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.