T Nation

2 Days a Week?


#1

I'm trying to get my good friend into working out in general and he keeps telling me he could only go to the gym on Mondays and Fridays.

I know 5/3/1 and some other programs have 2 day templates. But have any of you ever just lifted twice a week for an extended period of time? How did you like it? How were the results?

I'm guessing if you do a full body and go heavy twice a week and obviously work hard, eat right you should still be able to make some great progress. With 2 days only it seems to me recovery is a non factor lol.


#2

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
I’m trying to get my good friend into working out in general and he keeps telling me he could only go to the gym on Mondays and Fridays.

I know 5/3/1 and some other programs have 2 day templates. But have any of you ever just lifted twice a week for an extended period of time? How did you like it? How were the results?

I’m guessing if you do a full body and go heavy twice a week and obviously work hard, eat right you should still be able to make some great progress. With 2 days only it seems to me recovery is a non factor lol.[/quote]

It seems like Jim Wendler thinks it’s perfectly possible, if not ideal. I’ve got no reason to believe he’s wrong.

I’d be more concerned with getting your friend to work hard in the gym when he is there if you’re already having to persuade him to train. I feel that if you have to persuade someone to lift, they are never going to be successful.


#3

Yeah, getting people into the gym is hard. Keeping them there even more so.

2 days a week has ups and downs. My days were:

Power clean, Bench, & Squat (favorite workout ever)
and
Deadlift, OHP, & Chin-ups

I also ran, surfed, & skimboarded on my off days. Great for recovery.

This was enough for getting strong, but because so many days went by between lifting days I never really felt like I was in the groove. Way more “okay” days than “good” days. But, again, it worked.


#4

Two days a week is good. It’s a lot better than one day and the days in between can be used for other activities if the goal is general strength and conditioning. The higher frequency would make a big difference if your friend has trained before, has decent strength and from experience knows that programming for the higher frequency makes a big difference. Otherwise, progress on two days/week will be fine.


#5

Were I in the situation, I’d lift Mondays and Fridays and then get a sandbag or keg and use that at home. Can get a lot out of those implements, and they take up very little space, especially if you store them on a furniture dolly.

You could get brutally strong with such an approach.


#6

The question I would ask is how much of a beginner are you? Only reason for asking is because, obviously, it’s in the beginners’ section.

If you are very much a beginner, I would suggest adding in a third session on your own midweek. If your friend can’t commit, that’s his tough luck, he can make do with the Monday and Friday.

Thinking back on when I started lifting, I would give anything to go back and maximise the time I had with the knowledge I have now. This is because the accelerated gains I made in my first couple of years completely blitz the marginal increases I get in strength and size nowadays.

I would be advising you to maximise it yourself while you have the opportunity to do so.


#7

Are you planning on running the same template with him? If so, perhaps you may want to actually have him demonstrate his commitment to lifting with you, before you consider changing your own schedule around at the potential cost of pursuing your own ambitions.


#8

So I am a beginner and I’m running Dan John’s Neophyte program because my primary goal is to get stronger at the snatch and C&J. It just snatches, c&j, squats, presses and sprinkle in some pulls and ab work.

I lift on M/W/F usually, but I’m thinking of working out with him and switching up to a Th/St/M so I could lift with him on Monday and Thursday. I figure he’s not going to be doing the exact program I am, but we are both doing squats, pulls, presses, and core work essentially.


#9

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
So I am a beginner and I’m running Dan John’s Neophyte program because my primary goal is to get stronger at the snatch and C&J. It just snatches, c&j, squats, presses and sprinkle in some pulls and ab work.

I lift on M/W/F usually, but I’m thinking of working out with him and switching up to a Th/St/M so I could lift with him on Monday and Thursday. I figure he’s not going to be doing the exact program I am, but we are both doing squats, pulls, presses, and core work essentially.[/quote]

It sounds to me like your friend is not particularly keen on the idea of lifting at all. If that’s the case, I would make precisely zero changes to what you’re currently doing and what you know is working for you. Lifting with someone who doesn’t have the passion for it that you have is likely to have a negative impact on your training and be next to useless for them.


#10

I agree that you shouldn’t change what you’re doing. If you’re just moving your schedule 3 days forward then that should be fine. Sometimes people just need someone to show them the ropes. Do what you can but don’t go way out of your way if he isn’t willing to commit or has a negative impact on your own training.


#11

2 days a week of lifting is a great place to start for beginners, especially if he is very out of shape and/or does not have an athletic background. In fact, for the average person who just wants to look and feel a bit better, lifting 2x per week can be all they need if they get in plenty of other activity and diet and lifestyle are in order.

I would be careful with the thought that recovery is a non-factor if training 2 days a week. I don’t think this is true at all.


#12

Made best gains ever but made sure one compound move each workout was an absolute gun-to-the-head PR