I'm seeking some help comparing two plans. One of which was made by the trainer at my local gym and the other I made myself, because I feel like the plan from the trainer is very unbalanced, way to intense and doesn't suite me right.

Some background information: I'm 21, male, pretty skinny, don't weigh much. I am training for half a year now with a beginners plan from the gym. For the beginners plan, I didn't knew any better and felt like it was alright.

Now the trainer gave me an advanced plan (a split into 2 days) and after doing a lot of research myself the last weeks I feel like his plan is very unbalanced and too intense for me, considering I'm only training since February.

The problem with this trainer is, he seems pretty stubborn. I tried to talk with him about my concerns, but he just blocked and said his plan is alright, I'll do gains I'll see. I'm not concerned about not making any gains, more of how I do that and how healthy the exercises are. So I made a, in my opinion, better plan which I hope you guys can tell me if it really is better and if there is anything I could do better.

My goal is to build some muscle in a healthy manner to look better.

First the plan from my trainer (3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise):

Day 1:

  • Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Flies
  • Cable Lat Pulldown
  • Rowing Machine
  • Cable Reverse Fly
  • Back Extension
  • Crunches
  • Clean and Jerks

Day 2:

  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Press
  • Seated Leg Curl
  • Triceps Push Downs
  • Triceps Machine
  • Dumbbell Curls
  • Biceps Machine

And this is my plan (3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise, except for the Lat Pulldown, because I do one set of Pull ups, so only 2 sets of Lat Pulldowns):

Day 1:

  • Cable Lat Pulldown + as many Pull ups as I can (at the moment that would be 7)
  • Bend Over Barbell Row
  • Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press (would love to do Military Press but there's no rack to take out the barbell)
  • Lateral Raise

Day 2:

  • Leg Press (would love to do Squats but there's no rack to take out the barbell)
  • Back Extension
  • Seated Leg Curl
  • Leg Extension
  • Calf Raise
  • Crunches
  • The most important thing is doing something that you enjoy. If you don't, it does not matter which is "better." If you hate doing your trainer's plan, dont. I suspect you dont get money for it? Think long term. You should keep fit your entire life, not another 4 months or so and then you are done and ready to get back to not doing anything. You wont do something 2-4 times a week your entire life if you hate it. Btw, what do you mean with "very unbalanced"? – Raditz_35 Aug 1 '18 at 7:27
  • @Raditz_35 By very unbalanced I mean that I feel like some groups of muscle are recruited way to much while others aren't. For example, there are 3 exercises for the upper back and 2 each for the bi- and triceps. Considering I only trained for half a year, I just feel like this all is way to much. Calfs aren't trained in any way in the trainers plan. Especially the bi- and triceps, which in such early stages of training are trained well enough just by the compound exercises alone. I also read that to much exercises for one muscle group are very counterproductive in early stages of training. – Suimon Aug 1 '18 at 7:35
  • Maybe it would help if you would include the number of sets. I do agree that two for arms is more than is needed, but it doesn't make his plan "very unbalanced." I don't like your logic of not doing arms but calves instead. Either you say those muscles get trained anyhow and there is no athletic benefit to training them or not. Some people say: Don't train arms. They are either powerlifters, have elbow issues or are talking to younger males that only train chest and biceps. Fitness is very dogmatic, people will make strong and broad statements. Try not to take everything at face vallue – Raditz_35 Aug 1 '18 at 8:21
  • @Raditz_35 I edited the sets and reps into the post. Regarding the isolation: just by looking at my plan, the Lat Pulldowns, Pull Ups and Barbell Rows all include a lot of biceps-work. Bench Press and Shoulder Press include a lot of triceps-work. In my opinion, as I said considering my early stage of training, I think it is counterproductive for muscle growth if I include isolation exercised for bi- and triceps. The calfs however don't get activated at all during the workout (as far as I know), so those could use some stimulation. Thats my opinion I formed from reading articles and books. – Suimon Aug 1 '18 at 8:38
  • Oh also, I just noticed I didn't say anything regarding the exercise order of the trainer plan. Chest before upper back, lower back before shoulders and leg extension before leg press seems a little weird to me. – Suimon Aug 1 '18 at 9:10

Both are bad

They are not plans, but just a list of random exercises and random sets and reps.

To make a good plan you need a progression model that guides you on how and when to increase repetitions, sets or weight.

It must also guide you on how to choose exercises for your own goal, why would you even do an exercise you hate doing that has no benefit for your goal?

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  • Could you specifiy more cleary why you think they both are bad? My main concern in this post is to make a plan which stimulates all muscle groups enough while being fairly healthy regarding cravings and ribbons (e.g. no unnecessary stress because of the wrong exercise). Surely the progression model is important for muscle growth and strength aspects, but I'm only thinking about the "healthiest" option (sorry I really don't find any better words atm) regarding the exercises themselfes. – Suimon Aug 1 '18 at 9:14

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