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    Photo Credit: courtesy of David Rich

The quest for the perfect workout program, part 2

By David Rich

Second in a five part series
At some point along the way, we've all come to the realization that in order to develop the body you've always wanted, you need a great workout plan. Simply going to the gym a few hours a week and randomly lifting up weights won't do it.

And with all the people out there hyping up their workout programs, it's hard to know which one choose. I’m not going to go over every workout program out there, but I will teach you 10 proven factors that make up a perfect workout system.

No. 3: Recovery and muscle training frequency
Soreness is not an indicator on how soon you should train a muscle, science is.

How frequently you can train a muscle each week depends on how much stress you place upon it. For example, if you run a marathon, you won't be able to run one again for a week or two. If you go out and run five 25 yard sprints, you can easily do it again the next day, assuming you're in decent shape. The amount of recovery time depends on the stress placed upon the body. When doing three sets of five reps you may only need a day or two of recovery, while 10 sets of 10 reps may need three-to-five days. If you go too long without training a muscle, it will atrophy and you won’t make progress. On the other hand, if you train a muscle too often you will over stress it and it won't grow.

No. 4: Rest time between sets
How long you rest between sets will determine what energy source your body uses. The three main energy sources are ATP/CP, Glycolytic and the oxidative. You body will rely on the ATP/CP source for the first few seconds of an exercise, not much more then 30 seconds.

After which your body will use the glycolytic source for about another minute, this is where the process of glycolysis takes place (the splitting of a glucose molecule to form either pyruvic acid or lactic acid and produce ATP molecules). After a couple minutes of relying on the glycolytic source your body will began to rely on the oxidative, or aerobic, energy source for the duration of the activity.

A bodybuilder will make almost all of his muscle gains in the ATP/CP and the glycolytic energy source. Resting about two-to-three minutes between sets will give you more strength going into the next set allowing you to lift more weight for more reps (ATP/CP). While resting around 45-60 seconds forces you body to rely on the glyoclytic energy system. When using this energy system your body will produce a greater amount of growth hormone following the workout. There are advantages to each. That’s why the proper combination of the two in a workout system will produce maximum results.

David Rich is a personal trainer and model. Visit his web site, FitnessModelBody for more information.

Part 1: Training length and exercise selection
Part 2: Recovery times and resting between sets
Part 3: Volume and tempo
Part 4: Form and repetition
Part 5: Periodization and training intensity