Week 3 Routine Reflection: Bodybuilding

In the world of bodybuilding, there are (generally) two main workout regimes that lifters like to follow. Firstly, the full body approach forces lifters to work most (if not all) of their body parts every day. This approach generally allows for more calorie burn and fat loss, and a more balanced body because all muscles are being hit equally. Secondly, the split body part routine puts the focus on one single body part per day. This routine makes it easier to shape your body (because you can zero in on particular body parts) and slightly easier to lift heavier weights due to the fact that it is less tiring and less metabolically exhausting (although you normally burn less calories with the split routine).  A regular 5 day a week routine would look something like this:

Monday: Back

Tuesday: Chest

Wednesday, Arms

Thursday: Shoulders

Friday: Legs

More info on the differences between the two routines here:


My aim this week was to build a routine that is modelled after the split body part bodybuilding regimen. My hypothesis was that if bodybuilders can have success in focusing their energy on one body part per day, then musicians should be able to have success by focusing their energy on improving one specific part of their playing per practice session.

I found that my hypothesis was fairly successful! It may have just been that I was feeling energized by virtue of the fact that I completely upended my standard approach to daily practice, but I feel like this approach is much more logical as it allows for even growth across all parts of playing. I also added a couple new exercises this week:

Giant Steps: 

This isn’t technically a new exercise, but this is one that I’ve found very useful, and as a result I’ve been doing it nearly every day. It focuses on improving evenness of tone, pitch centering and flexibility, and really forces you to try and get an even sound in every register.

Giant Steps
Pokorny Flow Exercise: 

This was an exercise that Gene Pokorny showed me in a lesson not too long ago that is a terrific alternative to the Beautiful Sounds (Arnold Jacobs Flow) exercise or the Stamp exercise. Use it if you’d like a new exercise that zeros in on achieving an even sound in the middle/high register.

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Here’s the routine! You certainly don’t need to follow this routine religiously, but it proved to be quite the workout for me. Thanks again for reading! I’ll post another next week, but in the meantime, enjoy the routine and let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Summer Routine v3