Exercise Questions | Opinions on alternating between lower/upper body.

How's it going, this is my first post on this site. I've been in the Marine Corps for the last 3 1/2 years and I would like to think I'm pretty avid about fitness/working out.

My routine for the last 9 months or so has been centered around full-body, intense workouts from anywhere between 20-50 minutes. With a rest day every other day. I would like to hear a few opinions on alternating daily between lower body/upper body. IE:

Day one: Sprints
Day two: upper body
Day three: rest

Or something similar to the above. I think explosive leg exercises can be a great potential for cardiovascular gains. Something I don't feel with just a full-body weight room workout. Cramming both an intense leg workout and a upper body workout all into one day, I feel is an awfully long time to keep your heart rate up above 85% MHR (1 hour-1 1/2 hours). I think this will begin to fatigue your body and diminish performance about halfway through the workout. On the other hand, working out large muscles back to back could deprive your body of nutrients that should be used to repair your muscles of the workout the day before. And use them to fuel your workout of that day. Thus not giving your body enough recovery time. If anyone has any opinions on the subject I would love to hear them. Thanks!


Posted by Reply
Stage 1 Fit
18 Posts
5/10/2009 6:47:45 PM
I'd agree on your plan to workout your upper/lower body in separate sessions but I wouldn't omit full-body workouts. And by full-body workouts I mean compound exercises that stress multiple muscle groups. Dumbbell squat to curl to shoulder press (one movement) is an example which works on about every muscle group of the body. Compound exercises are far more beneficial in a functional sense plus it saves you more time in the gym (ideally).
As for nutrition, if you eat right, you wouldn't have to worry about your body not getting enough nutrients for repair. Increasing your caloric intake and eating a balanced diet would ensure good recovery and energy.
Also doing cardio training after anaerobic exercise will help you recover much faster (lactic acid is used up as an energy source for aerobic activity) as well as give you cardiovascular gains. Sprinting isn't an aerobic activity but will give you different benefits.

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