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40s, Beginner, Training Consecutive Days


I’m just getting started training with weights and I’m looking at using a full body approach to start with, for example Arnold’s Golden Six that I noticed a new article on today.

My problem is that I can only workout Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Is it a really bad idea running a full body routine on consecutive days or is three days a week still just 3 days a week in the long run.

I’d wondered about maybe trying heavy days on Monday and Thursday and a lighter day on Tuesday.

Any feedback or advice would be very welcome.


Great plan - if you’re Arnold and on the same “supplements.” Otherwise, you should try something else.

OK, thanks for the response. Any suggestions what else I can try?

I want to work out 3 days a week, but the big beginner routines all say 3 non-consecutive days and that’s not an option for me.

As a beginner I think you could make some progress on that plan, assuming your recovery is on point and assuming you have a typical goal of simply getting stronger and building muscle.

I’m not sure how long you could keep it up though. Tuesday may get very tough, very fast. I mostly run a split now, but I’ve put in well over a year of full-body training 3x/week, just never on consecutive days.

To answer your question, no, 3 days a week is not 3 days a week. That’s why the article stated to do it on alternating days. The recovery days are an important part of the process. You build muscle when you’re not lifting. Lifting is just the stimulation that tells your body to grow. Long-term on a full-body plan that rest day becomes even more important. Definitely not just 3 days a week in the long run. Get rid of that idea.

You could always try it and see what happens. 5/3/1 would be more readily adaptable to your schedule, but I’m also unsure of your goals.


I did look at 5/3/1 but, if I’m honest, the percentage system looks like too much hassle compared to the simple beginner routines where I just add some weight each time.

As far as goals go, I don’t have any competitive goals. I’ve had a desk job for about 20 years now and, although I’ve stayed fairly active, I’ve got no muscle mass or strength at all and I’m straying more and more onto the fat side of skinny fat. Barbell work seems like a fun/interesting way of improving that.

So maybe either doing something like Starting Strength twice a week or an upper/lower split mon, tues and thursday, is a better way to go.

I also saw a routine that was basically squat, bench and deadlift once a week each. I’ve read that beginners can advance quicker, but I’m not in a huge rush. I’m hoping I can get started and keep going for another 20 years or so (I’m 43 now).

5/3/1 isn’t really that hard to calculate, and I’d recommend buying the book even if you don’t plan to run any variation of the program. The principles espoused by Wendler will serve you well no matter what you end up doing.

I’m a big advocate of beginning lifters (especially grown-ups with busy lives) simply finding a way to lift that resonates with them and fits into their life. Learn the movements and get yourself hooked on the process first and foremost. Just racking up some time under the bar will put you in a much better position to sort this out on your own, even if it is time spent doing something less-than-optimal.

If you find yourself committing to this for the long haul you may want to find a way to lift on a better schedule and with more structure. For now you are a novice lifter desk jockey in generally good health, so just about anything sensible will work if you do.

If I were in your position I would probably do something like this:

Monday: Squat + lower body assistance (ex: leg press, stiff leg DL, Romanian DL, leg machine work, lunges)
Tuesday: Bench + upper body assistance (ex: chins, dips, rows, curls, shoulder raises, facepulls)
Thursday: Deadlift, Strict Press, assistance

Whatever you do, enjoy your time as a beginner under the bar!

I wouldn’t shy away from any program at this point. As a beginner, what’s most important is that you find a program (ANY program) that you like. Because if you like it, you’ll keep doing it. Research and experience has shown the world that the single biggest factor to success is consistency… which far, far, FAR, outstrips programming in importance.

So if this program caught your attention, and it interests you, give it a go. Re-evaluate in 3-5 weeks.

Honestly, it’s really tough to go wrong here.

What are your training goals? What are you trying to achieve?

Thanks for all the replies.

I’ll stick with the squat, bench, deadlift program for now and see where that takes me over the next few months.

I was starting to over analyse I think, wondering whether it was well balanced and so on. It’s probably best to just do something and enjoy it.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

In a nutshell; what you posted above.

Get going, keep moving, and don’t look back. Put in some overhead press also: ballsy, humbling at first, and most people don’t do them= 3 reasons YOU should.

I lift Tues/Thur/Fri mainly. It can be done, whatever IT is.

Hi Andy! Lifting lighter on Tuesday is wise - consecutive days for us slightly “older” lifters is counter productive - we truly need at least 48 hours between lifts for our bodies to grow. 72 hours for legs.

How about enjoying a fun day with just arms on Tuesday?!

Here’s Dave Draper’s Arm Day, from his “Favourite Routine”:

Rubber tubing rotator cuff work,
5 sets x 20-25 adductor, 5x abductor

Wrist Curls (3-5x20, 15, 15, 15, 15)
tri-setted with
Thumbs Up curl (3-5x10, 8, 8, 8, 6)
Pulley Pushdowns (3-5x12-15)

I’ve been doing some reading over the weekend. If overhead presses are a good idea then the greyskull lp sounds interesting since the basic program is two lifts a day, one upper body press followed by squat or deadlift.

The other program I mentioned is by a Russian guy called Faleev and it’s basically a 5x5.

Monday - Squat
Tuesday - Bench & light squat
Thursday - Deadlift & light bench.

I like the simplicity of it. I’m going to see how far it can take me, but I can see 5/3/1 happening in my future.

I am a newbie at this game, so my two cents don’t mean much, but… I have been at this well over a year now. I jumped around and tried different programs trying to find the “secret ingredient” all I ended up doing was causing myself a lot of frustration and made myself miserably sick. If you have plans to do 5/3/1 just do it from the start. It works! I wish I would have thrown all that other crap in the garbage and done it from the get go. I would be SO much farther along than I am now.

Thanks again everyone. Well, having asked for advice it would be rude of me not to accept the majority of the advice given. so I’m going to start on 5/3/1 tonight. I’m going to use 3x5 First Set Last as the main assistance move on everything except deadlifts. So my week is going to look like this.


  • Squat 5/3/1 + 3x5 FSL
  • 45 degree back extensions


  • Bench 5/3/1 + 3x5 FSL
  • Row


  • Deadlift 5/3/1
  • Overhead Press 5/3/1 + 3x5 FSL
  • leg raises
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Simple, to the point; looks like a good start. Give it an honest go, get over the initial shock (oh yes, there will be shock) and see what happens.
Consistency is key.

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Sure I’ll bump it.

Any 30+ day updates? Still lifting? If so, your over the initial shock of it all; and now on to the really bad stuff :slight_smile:


Yes, still lifting. Now doing 5/3/1 two days a week, working through the 28 days of training starting with FSL. Started very low, so far so good. I’m also doing 5x10 machine rows one day and pull downs the other, with fairly low weights.