In this article, topics such as how to train muscles and what to pay attention to while working out are explained. In addition, an exemplary bodybuilding program was included for different levels.

How to Work Muscle?

If the muscle development mechanism is reviewed, it will be seen that the main element that ensures the formation and development of the muscles is rest. Rest can be understood in two ways: both resting during exercise and resting between exercises. If you want to lift weights for 20 hours a day, unless you sleep, your body will not be able to provide the proper development and production of your muscles. Because most of the production and repair in the body takes place during sleep. For this reason, rest is even more important than muscle work.

Also, as important as lifting weights is, getting enough rest while working out is just as important. For this reason, muscle trainers never go to the gym, do everything at once, lift weights tens of times incessantly and go home. Each movement and exercise are divided into repetitive parts called sets.

When we look at our muscular system, we see that we have hundreds of muscles. Everyone likes certain muscle groups within their background and taste and wants to work harder and look stronger in those areas. For example, popularly known as the adonis muscle, which is very popular lately and descends from the waist to the groin; however, the muscle, which is described as transversus abdominis, is not in official anatomical books, is quite fashionable among people.

Similarly, the biceps and triceps muscles in our upper arm are the muscles most people choose to develop first. Conscious muscle builders train not only these muscles, but all of their muscles separately. Because, as can be understood from the muscle development mechanism, the development of almost no muscle will not ensure the development of another. The load on each case and the development depending on this load are independent of each other. For this reason, there are dozens of different tools in the halls and the muscles that each tool works are different from each other.

Bodybuilders work on these tools to the extent that they do a certain number of sets in each of them, within the program prepared before starting the sport. Generally, each set requires 6–15 exercises. So the set is this: When you take a dumbbell (the simplest load tool) and raise and lower it 15 times at a time, you will complete 1 set. Usually, the set repetitions are 3–4 times for each instrument. Therefore, to develop each muscle, each movement is repeated approximately 18–60 times each time you go to the gym. There is no break between these repetitions, but the muscles should be rested by taking a break of at least 1 minute between sets.

Now, let’s explain an ideal work with examples: For example, someone who goes to the gym, after warming up first (this is very important, lifting weights will have no effect without opening the muscles with warm-up movements) usually starts his movements within the program prepared by the salon specialist. Let’s say you start with the bench press, which we show you below (we won’t name all the machines, because there are dozens of them and you will not forget, you can learn as you go to the gym):

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Let the body trainer do this move for 3 sets. Let him lift 10 times in each set. In other words, in one sitting, he will lift a certain weight 10 times in a row, thus completing 1 set of training. Then he will rest for 1 minute and again, on the same apparatus, he will lift the same weight 10 more times and complete the 2nd set. Then he will take a break for 1 more minute (it is useful to walk slowly and drink a few sips of water during these breaks) and again, for the last time, he will lift the weight 10 more times and complete the 3rd set. Now the bench press work is over for that day. It can then switch to another tool specified within its program. For example, this tool called the flat press (barbell):

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Similarly, here he will do 3 sets of 10 repetitions and switch to another tool. Here’s the workout, this way, it will take about 2 hours. After the training, relaxation movements should be done and the muscles should be rested. After the training, high protein foods determined by the dietician and plenty of water should be drunk. You should go to the training once every 2–3 days at the most (48–72 hours break after each training). Going to workout every day won’t help, because the muscles will be damaged again under the weight before they can repair themselves. Remember that muscle repair takes at least 72 hours.

How to Choose Weight?

This is a topic on which many experts have different opinions. However, the situation that is generally agreed upon is as follows: If the aim is to force the muscles and the training is done in sets when the 7–8th repetition of each set is reached, the loads that the muscles are increasingly difficult to lift should be chosen. If the individual can easily do all 10 repetitions in 1 set, it means that the muscles are not strained and will not develop. Therefore, the individual should determine a weight that will force himself at the end of each set in the first training and increase this weight gradually over weeks/months. It would be a mistake to force a weight on several layers at a time that you can lift. Do not forget that as you load your muscles, you break the fibers, and if you load too much, your muscles can be completely torn and become unusable for long months, and it will hurt too much. However, it is also pointless to go under extremely light weights for fear of this (unless very fast repetitions are made). We will explore this again below.

How to Choose the Weight-Set Balance?

Many experts have different opinions on this issue. Therefore, the work pace, wishes and goals of the person come into play. Let’s explain the situation like this:

1) Less Weight, More Repetitions

In this case, the weights are often not heavy enough to tear the muscle strips. For this reason, this limit is tried to be exceeded by doing many repetitions. But in this way, it is never possible to produce as much muscle as those who go under heavy loads. However, when less weight and more repetitions are performed, the high heart rhythm and blood pressure called the “cardio effect” come into play. The individual melts fat much faster. This, in turn, enables the development of much more durable muscles than those under heavy loads. Those who are preparing for long-running races such as triathlons prefer to work in this way. By the way, doing 10–15 repetitions in 1 set falls into the category of “many reps”.

2) More Weight, Less Reps

Under heavy loads, muscle fibers are torn much more easily and therefore the growth rate of the muscles increases. However, it is necessary to see the danger here: In order to develop excess muscle, going under more weights than can be lifted or lifted can lead to an extremely painful result, which we call “muscle tear”. You may not be able to use that muscle for a long time again. The positive effect of lifting heavy weights on the body is to accelerate metabolism and increase bone strength. Usually, 6–10 reps mean “few reps”.

For this reason, each individual should work on the basis of a work program according to their own goals. There is no universal truth about this.

How to Work Which Muscles and Muscle Groups?

Not only is it important to lift and lower weights when working a muscle, it’s also important to understand what muscles or muscle groups are working and how when doing it (or other exercises). This requires some knowledge of anatomy. Often referred to as “abs” or “shoulder”, the muscles are not a single muscle, they are muscle groups. Therefore, these muscles should be worked together and appropriate exercises should be selected. The image below shows the exercises you can do for each muscle group.

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However, you may need to do different amounts of exercise at different levels. An example program can be extracted as follows:

Beginner Level: Bodybuilders at this level will get stronger after almost every workout.

Bust: 10–12 sets

Back: 10–12 sets

Quadriceps: 10–12 sets

Hamstrings: 10–12 sets

Biceps: 3–4 sets

Triceps: 3–4 sets

Legs: 3–4 sets

Shoulders: 6–8 sets

Intermediate: Bodybuilders at this level will get stronger every few weeks of training.

Bust: 12–16 sets

Back: 12–16 sets

Quadriceps: 12–16 sets

Hamstrings: 12–16 sets

Biceps: 5–7 sets

Triceps: 5–7 sets

Legs: 5–7 sets

Shoulders: 8–10 sets

Top Level: Bodybuilders at this level will get stronger every few months of training.

Bust: 16–20 sets

Back: 16–20 sets

Quadriceps: 16–20 sets

Hamstrings: 16–20 sets

Biceps: 8–10 sets

Triceps: 8–10 sets

Legs: 8–10 sets

Shoulders: 10–12 sets

Of course, these sets also vary by person, gender, age, etc. may vary according to the parameters. Therefore, it is beneficial for these programs to be determined by experts.

This article is an excerpt from by Karl Liebermann | Jun, 2022 | Medium