Once vs twice a week muscle group

audi4796

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Is there a significant difference between training once versus twice a week ? I’m starting to feel there’s a huge difference

I can either do
Sunday- chest tris
Tuesday- legs
Wednesday- shoulders
Thursday or friday -back bis
Then repeat on Sunday again

OR

Sunday- chest tris
Monday-legs
Tuesday-off
Wed-shoulders
Thursday-back bis
Friday- off
Saturday- chest tris
Sunday-legs

(basically start one day earlier you get the point)

OR

Sunday-chest tris
Monday-legs
Tuesday-shoulders
Wednesday-back bis
Thursday- off
friday-chest tris

(basically 4 on 1 off)
 

audi4796

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I’d hit whatever is lacking twice a week instead of throwing in chest and tris twice a week(unless your chest and tris are lacking, but I’m assuming your just doing it twice a week bc it’s your favorite muscle group to hit). If your legs are lacking, hit one day heavy one day lighter. If your back is lacking, hit one day heavy then one day lighter later in the week. You get the point. Do every body part once, and whatever is lacking twice. That’s always what I’ve done. Right now I’m shooting for legs twice a week and I’ll throw in some shoulders on my chest days because that is where I personally think I’m lacking.
No I’m doing everything twice a week is what I mean
 

audi4796

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Not unless your on Anabolic’s. I’ve trained natural for 4 years and I know that if you train hard you can’t do more then 4 days a week natural. On Anabolic’s you can push it to 5-6 but you’ll just stall your progress if your going to much. When I was natural I did


legs/push/off/pull/whatever needed work/off

Then repeat.
If your natural give your body a day off after any hard workout.
You’ll make more gains giving your body and CNS to repair. If you bench Monday and Thursday I bet the guy that benches on just Monday will be stronger. Beating the crap out of your body and not giving it time to recover sucks.
But it all depends on your goals. But definitely not 2x a week natural. Need more time to recover. I remember I used to do that when I was natural and I could never get 225 on the bench I was stuck at 220..... I’d try atleast twice a week for 3 weeks. I stopped trying for 1 week, came back and hit it with ease. When I did Powerlifting meets my coach said no heavy lifting 8 days away and all the way up to the meet. I’d add 20 pounds without even lifting heavy the past week. That’s because my muscles finally get a break and chance to fully rebuild and be the strongest they can be. If you want some weak workouts then 2x a week is good for that. If you want to actually move some weight then relax and let your body do it’s thing
Very interesting I’m sure this would spark a great debate, I honestly always felt that way but I’m gonna try twice a week (meaning every 6th day I start my routine again) and see how it goes
 
ChocolateClen

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Not unless your on Anabolic’s. I’ve trained natural for 4 years and I know that if you train hard you can’t do more then 4 days a week natural. On Anabolic’s you can push it to 5-6 but you’ll just stall your progress if your going to much. When I was natural I did


legs/push/off/pull/whatever needed work/off

Then repeat.
If your natural give your body a day off after any hard workout.
You’ll make more gains giving your body and CNS to repair. If you bench Monday and Thursday I bet the guy that benches on just Monday will be stronger. Beating the crap out of your body and not giving it time to recover sucks.
But it all depends on your goals. But definitely not 2x a week natural. Need more time to recover. I remember I used to do that when I was natural and I could never get 225 on the bench I was stuck at 220..... I’d try atleast twice a week for 3 weeks. I stopped trying for 1 week, came back and hit it with ease. When I did Powerlifting meets my coach said no heavy lifting 8 days away and all the way up to the meet. I’d add 20 pounds without even lifting heavy the past week. That’s because my muscles finally get a break and chance to fully rebuild and be the strongest they can be. If you want some weak workouts then 2x a week is good for that. If you want to actually move some weight then relax and let your body do it’s thing
Bruh what.....

That’s some of the dumbest **** I’ve EVER read lol

I went to college for 4 years, got 2 different certifications and have read hundreds upon hundreds of articles, none of which say this. Do you care to provide proof via scholarly articles?
 
Resolve10

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Ok so first off what posted above is pretty much the opposite of the truth, I don’t even know where to start so I’ll just go with some of the basic ideas behind current research on the subject.

