What are Different Types of Weight Training Routines?

Dan Cavallari

The term weight training routines refers not only to when someone performs certain exercises, but also what specific exercises he or she does as well as the structure and order of the program. Weight training routines can be custom-made for a certain person depending on his or her fitness goals, though established techniques are available that provide a logical order, timeline, and combination of exercises. The most common routine is the split, in which a certain muscle group is worked on day one, then a second muscle group unassociated with the first is worked the next day. A rest day is planned in this type of routine as well.

No two weight lifting workouts should be exactly alike.
No two weight lifting workouts should be exactly alike.

Within the category of split weight training routines, the exercises can vary significantly depending on the lifter's needs. With a split routine, chest and arms are worked together, and legs are worked on a separate day. This allows a vital rest time for the muscles that were worked on the previous day. On the third day, the core muscles — the abs, hips, and lower back — are worked, further allowing rest time for muscles worked on previous days. A rest day may come next, or the routine may be repeated.

Weight training routines can vary greatly depending on the weight lifter's needs.
Weight training routines can vary greatly depending on the weight lifter's needs.

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High intensity training, or HIT, is the exact opposite of a split routine. HIT weight training routines require the lifter to do a full body workout between one and three times per week. Only one set of each exercises is done, but the lifter will do reps to failure, lifting until the muscles can no longer lift the weight. The idea behind this workout is to build muscle mass quickly so the next time the routine is performed, the lifter can either perform more reps at the same weight, or the same amount of reps at a higher weight.

A combination of the two types of training is sometimes called hardgainer training. A lifter may combine an HIT workout with a more sustained workout program that is intended to reap benefits over the long term. Such a combination means a significant amount of time in the gym, and careful preparation must be made to prevent injury and allow sufficient rest. All workouts must be combined with a good diet that will help the body stay lean and fueled over the course of a workout program.

A person must lift heavy weights in low repetitions in order to build muscle mass.
A person must lift heavy weights in low repetitions in order to build muscle mass.

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