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.