You have to train hard enough/have enough intensity each session (this is nuanced but well keep it simple to focus on volume and then frequency and that relationship).

Once a session is hard enough there must be a minimum amount of volume which can then be increased to increase the benefit of the workout, up to a point (so say 2 sets is beneficial 4 is more beneficial but at a certain point it’s not beneficial so don’t keep going to say 15).

It appears once we’ve reached this max beneficial amount we could then “split” that into two workouts per week. Key here is not to just jump into the same volume per session as you were doing for one (so say you were doing 12, don’t now do 12 for 2 sessions start lower then build back up to more volume).

Then it would even appear at this point you could even split it more and hit 3 (theoretically more) sessions per muscle per week and see even more benefit.

Keep in mind with this that each successive addition probably adds some benefit but it isn’t like going to twice per week doubles the benefit. Each addition probably adds less in some sort of plateauing fashion.

Finally keep in mind that this also doesn’t mean more is “better”. It is probably imperative to build up volume and frequency over a period of time and at certain times of year then drop back down to almost “resensitize”. So in essence some times of year you may train muscle groups once per week, some times twice, sometimes maybe even more and all should still further gains given other variables are accounted for.

I hope that helps, isn’t too much (probably is I always feel I write too much), and is on topic.
 
Smont

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My current split is

Back and biceps
Shoulders and triceps
Bench heavy and legs
Rest
Biceps and back
Triceps and shoulders
Squat heavy and chest
Rest or repeat
 
Smont

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In the past 6 months I've made consistent strength gains, put on about 10 to 12 lbs and lost some bodyfat.

There is no right or wrong way.

Consistency is key and if it ain't broke don't fix it
 

audi4796

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I feel like when I do 2x a week it’s bad for me. But I also spend 2 hours on each muscle group and love spending time in the gym. I give each session my all and definitely couldn’t go on each muscle twice a week doing what I do. Especially with my drop in calories. My body is way to fatigued after a workout to go back and hit it 2-3 days later, what personally works best for me is 4-5 days before I hit that muscle again. Everybody is different. If you stimulate the muscle then you can go twice a week, if u annihilate the muscle then you probably can’t. What do you think?
2 hours on one muscle group is seriously excessive
 
Smont

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I feel like when I do 2x a week it’s bad for me. But I also spend 2 hours on each muscle group and love spending time in the gym. I give each session my all and definitely couldn’t go on each muscle twice a week doing what I do. Especially with my drop in calories. My body is way to fatigued after a workout to go back and hit it 2-3 days later, what personally works best for me is 4-5 days before I hit that muscle again. Everybody is different. If you stimulate the muscle then you can go twice a week, if u annihilate the muscle then you probably can’t. What do you think?
I don't have any muscle group that takes more then 45min. I think 2 hours is way too long. I don't know anyone that spends that much time on 1 muscle group. At the end of the day I think it all comes down to what works best for you and is enjoyable without being counterproductive. If you don't think you're doing too much and you're consistently making progress doing that then I can't argue it, but it does seem very excessive
 
ChocolateClen

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I’ve got 1 study that proves results from what I said and that is myself. Go take your chocolate cake somewhere else professor.
Just because it worked on you doesn’t mean it’s effective or it’ll work on any one else. Sorry man not to be a dick but you can’t use yourself as a basis for anything because everyone is different. You have to look at lots of different people across lots of different factors and then see what’s effective for most.

Advil doesn’t work for me, so by your logic it shouldn’t work for anyone. You can’t generalize like that. Maybe you have good genetics, your fiber type may be different, who knows but that’s why studies have to have a specific n value. They have to be able to have enough people in the study to say it should reasonably work for the general population. That’s why you never see a study of 1 person in the fitness community or even less than 10 really.
 
bruno.camilo

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There is no magic formulae , if you are eating a lot protein and food in general, i mean a lot, u can do the same muscle after 50+ hours from last training from that muscle. If u are on Roids 48 hours u are good to go, even if u are not feeding urself well, just high on protein and carbs. Nattys must eat a LOT more.
 

