T Nation

3 Months, 3 Days a Week, Programs?


#1

I unfortunately am only able to workout 3 days a week (MWF). Even though this is not a lot, I still have been able to experience results that I am quite satisfied with via the Arnold Golden Six approach.

I need to switch things up soon, though. It would be tremendous if I could find some extended program that would keep me covered for 3 months or so. I have found several programs that are designed to be used over the course of several months (e.g., I, Bodybuilder), but they all seem to require at least 4 (usually 5) workouts per week.

I don't need to have the ultimate gains rate. I just need a smart and organized plan that gives me steady improvement of my physique over the long haul in 3 days a week.

Anyone have any advice for me? I can do this workout here and that workout there like I'm doing now. But what would really be great would be finding a coherent multi-month plan that's compatible with my currently more restricted schedule.


#2

This is 20 weeks worth of programming. I recommend seeing it through to the end.

https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/beyond-531-program-1-1
https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/beyond-531-program-1-2
https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/beyond-531-program-1-3
https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/beyond-531-program-1-4

There is light conditioning in addition to the gym days.


#3

Most programs won't be written to span 3 months consecutively, but pretty much any program can just be reset when you reach the end. Why not a push-pull-legs split? Those seem to be popular nowadays.


#4

the Waterbury Method would work great for 3x a week. DC training is a 3 day split but it's pretty scary.


#5

Greyskull Lp is a pretty awesome 3 day a week program, even if you are not a beginner.
5/3/1
Paul carter has many 3 day a week programs, Ben Bruno has a good one on this site.

I prefer to workout 3 days a week with one or two conditioning days. I feel that I recover better, and it's easier to schedule around life.


#7

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I hadn't heard of some of those before so good to find out about them.

At the moment I am looking to acquire better aesthetics more than sheer size or strength. In other words, I am looking to obtain a balanced and proportionate physique more than a massive or very strong olympic powerlifter type physique. Correct me if I am wrong, but my impression is that such a goal is supported more by a good variety of exercises than it is by programs that focus on only a small number of big lifts. For this reason, I'm somewhat more inclined to go for something more like the Waterbury Method than the Beyond 531 programs. If you disagree with this belief please let me know.

However, let's say I do The Waterbury Method and get great results from it. I'll still be back hunting for another program 6 weeks later when things go stale. Who knows how complementary the next program I will be to the one previous (since they won't be designed to go together).

I really wish someone would put together a 1 Year Master Plan for guys who just need something easy to follow during busy times of life. Even if such a plan couldn't be as optimal as the most perfectly chosen programs for each individual, I think for many of us it would provide an overall better result.

Anyway, any further suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


#8

If you like the Waterbury Method (or any other program) you don't have to move on to something else when its over. You can reset it and run it again. I don't think you will find a program written for an entire year of training.


#9

Get his book. It explains how to get to your goals exactly the way you want.

And, he has more then one program for 3days a week.


#10

Sadly, I did buy the book once, many years ago, but didn't use it as I should have and have since lost it.


#11

One T-nation article I read suggested simply doing the opposite of what you've been doing before. If you've been lifting heavy for few reps, lift lighter for more reps. If your chest is stronger than your back, focus on your back, or the other way around.


#12

Oh, they're out there, but they're not free. Or if they are, then there's a good chance they're worth exactly that.

Do you want something for 1 year straight or something for when life gets busy?

Really though, it's impractical (at best) for a coach to provide a full year's workout plan because so much can change over the course of 52 weeks. Nevermind schedules and stress, but minor/major injuries, vacations, and simple shifting goals can make it pretty unfeasible to write out 52-week's worth of programming and still leave wiggle room to account for random issues that can potentially pop up.

But if life does always seem busy, there's no reason why you can't run a well-designed 2-day a week routine indefinitely. The benefits of long-term consistency will outweigh any "drawbacks" from having a relatively-limited workout. 5/3/1 has a great 2-day plan for busy guys. Dan John also has a 2-3 day template for "real life training."


#13

Watch all 4 parts and you will be able to make your own training program.

*Especially part 2. Three days is enough when you set up your training correctly.