Workout frequency - 2 days on, 1 day off?


  • Dec 15, 2009 1:37 PM GMT
    Right now, I lift heavy M W F and swim 1 mile Sun - Fri (on MWF, I swim right after weights.. so I end up staying at the gym for up to 2.5 hours on those days). I really need to cut back a bit, and I'm afraid I'm overworking everything (when I lift, I do a total body workout). I recently read that the kid from Twilight goes hard for two days and always rests on the third day, repeating that cycle instead of having specific days each week that he works out.

    For someone like me that's trying to trim up and bulk up in lean muscle, is lifting on day 1, swimming on day 2, and taking the third day off a good strategy?
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    Dec 15, 2009 2:28 PM GMT
    not sure, but it´s worth a try perhaps. It is very easy to train more than is actually helpful for your goals. Indeed in my case I had to struggle between 6 day a week training (which I like mentally) and doing less than that for more gains. Gains are about smart training, good eating (times 3) and good rest. You may well be doing too much train for optimal gains from what you describe. Also you can take "active rest" days when you are resting from weight training but still doing something (eg. pilates, yoga, perhaps swimming).

    My feeling is that lift, swim, rest as a pattern will not give you enough lifting. One thing you can experiment with is spilts, which give you more rest.

    For the last 3 months my routine has been this:

    Sun: rest
    Mon: chest, back, shoulders.
    Tue: Pilates
    Wed: whole body circuit
    Thur: Pilates
    Fri: Legs, tris and bis
    Sat: pilates

    It has worked really well as (1) I have not got tired or burnt out on it (2) I have been able to increase weight almost every week on this, as I get full recovery. For a while I actually spilt it over a month cycle so that it was

    M CHest, back, shoulders
    W CIrcuit
    F legs arms
    M2 Circuit
    W2 chest back arms
    F2 Circuit
    M3 Legs arms
    W3 Circuit
    F3 chest back shoulders
    M4 circuit
    W4 legs arms
    F4 Circuit

    If you want to do a 2 on one off then make the two weights days.... It wouldn´t work for me. It might do for you
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    Dec 15, 2009 5:40 PM GMT
    BlueEyedGymGuy saidRight now, I lift heavy M W F and swim 1 mile Sun - Fri (on MWF, I swim right after weights.. so I end up staying at the gym for up to 2.5 hours on those days). I really need to cut back a bit, and I'm afraid I'm overworking everything (when I lift, I do a total body workout). I recently read that the kid from Twilight goes hard for two days and always rests on the third day, repeating that cycle instead of having specific days each week that he works out.

    For someone like me that's trying to trim up and bulk up in lean muscle, is lifting on day 1, swimming on day 2, and taking the third day off a good strategy?


    Here's how it works. If you keep your calories up and get busy, you'll lean out, if you bring on slightly less calories than you expend. Of course, common sense dictates that, that being true, you can't "trim up" and "bulk up" at the same day (to much of an extent). To add weight, you have to consume more calories than you expend. It's that very simple. So,...seeing the obvious, unless you really are good at your diet, it's pretty hard to get bigger, and get trimmer, concurrently. Now, if you restrict you calories, your body will go into famine mode and burn your muscle, and preserve your fat (that's why fat diets do NOT work). If you want to get lean, you have to get busy, AND you have to eat.

    A program that combines some level of resistance training EVERY DAY, along with HIIT, will be your most effective, increasingly bone density, lean muscle mass, base metabolism, and cardiac threshold AS YOU GROW OLDER. Training one large part per day is usually adequate. Weight training is very intense, and to be successful, you need adequate recovery. If possible, two, or even three, short training periods, daily, would work better, but, if not, you'll find HIIT the very best for getting it done without so many hours being counter-productive.

    Something like below would well work better. YOU HAVE TO RECOVER.
    Day | Parts | Cardiac
    1. Back and bis | 12 min HIIT
    2. Chest tris | 12 min HIIT
    3. Quads | rest
    4. Shoulders | 12 min HIIT
    5. Hamstrings | 12 min HIIT
    6. Arms | 12 min HIIT
    7. Day off / low intensity cardio | Swim | Run

    For back, chest, legs, about 16 sets should be good. For arms, about 12. For shoulders, work each of the 5 planes of motion, 4 sets on each. HIIT for 12 minutes is adequate, provided it's done properly. You should be sweating and your heart should be pounding, but, you shouldn't be gasping. Your weight sets should be in the 8 to 12 range on upper body, and 8 to 20, or even 25, on lower body. Occasional lower rep counts, and occasional higher rep counts are fine. Form is critical and a full range of motion with a two seconds stretch can enhance your gains by as much as 30%. A longer muscle is bigger.

    Way too many folks train way too often, and don't allow recovery and they fail to consume calories, or rest properly. All are required when making a plan for success.

    I've never coached anyone that followed my instructions that has failed.

    At 31, you'll also want to see a progressive doctor and talk to him / her about HRT / Anti-Aging therapy. It will protect your heart, bones, prevent diseases of aging, increase your mood, help your cognition, and preserve your body composition, while bolstering your immune system.

    Train smart, not longer, and not harder. Recovery is the MOST important part of the process.
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    Dec 15, 2009 7:56 PM GMT
    BlueEyedGymGuy saidRight now, I lift heavy M W F and swim 1 mile Sun - Fri (on MWF, I swim right after weights.. so I end up staying at the gym for up to 2.5 hours on those days). I really need to cut back a bit, and I'm afraid I'm overworking everything (when I lift, I do a total body workout). I recently read that the kid from Twilight goes hard for two days and always rests on the third day, repeating that cycle instead of having specific days each week that he works out.

    For someone like me that's trying to trim up and bulk up in lean muscle, is lifting on day 1, swimming on day 2, and taking the third day off a good strategy?

    So my question is, are you seeing positive results from your current routine? If yes, then you can continue what you're doing. If no, then you'll have to cut back somewhere.

    Resting is important to the muscle building process, as well as proper nutrition. Instead of doing full body workouts, you should consider splitting up your routine and work certain body parts on certain days. This will give your muscles more time to recover before your next workout.