How do you categorise your gym visits?

I guess amateurs wouldn’t plan any more than what day they’re going to the gym. When they’re there, they’ll just use whatever equipment catches their eye. Me, for now I categorise my visits into either “cardio” or “weights”.

I’m wondering, what’s the next step? Should I divide it further? When I had a personal trainer, he kept asking me to go twice a week, so I could focus on upper or lower body (but I suspect more to sell more PT sessions). I also hear people talking about “leg day”, so this might be pretty common. Do you categorise your visits into different exercises? Top/bottom? Left/right?

I like this split: chest/triceps one day, back/shoulders/biceps another day, and lower body a third day, with abs to close out the workout on all three days. Some people think back/shoulders/biceps is too much to do in one day, but I don’t. Another popular one is chest/back one day, shoulders/arms another day, and lower body a third day (again, abs every day). Once you’ve done that for a while, you can also start incorporating heavy days and light days, because after working out for a while (let’s say a year of consistently going to the gym), you will be able to push your body harder. Consequently, your recovery time will be greater, but you don’t want to just cut down to three days of recovery for every gym day, so instead, you do (for example) a heavy legs day and a lighter legs day.

Hmm so 3 kinds of workouts, with none solely for cardio? Forgot to ask - how often do you go to the gym? If it’s less than once a week, I guess you can’t split it into as many categories.

When I’m doing serious building I do:
Monday straight Cardio.
Tuesday Arms
Wednesday Off
Thursday Chest
Friday Legs
Saturday Back and Abs
Sunday The Spot I Feel Needs Work.

On non-building months it’s mainly:
Monday straight Cardio
Tuesday Something and Cardio
Wed Off
Thursday Something and Cardio
Friday Whatever I feel like
Saturday A Little of Everything
Sunday Cardio

When I’m in a serious lazy month:
Monday Cardio
Saturday and Sunday A Little Bit of Everything

You’re hearing the terminology, but don’t know how it’s applied. Speaking generally, most people doing weight training take a day off between full-body sessions to give their muscles time to recover. If you want to squeeze more workouts into the week, you start doing splits - you work certain muscle groups one day and different ones the next, so one group gets time to recover while you’re working the other muscles. It’s more taxing on the body than getting a full day of rest, but reduces the risk of overwork injury somewhat compared to working all the muscle groups 2 days in a row.

Another benefit is you get to focus more on the muscle group - instead of single compound exercise like bench press, you can work the same area with multiple exercise that isolate discrete areas of the same muscle ike doing barbell presses with flat, incline and decline sets.

Truth is, that kind of stuff really only matters for bodybuilders and pro athletes, maybe some advanced gym rats, but part of any sport is regular joes thinking they need pro-level techniques and equipment when they do 1/10th the work with 1/100th the ability. Someone that’s been lifting less than a year needs to do splits about as much as someone that’s been riding motorcycles less than a year needs a 200hp sportbike, and you see people do both all the time.

Unique. Well it will be if I ever make one.

What he said.

I have two separate that I mix up every month of two.

I switch between chest and triceps / back and biceps (pushing and pulling) and…

Arms and shoulders / core, pecks and back (bigger pump and burn)

I mix them in with legs, abs and cardio

There have been times in my life where I was training for a specific sport and my workouts would be focused towards that specific activity (cycling or skiing). I’m no longer trying to be the best that I can be at those things because they’ve taken some wear and tear on my body and because just being good at them is simply good enough now.

So my workouts have changed considerably. I’ve eliminated the leg focused weight workouts. In fact none of my workouts involve lifting weights greater than my own body weight.

So every workout consists of a 30-60 min cardio. That means a 30min swim or run, or 45-60min eliptical or spin session. After that, it’s a light stretch, chin-ups, dips, core/ab work, some dumbell work for shoulders and arms and chest. I stop when I’ve approached the 2 hour mark and hit all the muscle groups I care to work anymore.