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Mar 15 16 2:35 PM

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How would You create workout plan focused on chest expander excercises for upper body and bodyweight squats for lover body (with addition of ocassional pull/ups chin ups, some stretches and bridges - they will not be added to plan)?

Let´s say that workout should be long to 45 min max at morning and few minutes at afternoon/evening.

What excercises will You use definitely? What excercises will You avoid due to limited time? Would You ad another excercises that aren´t in the list of chest expander standard excercises + bodyweight squats? Will You do lover + upper body as one workout or divided (for example upper body at morning, squats at afternoon/evening)? Will You do split (which one), full body or some special type of traning (german volume training for example)? Will You use allready created workout from some expander course (if so, which one)? Will You stick to workout for longer period of time or change things (sets, excercises) in every workout?

Equipment: chest expander (and that´s all - no pull up bar, no weights, etc...).
Goal: bodybuilding with strands with limited sources (so no strictly bodybuilding diet in forms of specific number of protein ratio, etc..)

I had my own ideas (many ideas), I¨m looking mainly for another inspiration from others (everythink I can use).

Last Edited By: Lemmy01 Mar 17 16 3:15 AM. Edited 1 time

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#1 [url]

Mar 17 16 5:10 AM

No matter what tools I use, I try to involve as much of my body as possible in every exercise I do. I like compound exercises.....when I pull bands, I bend or squat or stretch at the same time, tensing as many muscles as I can.

I also don't work muscles if they're sore. If I have pain, the recovery time is even longer. In the past, I've over-exercised to the point that my body was in pain, signaling me to stop exercising in that way or those muscles until it could repair itself. In some cases it took 6 months to a year of not doing what had caused the pain before I could resume the exercise without pain. If I try to "push through the pain", it's counterproductive and I go backward, losing strength and increasing the risk of debilitating injury.

Somewhere on here, you had asked a question about posture and corrective exercises that are possibly causing pain in your neck or scapula or something like that. I can't find it now and there could be more influences like diet (everything you consume) or the air you breathe or other stressors - mental, emotional as well as physical, because all stress counts as catabolic and increases the time needed for recovery.

Anyway, here's a video. Although Matt Schifferle is talking about calisthenics, the same principle applies to all exercise. It may be helpful if chronic stress has triggered pain in your body as a signal of an over-exercised condition:

"Any problem in the World can be solved by dancing." James Brown 
"I don't even know if I'm doin' this right" John Mellencamp
Mastering principles, frees us from slavery to recipes.
Set a DIRECTION, not a goal.

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#2 [url]

Mar 17 16 11:49 AM

Thanks, I take a notes:

Recovery is important part (= slow down. Don´t take it quick. Don´t be in rush).
Yes, I post it previously - pain in somewhere in scapule/shoulder blade or around collarbone in that places - I´m not a doctor, but I had in past in childhool nearly broken collarbone and had pain in same place around it when I try to bend my neck in right side. It´s possible that is some shadow pain, that is triggered by strain to that muscles or somethink like that. I don´t thing it is undertreated injury from childhood - not in form of X-ray results in last Year - more like combination of straing of some excercises to allready weak spot that was injured in past, overdoing some things (helping my friends with moving to another flat - so carring heavy stuff - on top of that with unproper clothing for winter temperature), bad sleep position and allready existed postural problems from desk job.

But as I had time to thing about it, I decided to have longer deload (was already having deload week when I injured myself) and deleted that post.
It´s simple to blame one thing, however as I track this problem I feel that I should some movements take carefully (especially presses and excercises that engage scapula muscles - Archer´s pull for example) and try to found if one of excercises isn´t really triggering point (my type is Archer´s pull, Strict overhead press or Front press - or combination of them).

That´s tricky part in expander equipment. It´s truth one can for example squat and perform back press in same time of lying leg raises followed by chest pull or lying leg press that engage abs and biceps as one hold handle by both hands when performing them, but some equipment (kettlebells and so) are better tools for compound excercises than chest expander, that is more isolation movements oriented (if one don´t take for example Downward pull as compound excercise).
Hovewer - note taken: Try to use more compound oriented excercises.

Last Edited By: Lemmy01 Mar 17 16 11:56 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#3 [url]

Mar 18 16 3:14 AM

The approach I'd take would be to alternate heavier and lighter sessions. For heavier sessions use "compound exercises" for sets of anything from 8 to 20 reps; I would probably choose back press, overhead pulldown, bent-over rows (or sat down rows with the band looped round my feet), and one-arm shoulder press, again with the band looped round one foot. Do two to four sets for each exercise.

I would follow that on a separate day with high reps in tricep extensions (I like two-handed tricep extensions similar to back press), front chest pull, hammer curl, wrist curl. Either go for 50-100 reps for a single set or around thirty reps followed by more reps using something like that "myo-reps" scheme mentioned a little while ago.

Keep an eye on how the shoulders etc. feel and be ready to adjust the angle and grip on things like overhead pulldown.

Last Edited By: Dave Reslo Mar 19 16 8:24 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#4 [url]

Mar 18 16 1:50 PM

Thanks for ideas, another note taken.

Dividing excercises to two days in ther nature (compound/pumping + isolation movements) seems like interesting idea how to do full body workouts every time that aren´t same and how to prevent injury. I could build routine (after healing shoulder) around that.

