Saturday, March 15, 2014
Sticking with the program

By Tony Wagner Citizen Columnist

Dear Mr. Fitness:

My trainer has scheduled me for three days a week for workouts with weights -- each day emphasizing a different body part. Sometimes I don't have enough time for the full regimen in one day, so the next day I start the workout where I left off.

Is this as effective as the way I was originally taught?

-- Out of sequence

Dear Out of sequence:

The answer to your question is simple: No.

If your trainer set up your exercise program in a particular order there was a good reason for it. Without all of your particulars, let me cite one of the many possible scenarios.

You are utilizing a three-day-a-week split routine. Let's imagine for this routine you are doing the following: First day is chest, shoulders and triceps; second day is legs; third day is back and biceps.

In this particular scenario, the trainer wants you to work each body part just once a week. This would allow for a full week of rest between exercise bouts for that particular body part.

Now, if on your first day of your routine you manage to exercise only the chest, foregoing shoulders and triceps, you can get into a bind. This means on day two you must do the two body parts missed on day one, plus try to do the leg muscles as well.

This would obviously compromise the leg workout. In fact, it may cause you to push the leg workout into the third exercise day, not having the time or energy to do all of the body parts.

Now the third workout day is ruined, too. You would be trying to compress your leg routine in with the back and biceps routines, negating any benefit from the design of the routine set up by your trainer.

You would also have jeopardized your ability to recuperate properly from a well thought out exercise program. Attempting to finish up missed body parts on a scheduled day of rest is certainly not helpful.

Remember that the rest between workouts is just as essential as the exercise itself.

My suggestion when you realize that you do not have the time to do your full routine on a given workout day is to reduce the sets or exercises done on each body part. This will allow you to do the intended body parts in a timely manner. It will also have the benefit of creating more intensity in your workout.

Doing a somewhat reduced version of your exercise program is far superior than being "out of sequence." Keep the intensity level up and keep it short. You'll be fine.

-- Mr. Fitness

Tony Wagner aka Mr. Fitness, has more than 30 years of fitness and nutrition expertise. A certified personal fitness trainer and author, he has helped thousands of people get into and stay in shape. Contact him at:, Facebook us, and stop by Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 305-292-2930.