T Nation

2 Day A Week Program

I just started a new job that makes my workday at least 10 hours. Most of the time I am traveling for a week or two at a time. Needless to say my gym time has suffered significantly. Since I don’t have a very good weekday schedule…I was wondering if there are any good workout programs that I could get in on a weekend. I am also curious how that would effect my muscle growth. I have been hitting it 4 or 5 days a week for so long that I feel that two days a week isn’t enough. Being a hardgainer… I feel if I am not in the gym I am shrinking. Any help is greatly appreciated.

this might not be something a lot of people on here will agree with, but I would suggest at least trying my idea… I think it works.

When I don’t have the ability to hit the gym more than once or maybe twice a week, I do one of two types of workouts, just depending on how I feel and the amount of stress in my life.

So what I do is this, if I’m fairly stressed out, I’ll do a fairly brief full body workout (in about an hour) that will be like 3x5 or 5x3 supersetting antagonist movements (to keep a quick pace). Also, always keep one or two reps “in the hole” as you shouldn’t go to failure.

I’ll do this for all major movements, such as Bench and Row, Overhead press and pulldown, Squat on it’s own and Deadlift (these two are NOT supersetted), then be done. I’ll then switch the workout around and do it in reverse order the next time I get to lift, I think it’s worked really good for maintaining what you’ve got when you can’t hit the gym very often.

Scenario 2, if you’re not experiencing lots of stress in life, I’ve gone with a Heavy Duty (yes, Mentzer of all things) type of approach where I’ll do a warmup and then do maybe 6 exercises, all to extreme all out muscular exhaustion using around an 8 rep max, and only one “work-set” each excercise.

I’ll do for instance Deadlift, Bench, Squat, Row, Pulldowns, overhead press (see a pattern in the excersise selection, COMPOUND movements give you the most bang for the buck, why not work as much as possible if you’re short on time). Anyways, if I do this approach, usually I’m pretty sore and or weak for a few days later and don’t even want to lift until I’ve rested at least 3 or 4, sometimes 6 days.

I’ve actually gained some amount of strength doing this, it’s a good option if you’re strapped for time in the gym as the workout is very brief and infrequent.

Good Luck!


I’m not sure how to post a link, but there is a great Ian King article From '02 in the archives that outlines a program with which I had very good results.

Check out Brooks Kubik’s book, “Dinosaur Training.” He has some fantastic 2 day per week full-body workouts (don’t want to post them for possible copyright issues).

I Agree with CU on the Mentzer type program for you if you have a stress free enough fife ( so to speak)

I have put on some significant weight and gained much strength in only 8 weeks
I have been lifting since April 2nd and I weighed 155 at that time.

Last Monday when I weighed pre workout I was 188. I have only been trainning with the Mentzer type approach for only 8 weeks tomorrow will be my 9th workout in almost two months.
I hit my total body with 18 different excersises to total failure… Yes I know I know I do too many but I am trimming them down 1 per week and alternating some from one week to the next. I make progress EVERYTIME I go back to the gym.

side note : I am starting a Superdrol cycle tomorrow so I hope I can make gains with a 3 time a week total body workout. Around 12 excersises.

I recommend Neg on the leg press. or anything you can use two limbs to lift and one to lower controled

I have been able to use 400 pounds on the leg press up with two and down with one for alternating legs with 7 reps each Ex: Press up with both legs and lower with left press with two and lower with right… That equals one rep.
I have so far done that each week but at first I could only use 320 for only 6 reps controlled. My legs are exploding.

Ill have to admit that Negs may take longer to recover from but they build like nothing I have ever used.

You could do one different body part per week with Negs and alternate between them so you only hit them about once per month or every 6 weeks.

I wouldnt take in protien every day like someone that can get to the gym 3 - 5 times a week I would do 2 grams per pound of body weight the day of your workout and the day after. I would then do a .5 grams per pound of body weight daily. The program works but the key is the intensity. Hit It hard … rest recover and build.

If you can add a good fat such as Olive oil to your diet say 3- 5 table spoons per day it will help with T levels. I didnt think it worked but I tried it it helps some.

I have gained my weight after trainning in this manner but… I also started taking Carbolin 19, Methoxy-7, Alpha Male, cycled with M and ZMA .
Low-Carb Grow! on my high protien days and creatine 2grams per day.

So it could be the Once per week high intensity trainning or what I am taking probably both.

Check out CT’s “Part Time Beast” article in the archives. It’s exactly what you are looking for, “money” exercises done in a short amount of time. It’s a bit different in terms of the set/rep schemes you usually see so it adds a bit of interest as well.

Good suggestions, all. I would think that two intense, full-body workouts a week should work for maintenance for many. In fact, I’ve maintained on this during ridiculously busy periods.

[quote]concrete wrote:

I’m not sure how to post a link, but there is a great Ian King article From '02 in the archives that outlines a program with which I had very good results.[/quote]

Good program and suggestion. I recommend that as well.

Otherwise, I would stick to two full-body workouts or a push-pull-squat setup.

Something like this would work:

Day 1 (6x3)
Good Morning
Barbell Rows
(abs/arms if you want)

Day 2 (4x6, 5x5, 6x6 or something similar)
Lunges/Split Squat
Overhead press
(abs, calves, arms if you want)