I like excercise choises too, but for my purposes it´s very light (heavy day is around 16 sets, I usually go around 27-30 sets in workout - in my experience workouts around 25-27 sets worket for me good with weighted routines, I ad some sets on top of that due fact expander has not that significant impact to nervous system and body overall like weights).
But it´s simple solution - I add some excercises that I found important for bodybuilding routine with strands.
Like squats (or maybe variation of squat and back press), another set of overhead pulldown (palms up), and lying leg raises followed by chest pull, maybe some bridging for lover back, push ups or different excercises for heavier sessions.
Like easy another leg work to light sessions (lying leg presses with expander, calf raises), classic biceps curls,  etc. to lighter sessions.

Thing with that scheme light/heavy days with expander is great with every day workouts. I don´t know how will it work with one day rest but I will give it a go).

EDIT: I post here some excercise ideas, but I will try to take another approach and that is KISS (or "keep it simple, stupid" ) and BACK TO BASICS. I try to build my routine around less excercises and slightly less sets (25 sets in session would be hopefully reasonable with bodybuilding purposes) that I was used to and incorporate other ideas from this topic. In this moment, I don´t know if I create compound/lighter days scheme or more like compound excercises mixed with lighter/pumping ones in same day and other compound/pumping another day with one day rest between them.
I would concider pumping excercises (one set of 50-100 reps) in that routines as a 3-4 sets in terms of overall set number (that will go up to 25 sets).
If anyone will be interested I post here routine I come up with.

Last Edited By: Lemmy01 Mar 18 16 2:01 PM. Edited 3 times.

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#6 [url]

Mar 20 16 12:28 PM

Ok, here ig goes.
I don´t thing it will be routine I would use (my observation from first workout), bud I add this here (maybe for some sort of inspiration).
Idea behind this is two sepatare "full-body" workouts wit day rest between them. First sets (heavy - H) are 4 sets of 8-20 reps, second are light (L) - one set of 50-100 reps.
I trïed to pair excercises that target "same part" with heavy set in one day and light set in another (for example: overhead downward pull - heavy set in one day, light set with palms up another day).
I tried to complet excercises with heavy sets that goes hand in hand (for example: push ups that are horizontal push are in same day as seated rows, which are horizontal pull - logic behind this is another pump from "reverse" excercises).

H - push ups, ODP, seated rows, lying leg raises
L - front press, triceps pushdowns, wrist curl, calf raises
H - squat, shoulder press, triceps extention, biceps curl
L - ODP (palms ups), front chest pull, back press, sit ups

First workout after some time (A). Push ups as first excercise (and another heavy excercises) were a blast. Really good feel after time off. Light excercises (except calf raises which I perform by my-o-reps ... that scheme for them is really good) - not so much. I pick only one string of chest expander to try it and avoid big shoulder strain and feel that: Shoulders are as supported muslce (triceps pushdowns - other hand) worked more than targetted muscle (triceps in moving hand).
That leads me to point I would not like some excercises as chosen in that one light rep scheme, especially ones that goes with supported muscle or ones that use only one-hand workout (without exceptions - biceps curl for example).
Another observation: Muscles from heavy set are worked well. I don´t feel that with light rep excercises. Maybe I should pick two tubes for light expander sets and go with 50 reps (I had uses 1 tube with 100 reps). On top of that, it don´t feel as proper workout, I sweat nothing. More like stretch.
I thing this routine could be performed daily without overworking muscles.
Workout wasn´t bad, but not fun and motivationg for me.

But - I would use that idea (one light excercise with lot of reps). In a way, I used it in past (in childhood, when I knew only few things about reps, sets, excercises, etc... when I did 100 and more reps in one or two excercises - for example biceps curls. In some way, I incorporated ideas from my-o-reps then and in my expander workouts too - as few second pauses when I couldn´t perform all reps I plan to).
And in a way, it´s thing what stranpulling is most associated with (one set with lot reps) and it could bring results (people in girevoy - kettlebell sport use this idea in some way - they don´t use light weight, but they reach for max number of one excercise in short period of time = so it is same basic idea of big, fast performed set. They do have short pauses, which could work as my-o-reps idea too ).

I like simplicity in workouts (and in current time - not big fan of splits), so I did another sheme (I would try this one). I added excercises that I found to be important for full body combination of chest expander/bodyweight bodybuilding workout - it´s no complicated, just one same routine with day rest.

H - squat, push ups, leg raises, ODP
L - front chest pull, back press, shoulder press, rows, biceps curl

Last Edited By: Lemmy01 Mar 21 16 2:49 AM. Edited 2 times.

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#7 [url]

Mar 22 16 1:57 PM

Lemmy01 wrote:
I like simplicity in workouts (and in current time - not big fan of splits), so I did another sheme (I would try this one). I added excercises that I found to be important for full body combination of chest expander/bodyweight bodybuilding workout - it´s no complicated, just one same routine with day rest.

H - squat, push ups, leg raises, ODP
L - front chest pull, back press, shoulder press, rows, biceps curl

So I did this workout today.
Some observation: in next time, I would perform that routine without rows (I don´t feel pumped muscles by them in form of one rep max with light resistance).
However - with light excercises, I did two sets (I don´t feel that pump with just only one set) and at the end of rep scheme performed my-o-reps concept (for exapmle 30 reps, 3 sec rest, 5 reps, 3 sec rest etc... to 65 reps). It´s great - I would do that workout with two sets with light resistance excercises a try to reach more reps with them (by my-o-reps concept) next time.

It will be:
H (4 sets each 8-20 reps) - squat, push ups, leg raises, ODP
L (2 sets each up to 50-100 reps with my-o reps) - front chest pull, back press, shoulder press, biceps curl

I really recomend to try my-o-reps with two sets as different form of resistance, that muscles couldn´t be used to.

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