Tag Archives: Rest

80% Big Time and 20% Small Time

I’ve been catching up on my reading after a little time out. I have literally 300 articles and dozens of magazines to read dating back months on subjects ranging from health, website design, science, physics and computers. I’ve been playing catch up ever since the surgery, I’ll get there… one day. 

Man And Muscles

Man And Muscles

I just read an article which suggests the best split of muscle groups is 80% big muscles and 20% small muscles, which is not exactly headline news. What is interesting but again not surprising is of the X many people surveyed, the vast majority revealed they trained at almost exact opposites to this. With men focussing on their upper body, primarily their arms (tri/bi) and chest (pecs), and women focussing on their lower body, primarily their bums (glutes) and thighs (ab/ad-ductors/quads/hams). It also revealed the majority used isolation exercises rather than compound and multi-muscle exercises to this end. 

This is not new information, its always been a case of the majority going on the big compound moves like Deadlifts, Squats, Bench Press etc, which most often hit big muscles hard, followed by smaller muscles secondary and stabilisers tertiary. After this, you hit accessory/assistance moves such as for the bench press you may do Dips, Triceps Extensions and Flys which covers most muscles.

Totally made up numbers but I think before my surgery I had been hitting closer to 30% big moves / compounds, around 30%, accessory (which often included compound) moves, followed 40% isolation moves (bicep curls, leg extensions, etc), so it would appear I am in the wrong.

Since I’m starting from scratch after my shoulder surgery I’m going to consider this 80/20 split a little more and see how I get on.  I’m only just starting to introduce cable station / pod work, and the odd machine. My range of motion is still impinged from injury on the right and to a lesser extent on the left side.

The New Stuff

The magazine did add one interesting thing which I liked, and its a really good tip as far as I’m concerned.

It suggests where possible do movements standing up, do movements on one leg, do NOT sit down unless you absolutely have to. If you must sit down, as soon as you get your breath, get back up.

I like this little tip.

I try to walk off my rest periods and walk while getting my breath back. I call it “active recovery”, its often really “If I sit down, I may not be able to get back up”, but sometimes… just sometimes you need to sit down and regenerate. Top up with a little glucose, or pre/intra workout or even a Banana before getting back to it. Just don’t let yourself cool down too much or you’ll tighten up and struggle.

Man And Muscles image by Andrzej PobiedziƄski.
A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.