 10-20 reps. A perfect exercise along with pullups to fully engage the lats.
Close Grip Incline Smith Presses 3 sets of 10-20 reps. I like this exercise for triceps along with the fact that I get more chest and shoulder work.
Lying Face down on Bench Dumbbell Rows 45degree incline. I like this exercise for rows as it doesn’t bother my low back like cable or barbell rows do. I can work extremely hard without risking injury. 3 sets of 10-20 reps
Seated Lateral Raises. I perform this exercise seated usually with the seat not quite vertical. So I am leaning back slightly. Usually performing 3 sets of 10 reps.
Preacher Dumbbell or EZ Curl Curls. I usually train in the 20 rep range as I don’t like training heavy to expose my bicep tendon to extra stress. 3 sets of 20-30 reps per set.
Leg Presses on 45 degree leg press. Usually perform at least 3 sets of 30 reps.
Calf Presses on same leg press. 3 sets of 30-40 reps.
I usually perform this workout 2 days per week with 2 other days per week of variations of these exercises. I always listen to my body and if an exercise irritates my joints I change it. Safety is always first in my book.
Study Routine 2 to see more details.