Mathb33

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There really isn’t a right or wrong in this, the beauty of this sport is that there’s so many variables. The clients physique and health, the intensity, volume,goal, etc. One thing is certain : saying that working out a muscle twice a week is bad is STUPID. Now if someone, not naming any names, was to workout two HOURS per muscle, which means bicep and back would take 4 hours, then yes obviously doing it twice a week is ridiculous especially natural because when doing it in the first place makes no sense.
 
Smont

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I think naturals can train "more" often with better results, there not as strong, can not push as hard or as long and do less damage to the muscle.
 
Smont

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Guys come out of jail pretty jacked eating garbage and doing the same workout every day, no study can prove that wrong because it happens all the time.
 

dcoen21

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If I didn’t have a regular job I would work out all day every day just eat and sleep. Everyone is different just try it and see what works best for you.
 
manifesto

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My current split is

Back and biceps
Shoulders and triceps
Bench heavy and legs
Rest
Biceps and back
Triceps and shoulders
Squat heavy and chest
Rest or repeat
I like this routine...I may give it a try

I've been doing a version of Leroy Colberts. 3 days full body routine
 
Smont

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I like this routine...I may give it a try

I've been doing a version of Leroy Colberts. 3 days full body routine
If you have never trained that much or that often you can make it real simple. Start with 2 back exercises 1 bicep
2 shoulders 1 tricep
Bench squat legpress
2 bicep 1 back and so on. After a few weeks do 3 back 2 bicep
3 shoulders 2 triceps ect. Every few weeks add more. When you hit your limit to how much you can handle you will know it
 
manifesto

manifesto

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I'm doing my first blast right now with test cyp and some phera
 
manifesto

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I should be able to push it a little harder right?
 
manifesto

manifesto

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This is true. I'll probably start this tomorrow with the chest day
 
Smont

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One thing is almost certain, 99% of ppl will never overtrain there muscles natty or not. Next time your in the gym take a good look around, you might see one person really pushing it to the limit if any at all. Most ppl are not mentally strong enough to push a muscle to real failure. Your far more likely to overtrain your cns
 
manifesto

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How do you know when CNS is over trained though?
 
manifesto

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The problem is, I'm always tired anyways from work and life in general lol
 
DEVANS89

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The problem is, I'm always tired anyways from work and life in general lol
Well I’m the case you need to get yourself into the supps section and see all the glorious products to get you fired up for the gym
 

Iwilleattuna

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How do you know when CNS is over trained though?
You won’t know until you push yourself to that level. Then you can gauge what is pushing too much.

Usually , weights that normally feel very light will feel very heavy when CNS is fatigued
 
manifesto

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All good info. Thank you guys.
 
HIT4ME

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I love this debate. It is similar to, "How many times should I mow my lawn every week?" and the answer is the same - that depends. Some weeks you will mow it 2x per week, sometimes you will not need to mow it for months.

I don't want to act like I do not care about the scientific studies here - but keep in mind that science is not limited to people in lab coats. ANYONE can use the scientific principles to create a working model of their world. If this were not the case you can imagine this:

Person A: There is this invisible force in the universe that attracts all objects of mass to all other objects of mass.
Person B: I cannot see it, prove it. Magical forces don't seem real to me.
Person A: There are a bunch of studies saying that people in white coats show it exists, and all scientists agree.

Of course, this isn't how science works. The real response would be, "Here, test for yourself. If I drop something, it falls to the earth."

Sometimes the studies are the best pieces of evidence we can rely on, sometimes, not so much.

I think loganyy is actually on the right path for more people than we like to admit - but a lot of assumptions about other variables are being made. I also agree with Resolve to some extent - again, depending on the assumptions being made for other variables. Sorry @choclateclen, somewhat disagree here with you. The fact a "scholar" says something has no bearing on if it is true or not anymore than if a 4 year old says something doesn't determine if it's true or not.

I agree that loganyy is on the right path. MOST people in the gym are overtraining in some manner. Generally, most people are not working very hard, so they make up for that with volume. And let's face it, if you ARE working hard, it won't be for very long and your volume will be low. You can work hard or you can work long, but you cannot do both.

