While there are many different approaches to structuring or planning your resistance training workouts, dedicating a day at the gym to working out one body part is not the most efficient way to develop the gains that you might be looking for. In fact, this workout approach might actually be holding you back from improvements. For example, if you dedicate one day to working out your chest and then the next day you decide to work on either your triceps or your shoulders, those muscles will then be tired from your chest workout and less likely to perform very well due to exhaustion or over-training.

To improve this, try thinking in terms of movement patterns.  A push-pull method for your routines can make them more effective and increase your results. Organize each workout so that you are focusing on movements such as pulling or pushing for the day. For example, on your push movement day, you will target your chest, shoulders, thighs and triceps.

For your pull days, focus on your rear deltoids, hamstrings, back and biceps. This is also beneficial because you can hit both of these workouts twice in the same week, training each muscle group twice without hindering the recovery process. In addition, because on each day muscles across your whole body are being trained, you’ll burn more calories, refine your basic movement patterns, and improve strength and muscle development.

Here is an example of a Week’s worth of workouts using this method:

Day 1 – push
Front Squat superset with Dumbbell bench press
Shoulder Press
Triceps Dips

Day 2 – pull
Seated Hamstring Curls superset with Dumbbell reverse fly
Lat Pull down
Shoulder Raise
Standing or Seated Dumbbell Curls

Day 3 – push
Goblet Squats superset with Front Shoulder Press
Decline Bench Press or Push-Up
Triceps Pushdown

Day 4 - pull
Sumo Deadlifts
Upright or Seated Cable Rows
Landmine Barbell Rows
Uneven Bar Curls