How do I Create a Weight Lifting Schedule?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 18 January 2020
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When designing a weight lifting schedule, it is best to define the purpose of the workout. There are differences in planning a weight lifting schedule depending on whether the desired outcome is to bulk-up and form muscle mass or strictly to strengthen and condition the body. In either case, the muscle groups should be worked completely and allowed to rest between workouts. In any weight lifting schedule, the rest period is the most important element in developing muscle.

There are three basic core muscle groups to factor into every weight lifting schedule. Arms, legs and the core are the most frequently worked and targeted in weight lifting schedules. Each muscle group should be worked on individually and on a rotating basis. When working on arms, concentrate on the entire arm. Try to fit areas such as the forearm, biceps and triceps into a weight lifting schedule.

For a mass-building exercise, low repetitions with very heavy weight give the greatest results. By creating a weight lifting schedule that incorporates three to five sets of eight to 10 repetitions with a high weight and then allowing four to five minutes of rest between each set, the targeted muscle group is more likely to develop mass. It is always beneficial to work the target muscle to exhaustion before ending any portion of a weight lifting schedule.


Many professional athletes as well as body builders create a workout schedule that has two days of exercise followed by one day of rest. On the resting days of the schedule, diet and cardio exercise are often planned to ensure that a proper diet is maintained. It is most beneficial to design a program that allows exercise to take place at approximately the same time every day. This scheduling creates an exercise regimen that feels more structured and routine and is, therefore, less likely to be skipped.

If the goal of the weight lifting is to add definition to an already increased body mass, the key is lightweight and high repetitions. By working in sets of five or six with lightweight repetitions of 10 to 15, you develop muscle tone and definition. Dieting that concentrates on high protein will offer the most benefit to a recovering muscle group. If strength is the goal of the weight lifting schedule, high-carbohydrate diets along with short repetition and heavy weight can be beneficial.


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Post 4

@Laotionne: I am guessing by your name you are a woman so you don't have to worry about getting bulky or manly looking by lifting weights. We don't have enough testosterone in our bodies to develop such muscle mass or build. Okay, moving on.

Being sore after a hard workout is a good thing, but being in extreme pain is bad. By sore, I mean like if you did arms the previous day and you go to pick something up and there's a little strain and soreness your okay, same for walking down the steps after leg day. Ha, ha. But if you're to the point that you can hardly move without being in tears, back off some because there's

a good chance you could rip or damage a muscle or worse a nerve. So be careful! And if you're just starting out, don't expect to be going as hard or heavy as the woman who has been lifting for years. It takes time to build up. In fact, it took me a year and a half to be able to go from squatting 80 pounds to 250 pounds. I'm 4'8 and 95 pounds, and have been lifting for five years now.
Post 3

@Laotionne - I agree that some soreness is normal after you complete weight lifting exercises, but there are some things you can do to limit the stiffness. Try spending some time in a warm bath or hot tub after you workout. You can add some type of bathing salt or rubbing alcohol to the water for a bit more help loosening up the muscles.

Also, even more importantly, you should drink water before, during and after weight lifting. Soreness is sometimes your body's way of saying that it is not fully hydrated.

Post 2

@Laotionne - When you start a new weight lifting workout routine the first few times you workout you will probably be sore afterwards. That's to be expected because you should be working the muscles harder than they are used to being worked. If you aren't doing this then you are wasting your time.

The only thing is you do want to do as this article recommends and be sure to rest between workouts and give your muscles a chance to recover before you start working them again. I like to exercise a different group of muscles on back-to-back days. That way I can work out everyday and not work the sames muscles two days in a row. This gives them plenty of time to rest and recover before their next workout.

Post 1

I have been weight training trying to lose weight and tone up my body some. I don't want to build really big muscles. The problem I am having though is that my body is so sore the day after I work out that I can hardly move without screaming from the pain.

I have heard people say that if you don't feel pain then you are not gaining anything when you workout, so maybe I am doing it the right way. On the other hand, I don't want to wear my muscles down. Am I supposed to be that sore when I am weight lifting, or am I overdoing it?

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