So if you're doing a ton of volume, by definition it is low intensity. You may have a high RPE on a given set, but you are not actually achieving high intensity. If you doubt this, go do some squats with your 10RM in a squat rack until you get stuck on the safety bars, have a training partner help you with 4-5 forced reps and then tell me how many sets you're going to do of those. Sure, you could drop the weight and keep going, but the weight is going to drop precipitously. IF you are training with that level of intensity, yeah - 2X per week is probably not going to be good for a natural trainer.

Many people don't train like that though. They come up shy of 100% intensity - usually leaving at least a rep in the tank and normally 2-3 reps. Good news though, studies do show there is benefit to this type of training. And these trainers can probably use a little volume and see benefits.

And beyond that group you have the majority of trainees who don't have hardly any intensity, and have tons of volume - and who really cares how often they train? That's like asking how many times you have to tap a stick of dynamite with a pencil before it will go off - it doesn't matter, it's not effective.

So, I've typed this long, probably boring, post to basically say - it's ALWAYS a balance between intensity, volume and frequency. High intensity will require lower volumes and frequencies. Higher volumes will require lower intensities and frequencies. Higher frequency will require lower volume and intensity.

So how do you find a balance? A training journal and progression. Progression is king.

The theory is that there are 3 steps:

1. Provide a effective stimulus.
2. Recover
3. Super Compensate.

So, you log your progress - if you did 5 reps with 100 pounds last week and this week you do 7 reps with 100 pounds - you made progress and you are doing what you should be. If you do 5 reps or less this week, you should question those 3 parts of the process. Did you provide an effective stimulus for muscle growth? If not - then change the stimulus. If you know you did and you still have not grown this workout then you know the reason for no improvement is in steps 2 or 3 - you need more time for recovery, more sleep, more food and/or you did not allow for super compensation to occur (more time and sleep and food - but it is NOT recovery, it is a second step that only happens AFTER you recover).

And if this is constantly happening and you know you're eating what you should and getting sleep, etc. - then what is your volume and intensity like? Do you need to drop one or both back? Do you need to try less frequent workouts?

Further, for some people - these factors will be very individualized. Some people will require a lot of time between workouts in order to recover, while other people will need a few days and be ready to go again. Some people do well with workouts spread over 2 weeks even.

I can agree with loganyy because I've tried a lot of different workouts and I know everyone on here always says, "2X per week is best. " and that's the dogma and it's been written - but I've tried everything, including very low volume 3X per week training and I can tell you that while short term gains can be good - after a very short period (a month or 6 weeks) I stall pretty hard and get nowhere.

I get the logic - if you can run the stimulate, recover, grow cycle 1X per week you get 52 growth cycles per year. If you can run it 2X per week you get 104 cycles per year - obviously better. The trick is being able to run all 3 steps of that cycle 2X per week and that means - modulate intensity and volume.

Second, the "protein synthesis is elevated for 48 hours" means nothing to me. Big whoop. All that means is that you have the fastest rate of recovery for the first 48 hours - after that, any recovery that still needs to be accomplished will occur much more slowly. In other words, if you use high intensity and/or a lot of volume and you HAVEN'T fully recovered and super-compensated in 2 days (which is unlikely) - then you are going to need even more time off before you're ready to hit the gym. If anything, this could very well be an argument for 1X per week training in my mind. I am sure you get a similar response from surgery - someone cuts you open and in the first couple days post surgery your skin heals at a fast rate and the wound may have started to close in just a few days - but the wound won't be fully healed for weeks because after that initial spike in repair rate, things slow down.

Of course, this doesn't mean there aren't other methods. One thing I like about Doggcrapp, which I would consider a 90-95% intensity program, is that you rotate exercises so that, sure you're hitting the same muscle group 3x in 2 weeks - but you're not doing the exact same thing. I think this is a good break for the nervous system and I think it is especially helpful with deadlifts and squats which can be taxing - you hit them 1 workout, but then maybe do leg presses the next workout and hack squats the next workout and then you rotate again. This greatly reduces the CNS strain.

And, of course, as other have pointed out - the workload of the rest of our days should also be considered, especially mental stress. We often forget that our brains/nervous system is a huge energy consumer and if we have a stressful job and a tough schedule, our training strategies may require adjustment.

So, after that long, rambling post, I think the ideal training frequency for everyone is 1.639832 times per week.
 
