What would be the pros and cons of lifting 4 days in a row and resting 3 full days versus a more traditional 2-1-2-2 split?
Con: Lack of adequate recovery time. Day three and (especially) day four will most likely be suboptimal days. Especially if you are going heavy on day 1 and have an additional heavy day on 2, 3 or 4.
I lift 5 days straight. I have only felt like crap at the end of the week a few times, and I believe it was because of improper diet. I have seen great results in the last 4 months, gaining almost 30 pounds. I think a lot has to do with diet and sleep.
waaaay back in the day, I ran a M-Th split with F-Sun off. I made gains pretty quickly for a few months and then gains diminished. I didn't have any less productive workouts at the end of the week as compared to any other typical split that we hype up on this board LOL
It's just like any routine. You gain for a while and then need to move on IMO.
Well there's no question that motivation and your self-invested "belief" in your program of choice helps to make it productive.
...and worst case scenario, let's say it's not all that productive. It's not like you'll be set back years of training. I vote to try it out for a while and then tell us what you liked and disliked about it.
the most i've done is 6 days on with 4 of those days being two a days, that's 10 workouts straight. i felt fine as I forced myself to get 9 hours of sleep everynight between. moreover, in a caloric surplus, at least my body seems to be able to handle much more of a workload than if I were cutting say.
just like each individual is very particular to nutrition, or certain training protocols, etc. why shouldn't each individual have a different capacity for workout splits? on top of that, no two workouts are exactly alike between two people. just stepping into the gym and spending 1 hour could mean two totally different things, one could absolutely exhaust the person down to each last fiber, and the other could be a "pumping" day for arms.. i think the common answer of don't workout more than 3 days in a row is extremely catch-all and too generic and I would not hold back from working out as much as possible given adequate calories and rest as you could make far more gains IMO when you hit muscles w/ frequency.
Well, I just finished my 3rd workout in 3 days. Tomorrow will be the 4th straight and then rest for 3 days.
This is the 1st time I've ever worked out a 3rd day in a row. I have to admit that I felt less strength and more difficulty during the DB bench press. However, I also finished my shoulder routine before starting on my chest, which I'd never done, so that might have something to do with it.
On the other hand, I was sweating twice as much as during my first workout of the week (Monday), and there was more intensity or velocity in each motion. I finished the workout 10 minutes earlier than usual.
Let's see how I feel tomorrow after the 4th WO in a row.
I've been on 2 day routines up to 6 day routines, my favorite so far has been 3 day full body routines. Muscle doesn't need seven days rest to recover, especially if you're a beginner. As you become more advanced and begin to use more volume and intensity the frequency of your workouts could increase, but as a beginner the best approach is sticking to your compounds and mastering progressive resistance, after all, you do have the ability to make linear progress on your lifts.
I've been doing a 5 day split for a while now and have gotten great gains. 5 days on 2 off. I feel great all the way through. If your going to do the 4 day split, just make sure you have a good diet and proper rest (sleep).
I guess I always had the mindset that appropriate rest for specific muscle groups was the critical component for gaining mass and not overtraining - that said I don't see why 4 days, 5 days, or 6 days in sequence is "bad", as long as you can give each muscle group >48 hours of rest between target days.
If you have a good amount of muscle, experience in the gym, and a job, 4 days in a row is going to be too much if you actually lift heavy. Any beginner could probably go 10 days in a row and not get too banged up. That does not make it optimal. Tons of guys in my gym train Mon-Fri, the will look the same and lift the same weights May 15, 2010 as well, but hey they are getting one hell of a burn.
really, what it comes down to, is finding what works for you. you can ask ten different people what works best and you will get ten different answers. trial and error, being in tune and listening to your body are key here. if you are still sore, experiencing joint/tendon/ligament pain, losing interest and motivation- you are prob. over training. if you are making solid gains, ripping through workouts, have to make yourself leave the gym, take it up a notch. so many factors that are different from person to person and all fall into play here: your job- is it physically demanding?, amount of sleep, availability of supps., stress, the list goes on and on. go with what works for you. when you plateau, try something new.. that's half the fun..