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  1. #1
    IronClydes's Avatar
    IronClydes is offline Senior Member
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    Plan or wing your workouts?

    I've noticed a lot of the more experienced bodybuilders don't seem to really plan their workouts, rather they judge how they feel that day, what feels like it needs more work, and just go with what feels right for their daily workouts.

    I'm curious if this is advisable for more experienced lifters, even beneficial in your opinions? I can see how this could be more fun and interesting. But, could it be a problem not repeating same exercises weekly to grow in them?

    What are your takes?

    225, 6', 16% bf, bench 320, squat 405, dead 465.

  2. #2
    Buster Brown's Avatar
    Buster Brown is offline Knowledgeable Member
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    It depends on you and what you want to achieve .If you are looking for strength and are more of a PL then it makes sense to track your progress and give a strength routine a good amount of time to yield results say 8 to 12 weeks ......or more if you are making progress. A BB can change things up and be a little more systematically unsystematic. My approach is "Failing to plan is planning to fail" and I like a routine even if there are certain aspects that are planned changes in that one exercise may be swapped out with another every other week. For example week 1 I might do seated Dbl presses and the next week I may do standing Dbl presses and go back and forth.

  3. #3
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    bigrich4 is offline Associate Member
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    When you fail to plan, thats when you plan to fail....
    what do you mean the more "experienced" body builders?
    Im pretty sure planning at any level or any style is better. I mean, atleast know what you want to do and attack those parts and what weight. To me planning is better because you will waste sets on weight that isnt relevant. I always go off of some kind of percentage.
    If you say, 10 reps of something you can do 10 reps with, but you might be wrong if you guess.

  4. #4
    Khazima's Avatar
    Khazima is offline Knowledgeable Member
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    Regardless the thing that matters is progressive overload, as long as you're progressing in weight you'll have new stimulus for the muscles and they'll grow. You can use other overload techniques but they can only go so far, progressive overload is king.

    I always have my programming clearly set and have a plan of attack for the big 3, but most of the accessory work and hypertrophy work is geared towards weak points and targeted bodyparts.

    If somethings working then keep doing it, if winging it isn't working then try planning, if planning isn't working try winging it. Consistency and progressive overload + diet geared towards your goals is key.

  5. #5
    Bio-Active's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Brown
    It depends on you and what you want to achieve .If you are looking for strength and are more of a PL then it makes sense to track your progress and give a strength routine a good amount of time to yield results say 8 to 12 weeks ......or more if you are making progress. A BB can change things up and be a little more systematically unsystematic. My approach is "Failing to plan is planning to fail" and I like a routine even if there are certain aspects that are planned changes in that one exercise may be swapped out with another every other week. For example week 1 I might do seated Dbl presses and the next week I may do standing Dbl presses and go back and forth.
    but wouldn't you agree that after you have been doing this for a long time you don't need to plan on paper cause you have your training planned out in your head? I do not have to right down what I am doing each day. I just know and could tell anyone how much I can lift for x amount of reps on just about any lift.

  6. #6
    almostgone's Avatar
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    For me, I find it easier if I have my lifts planned out ahead of time, whether on paper or just in my head. Also, by keeping a lifting journal/notebook going, I can look back and see how long I've been doing a certain exercise and if I'm making progress or perhaps need to change/tweak something, how long my sessions last, how much time I spent stretching, which stretches, etc.
    Plus, as I get older, I find it is less frustration if I don't have to rely on memory as often. Now, if I can just find my [email protected] notebook...
    There are 3 loves in my life: my wife, my English mastiffs, and my weightlifting....Man, my wife gets really pissed when I get the 3 confused...
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  7. #7
    Buster Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bio-Active View Post
    but wouldn't you agree that after you have been doing this for a long time you don't need to plan on paper cause you have your training planned out in your head? I do not have to right down what I am doing each day. I just know and could tell anyone how much I can lift for x amount of reps on just about any lift.
    I write down my progress when I am training for strength or lifts. So in an effort to become a stronger BB I will incorporate PL training

  8. #8
    Panzerfaust's Avatar
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    I always planned my workouts from a top level perspective (i.e., Mon - Legs, Tuesday - Chest etc) but once there the types of exercises I would wing it but mostly already had an idea.
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  9. #9
    Docd187123 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bio-Active View Post
    but wouldn't you agree that after you have been doing this for a long time you don't need to plan on paper cause you have your training planned out in your head? I do not have to right down what I am doing each day. I just know and could tell anyone how much I can lift for x amount of reps on just about any lift.
    I would say it makes it easier to plan things the longer you've been doing it but I wouldn't stop the planning for that reason.

  10. #10
    Docd187123 is offline Banned
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    I'm of the opinion, as previously mentioned, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Before you set foot in the gym you should know exactly what you're doing. You don't wing training days bc you short change yourself and it makes it more difficult to track/sustain progress. I use a log book to track everything from my body weight, cals and macros for the day on most days, my lifts with weights, sets and reps, and how the workout felt that day. Now some days you won't have it in you to do what you planned ahead and maybe worthwhile to make it an easy day in the gym but those days should be the exception not the norm.

  11. #11
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    i think it all depends if one has a goal in mind.

    when i was triathlon training, everything was planned, only way to hit all of my workouts

    when i am just going through the motions, then i go off how my body feels.

    when i powerlifted in college, everything was planned for strength progression.

  12. #12
    southernboy31 is offline New Member
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    I track everything. Workout, diet ect. I used to not care and would wing it but I love being able to reflect back and see my progression. Especially when I have those days we all get were I have zero motivation. I also like it to see my previous weeks work and if I need to increase my weight. I do mostly PL style training and I feel like it has helped me a lot.

  13. #13
    Buster Brown's Avatar
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    I think even as a BB it is important on your compound movements to track your progress. Of course you can throw in drop sets, super sets, rest pause, forced reps which are awesome tools as well as HIT but if you are just doing the same old same ole' then what's wring with tracking say your bench and try making small increases....its progress and adaptation!

  14. #14
    Bio-Active's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Brown
    I think even as a BB it is important on your compound movements to track your progress. Of course you can throw in drop sets, super sets, rest pause, forced reps which are awesome tools as well as HIT but if you are just doing the same old same ole' then what's wring with tracking say your bench and try making small increases....its progress and adaptation!
    i have them all tracked in my head. I spend so much of my life in this sport I live for it. I always know my last sessions weight and reps without writing it down. Math was always my strong point though and my memory

  15. #15
    Marc114's Avatar
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    I agree. Tracking your workouts is very important to continue to get stronger. If you can remember them from week to week , more power to ya , I have trouble remembering what number set I'm currently doing without writing it down! Logging everything really helps me see my gains and also what needs some work. One of the most uplifting things about keeping a log is going back and seeing what used to be a 1 rep PR is now a warm up set!

  16. #16
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    Always plan. I need to document my progress.u

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