T Nation

2 day a week training

Due to an extensive study program I will be undertaking shortly as well as holding down a full time job I will only be able to train 2 days a week.
I’m used to training 5 days a week, working on a body part per day.
I know that by only working out I should concentrate on compound lifts but how should I split the days?
i.e. should I split upper body and lower body lifts or should I do all pushing lifts for upper & lower body on day 1 and all pulling type lifts on day 2???

I would say that if you have a few days inbetween thse such as say a monday thursday routine then, go for a whole body w/o each day.

If the days are close together I would lean toward the upper/lower split days.

Just my 2 cc.

There is an article on the mag about this very subject of only have 2 days a week to lift but I cant remember it/couldnt find it. Maybee someone will chime it that does.


Are your training days back to back? I am training someone who is only able to train twice a week. I have a pretty good program for him and he has shown a lot of improvement on it.

Why don’t you try full body workouts with no isolation exercises. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Training everything at least twice a week is almost always a better idea than only once a week. You’d be surprised how easily the body adapts to it.

By ditching isolation exercises, you will have more time to spend on compound movements that will get you big and strong.

Hey Bro,

Here’s the link to a 2 day per week Ian King program.

I did this program last year school was keeping me locked down and I had great results.

I agree w/ Patman on this full-body work-outs focusing on zero isolation movements and just compound movements. Thats, how I train most of my clients.

In Health,

Silas C.

agreed, 2 full body workouts.

Check out CT’s Part-time Beast article for a two day program.

Try these two workouts…short, sharp and effective-

Day One
Bench Press or dips
Bent over row

Day two
Deadlifts (Regular or Romanian)
Military Press
Chins or lat pull downs

If you want tou could add an arm exercise or two, maybe some abs if you feel the need and definately some shoulder ext. rotation and you have a very simple but effective programme that will do you good!

Use 5x5 or whatever rep range suits you best.

Day 1
Romanian deadlift
Bench press
Static barbell grip
Day 2 (2 or 3 days later)
Abs db lateral flexion
Military press
Db row
Barbell curl
back hyperextension

Jay, sorry you need 2-3 rest days between workouts that is Day1 monday/Day2 thursday or monday/friday. Focusing only on classic bb exercises you may put squat in day 1 and deadlift in day 2. Then come vertical pushing/pulling and horizontal pushing/pulling. An option is:
Day1: Squat,bench press,pullups/chins
Day2: Deadlift,military press,row
Another option is:
Day1: Squat,military press,pullups/chins
Day2: Deadlift,Bench press,row.
You could add calves,abs,grip in both workouts. Because pullups/chins are demanding (see ZEB’s forum) I would not perform them on deadlift day. Direct arm work is not included. Arms dimensions are proportional to your performance in the exercises listed above and body mass.

I like Patch’s plan.

hey patch, that looks like something from out of Brawn…actually, I trained that way for a long time and it will work fine…I’d estimate 90% of guys that lift would skyrocket their gains if they switched to a 2x/week program like that…

just make sure you focus on simple progression…you have to push or pull a little more each week…if you do, you just might want to stick with it even when you have the time to train 5 or 6 days a week.

Good luck

Patch gave a great base program. This is the way I prefer to train and have gotten great results from it. Add in things to meet your personal goals. If your calves need work, add in some calf raises. If you want to get faster or if you want big traps, throw in Power Cleans. You’ll probably want to add at least one heavy ab exercise too (decline sit-ups, hanging pikes). You could put in some rotator cuff and/or scapular stabilization exercises at the end to prevent injuries.