I. Relationship Between Load and Repetitions Designing Your Workout by Principles of Resistance Training 38

The number of times an exercise can be performed, i.e. the repetitions, is inversely related to the load lifted;
the heavier the load, the lower the number of repetitions
That can be performed.
These variables are inextricably tied together, and are often dictated by your training goals.

For example, this guy is probably not training for endurance..

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It can also be thought of in terms of "mechanical work". Designing Your Workout by Principles of Resistance Training 38

In general physics or biomechanics, work = force x distance. So basically the real amount of work you do during a workout session is characterized by how much force you produce, i.e. the total units of weight lifted, multiplied by the total distance these weights are moved, which is essentially the range of motion x repetitions x sets. For clarity:

  • You perform 3 sets of 10 reps (30 reps total) on the bench press, using 300 lbs.
  • Lets say the distance between the bottom phase of a rep and the top phase of a rep is 2 feet (or ~ arms length).
  • So the amount of physical work you did for that exercise would be 300 lbs x 2 feet x 30 reps = 18,000 units

Load is not = work, for the simple fact that it doesn’t include the distance variable. However, it is proportional to work, and since the distance, i.e. range of motion, of a specific lift tends to remain relatively stable across different populations, they are sometimes used interchangeably.

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IV. Supersets and Compound Sets Designing Your Workout by Principles of Resistance Training 38

These patterns of exercise involve performing to distinct exercises with little or no rest in between.

  • Superset — This occurs when you perform two or more exercises in a row, each targeting opposing muscle groups. Essentially, this is just a “push/pull” order, but with no rest in between.
  • Compound Sets — In this instance, you are performing two or more exercises in a row, but they target the same muscle group. For example, you perform a set of barbell bicep curls, straight to dumbbell curls, straight to hammer curls.

Both of these are time-savers, but they are also more demanding than traditional workout orders, so they are not really appropriate for beginners.

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There are generally four ways to organize your selected exercises: Designing Your Workout by Principles of Resistance Training 38

There is no “right” way to order your workout, necessarily, but there are some basic principles to think about:

  1. Ensuring maximal recovery of a particular muscle group in between sets.
  2. Performing the desired amount of work in the allotted time.

For the most part, the following orders are simply the easiest ways to structure a workout. Each has its positive and negative aspects.

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III. "Push" and "Pull" (Alternating) Designing Your Workout by Principles of Resistance Training 38

“Push” muscle groups are those that direct resistance away from the body, like your chest muscles, while “pull” muscle groups direct force towards your body, like your upper back muscles. The reasoning behind this order is similar to the upper/lower alternating order, i.e. you save workout time while also preserving rest for specific muscle groups.

A basic push/pull workout might look something like this:
http://youtu.be/WiMYR3TyFSQ

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II. Upper and Lower Body (Alternating) Designing Your Workout by Principles of Resistance Training 38

For beginners, it may be too strenuous to perform several upper body exercises in a row. If this is the case, it’s useful to alternate upper and lower body movements.

Example:

  • You usually do 3 sets of 10 bicep curls, rest for 2-3 minutes, and then go on to 3 sets of 10 lat pulldowns. However, you find that you’re pretty tired by the time you get to the lat pulldowns.
  • You could simply rest a little bit longer before doing the lat pulldowns, or you can change your order up and do leg extensions after bicep curls, and then do lat pulldowns.

In this example, you save time because your biceps are allowed to recover while you do leg extensions, rather than just standing there doing nothing while you wait for them to recover. Get it?

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I. Power, Core, Assistance Designing Your Workout by Principles of Resistance Training 38

For the most part, your exercise order should progress from power exercises to core exercises, and finally, to assistance exercises. This is primarily to ensure that your “synergist”, or assistance, muscles aren’t fatigued before performing gross, multi-joint exercises, which would put you at risk for sloppy technique and, thus, injuries. Example: you want to perform a movement like the bench press before you train your shoulders or triceps, which are both required to assist in performing a proper bench press.

*Exceptions:

  • Studies have shown that whatever you train first will likely see the greatest increases in size/strength, i.e. if your primary goal is stronger triceps or shoulders, you should train these muscles with isolation, or single-joint, exercises before going on to core, or multi-joint, exercises. (Advanced lifters only)
  • Furthermore, there is a bodybuilding technique called pre-exhaust which involves isolating the target muscle with a single-joint exercise before performing a multi-joint exercise, i.e. performing chest flyes before bench press. This ensures that your target muscle, in this case the chest, becomes fatigued before your assisting muscles fatigue. (Advanced lifters only)

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Despite the profound effect exercise order can have on quality of effort and technique, this is often one of the most neglected aspects of one's program. Designing Your Workout by Principles of Resistance Training 38

Most beginners simply order their exercises based on whatever comes to mind first, which is understandable, but not very beneficial.

There’s plenty of research out there showing the effects of exercise order on strength/endurance gains. But, like most decisions that need to be made when creating a training program, ordering your workout will primarily depend on your individual goals. For example, you may have to change things up, depending on whether your primary goal is:

Arm strength?

Or a powerful chest?

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Philip Roth. "I’m not interested in teaching books by women" (Interview with Hazlitt Blog) by David Gilmour

Gilmour gives praise to Roth by saying:

[he] has the best understanding of middle-aged sexuality I’ve ever come across.

Roth is, of course, no stranger to telling tales of the male sex-drive, liberated from all that girly stuff like “love” and “attachment”. Gilmour lectures on his book The Dying Animal, whose recurring protagonist had once fantasized about being a 155 lb human breast in a previous work…

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Henry Miller. "I’m not interested in teaching books by women" (Interview with Hazlitt Blog) by David Gilmour

Again, not at all a surprise here. Specifically, Gilmour teaches Tropic of Cancer, Miller’s greatest and most controversial work.

It was banned upon its release for sexually explicit content, and many a dissertation has been written with respect to the infantile portrayal of women in this work and others. Interestingly enough, arguments have been made regarding the homoerotic nature of Tropic as well, especially if we take into consideration the true role of women in the story: “not for the pleasure that a sexual act brings, but for the pleasure that the recounting of the story to other men brings.”

Charles Bukowski, a noted misogynist himself, put it differently in some of his personal correspondence:

Henry understood that the only way to get to a man was to speak the language of the day..but he got to a part where he talked about a guy with a big cock and how he made it with all the women..and he went on and on with this and..I got the idea that Henry Miller the ALL-KNOWING didn’t know much more about fucking than to talk about it, and that’s the way most non-fuckers are.

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