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Wellness

Your Weight Lifting Journey: Creating a Routine

If you're interested in weight lifting but don't know where to start (in terms of creating a workout "split" or routine), this is the article for you. Also, if you're nervous to step into the gym or specifically the weight section, check out my previous article on "gym-timidation" here.

First, let's define a "workout split." A split involves breaking your workouts up into muscle groups, so you aren't working the same muscles back to back, allowing them to rest. Rest is vital for your body, so you shouldn't overwork yourself. Too much exercise can end in injuries, and your muscles are rebuilding and growing the most when they are recovering. Depending on the number of days you have available to work out and your goals, here are some examples of workout splits that I would recommend for you based on your goals.

upper body/lower body

This is a great workout split if you're a beginner to weight lifting, or if you only have 2 or 3 days a week to workout. If your muscles aren't used to lifting, choose 5-6 upper body exercises one day and do the same with the lower body. You could also alternate upper body, lower body, and rest days throughout the week.

ppl - Push/pull/legs

This is my preferred workout split because it's the middle ground of the three types of common splits. Push day works the muscles of your upper body that use a push motion, which is chest, shoulders and triceps. Pull is any upper body exercise where you use a pulling motion, so back and biceps. Leg day, obviously, works all of your legs, but you could also go a step further and separate the leg days into glute, quad and hamstring days. Here are some examples of routines depending on the number of days per week you want to work out.

Three Days ON:
Monday - PUSH

Tuesday- REST

Wednesday - LEGS

Thursday - REST

Friday - PULL

Saturday/Sunday - REST

Four Days ON:
Monday - PUSH

Tuesday- REST

Wednesday - LEGS

Thursday - REST

Friday - PULL

Saturday - LEGS

Sunday - REST

Five Days ON:
Monday - PUSH

Tuesday- LEGS

Wednesday - REST

Thursday - PULL

Friday - CARDIO/ABS

Saturday - LEGS

Sunday - REST

Six Days ON:
Monday - PUSH

Tuesday- LEGS (glutes/hamstring focused)

Wednesday - PULL

Thursday - REST

Friday - PUSH

Saturday - LEGS (glute/quad focused)

Sunday - PULL

The "BRo" Split

If you're really looking to enhance your upper body and take it to the next level to isolate specific muscles, the "Bro Split" might work for you. If you're working out six times a week, for example, you would divide it into a chest day, shoulder day, arm day (biceps/triceps), back day, and two leg days.

Once you choose which workout split is best for you, look on Instagram for exercise ideas for different days. I recommend doing your heaviest exercises first, so you can use most of your energy on those, and ending with machines and lighter lifts, to burn out the muscle. Also, I recommend warming up with dynamic stretches, and always saving cardio for after lifting, so you don't tire yourself out from cardio.

Alyssa Mehrberg is a junior majoring in Psychology and Ad/PR. She is from Fort Myers, FL and enjoys going to the beach and being in nature. She loves all things wellness and fitness related, as well as cooking healthy meals, psychological thrillers, and sunsets.
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