Carnivorecon

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That question is prime "know it all" bait. I wouldnt touch it with a ten foot stripper pole cuz some jerk-off would jump outta bush and tell me how wrong i am about my own subjective experience
 
Smont

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Time under tension and making the most out of his little as possible might take the cake for you, but that doesn't mean it's the best for everybody just like everything else, you have to find what works best for you. I've gone through long periods of time where I tried to make time under tension longer and really get a pump going and it doesn't seem to help me for growth. I've always responded best to using the most weight that I can handle with good form and cheating out an extra rep or 2. There's no clear-cut answer to what is best it's always going to boil down to what works best for you
 
Smont

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A good example is I never find that I get anything out of strict form on bent over rows or dumbbell rows but heavy cheat rows work great for me. High rep chest exercises don't do much for me but going heavy works great, my legs and my shoulders don't respond that greet to going super heavy I got to go 20 rep sets a lots of exercises
 
Dutch guy in asia

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Not unless your on Anabolic’s. I’ve trained natural for 4 years and I know that if you train hard you can’t do more then 4 days a week natural. On Anabolic’s you can push it to 5-6 but you’ll just stall your progress if your going to much. When I was natural I did


legs/push/off/pull/whatever needed work/off

Then repeat.
If your natural give your body a day off after any hard workout.
You’ll make more gains giving your body and CNS to repair. If you bench Monday and Thursday I bet the guy that benches on just Monday will be stronger. Beating the crap out of your body and not giving it time to recover sucks.
But it all depends on your goals. But definitely not 2x a week natural. Need more time to recover. I remember I used to do that when I was natural and I could never get 225 on the bench I was stuck at 220..... I’d try atleast twice a week for 3 weeks. I stopped trying for 1 week, came back and hit it with ease. When I did Powerlifting meets my coach said no heavy lifting 8 days away and all the way up to the meet. I’d add 20 pounds without even lifting heavy the past week. That’s because my muscles finally get a break and chance to fully rebuild and be the strongest they can be. If you want some weak workouts then 2x a week is good for that. If you want to actually move some weight then relax and let your body do it’s thing
I think i can agree with you but only if your training really hard and heavy.

Much research points towards 2 times a week being better. But of course this depends on your ability to recover.

But the more advanced you are the harder it is to recover. So i think you should also take into consideration the level someone is at plus of course some people recover better then others.
 

CroLifter

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Currently doing 2x a week full body high intensity, and throwing in a 3rd workout with supplemental exercises to get some more volume in if i can recover.

I am recently (since past month) off from trt and my recovery abilities are terrible, but we'll see how i progress on just 2x a week high intensity big compound only program.
 
manifesto

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Just started Smonts routine, each muscle 2x per week
 
Cheeky Monkey

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I think it has to do with your body type. If you are a mesomorph then you can get away with training 1 body part a week as long as you hit it hard. If you are an ectomorph then twice a week will work better for you. If you are endomorph then a 3 times a week full body workout would be best. But all this is just hearsay which I heard someone say.
 
JohnnieFreeze

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Well.... this just ties back to everyone doing what works for them. I guess we can end this thread by saying, there is no specific best way to train, and no specific best split to use. It’s all individualized and people will find what works for them and claim it’s the next best thing. A lot of good different training styles and ideas where mentioned in this thread and people looking for new splits and/or training methods could learn a lot and try a lot from this thread.
Agreed....the research may show twice a week per muscle group works best but its not for everyone. If you're an older person training naturally you may not be able to recover enough to hit that muscle again 3-4 days later if you're training hard. I for one remained sore with joint issues creeping up from hitting a muscle twice a week. I had to cut down on volume and intensity so much to recover for the next workout that I felt it almost a waste of time. I can work a muscle harder in one workout than 2 workouts combined.
 

jrock645

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Give these a look. Training a body part more than once a week is definitely not overtraining, if not done properly.

 
HIT4ME

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Give these a look. Training a body part more than once a week is definitely not overtraining, if not done properly.

I bet $5 that you don't REALLY believe those studies enough to follow them for real for even 6 weeks.
 

jrock645

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I bet $5 that you don't REALLY believe those studies enough to follow them for real for even 6 weeks.
I believe those studies a whole lot more than I believe the notion hat the majority of people in the gym are overtraining.

Edit- and actually I’m currently being coached by Menno. I’ll definitely exceed 6 weeks. So you owe me $5.
 
HIT4ME

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I believe those studies a whole lot more than I believe the notion hat the majority of people in the gym are overtraining.

Edit- and actually I’m currently being coached by Menno. I’ll definitely exceed 6 weeks. So you owe me $5.
Not yet. Let's follow the logic laid out in those "articles" for the next six weeks. Articles because that's what they were, not studies. They discussed studies which were not experimental - they were a meta analysis and data based. But hey, let's apply what we supposedly learned from that data, if we believe it, right?

Squat, 5x per week - all I want you to do is 1 triple drop set to failure at each drop each day. I mean TRUE failure.

Come back in 6 weeks and tell me where those articles took you.

Hell, squat 3x a week and tell me you did every workout and got stronger in 6 weeks.

My $5 says you won't take me up on it...because you don't really believe those articles. Not even enough to do 18 it 30 workouts.

But if you TRULY believed it was optimal, shouldn't you be psyched to start training that way? I mean, just 1 set 5x per week is all I am asking.

And if Menno isn't training you that way, does he really believe what he is writing?

I never said most people in the gym are overtraining. Most people in the gym are doing too much volume, too frequently, and with too little intensity. There is a small portion generating sufficient intensity. And a portion of those people are over training.
 

jrock645

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Not yet. Let's follow the logic laid out in those "articles" for the next six weeks. Articles because that's what they were, not studies. They discussed studies which were not experimental - they were a meta analysis and data based. But hey, let's apply what we supposedly learned from that data, if we believe it, right?

Squat, 5x per week - all I want you to do is 1 triple drop set to failure at each drop each day. I mean TRUE failure.

Come back in 6 weeks and tell me where those articles took you.

Hell, squat 3x a week and tell me you did every workout and got stronger in 6 weeks.

My $5 says you won't take me up on it...because you don't really believe those articles. Not even enough to do 18 it 30 workouts.

But if you TRULY believed it was optimal, shouldn't you be psyched to start training that way? I mean, just 1 set 5x per week is all I am asking.

And if Menno isn't training you that way, does he really believe what he is writing?

I never said most people in the gym are overtraining. Most people in the gym are doing too much volume, too frequently, and with too little intensity. There is a small portion generating sufficient intensity. And a portion of those people are over training.
Except where does he say anything about training to failure? And where does he say do the same exercises every workout? You’re already wrong because you’re operating off of your own pre conceived notions.
 
HIT4ME

HIT4ME

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First off - I don't disagree with everything he says there and some of his stuff is on the right path.

His articles you posted talk about training to failure, especially how much he questions when studies state participants trained to failure. He talks quite a bit about how a lot of the studies claimed training to failure, and he always doubts it.

Second, his point, which has validity - is that if you do squats, then deadlifts, then leg presses all in one workout for the same number of sets/weight your actual workload will be lower than if you trained more frequently but broke the training into multiple sessions because, hey, people who do leg presses after squats and deadlifts are tired and won't be able to do as much weight for as many reps as if they were fresh. Doing less, more frequently, actually increases your total workload.

So, let's do very little - everyday. Just one set. This should allow us to follow his logic and maximize the total workload in a week, while minimizing the per work out workload, right?

But let's be sure you are really getting high intensity - because as you imply, intensity doesn't matter. No matter what, 1x per week isn't overtrainjng. So let's make it intense. A triple drop set, to failure.

And of course he says 5x per week is great. So if 5x per week is a great thing, why wouldn't you be willing to do it for just one body part? Clearly if you can train your entire body this way then doing just 1 exercise cannot be over training, right?

In the defense of the author you linked, he doesn't really say much definitive about training frequency. He spends more time pointing out study flaws, which is ironic when relying on a meta analysis.

But clearly his logic would dictate that doing a single exercise for a single set with the highest intensity will NOT be overtraining and will either cause positive results or will fail because it is not enough. If you wish to do more, I am fine with that as well...but I am only asking for 1 triple drop set each day.
 

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