T Nation

5 Day Schedule Question


Hey guys!

My question is the following:

I started lifting weights maybe three months ago, but got serious only two months ago. By getting serious I mean most of all paying attention to my nutrition and asking my Gym Leader to write down a program for me. I was just "winging it" before that.

I told my gym leader I was serious about this, (i've boxed for two years, so I have experience with the whole mindset of "fuck I can't do this anymore! But I have to keep going!" haha)

So he wrote me a 5 day program, which i've been doing from monday's to friday's.

My concern is that a friend told me I shouldn't be going 5 day's a week. I know he is talking about the whole recovery period, which I do believe is of uttermost importance.

But thinking that the gym leader wrote the program, and each day is a different muscle, do I still have to worry about my muscles not recovering enough?

I don't want to post the program cause I don't want to bore you.. But if you feel it's necessary I will.

Thank you in advance!!


post the program.

do you have to stay in a certain weight class?


Post program
We have no clue as too what your doing


Hey guys, I'll post the program tomorrow, thx for the answers.

Tomorrow i sit down for my last final of this year and then it's 3 month vacation to just train and train :slight_smile:

The reason i'm not posting it now is that I have to translate it to English and that will take a while and a lot of google magic.

Wish me luck for tomorrow!


We definitely need to see exactly what you're doing - the exercises, sets, and reps each day - before we can offer useful info.

Training five days in a row isn't necessarily too much to recover from; tons of guys, myself included, train five days in a row; but it absolutely depends on what you're doing each day.

In your previous thread, where you posted your picture, you mentioned part of your program:

"Usually my sets consist of reps of 10-8-6. I go along adding more weight each time. First I do back, then chest. I do some abs then. After the abs I do biceps and triceps. After that I finish with bench pressing again. The whole routine takes me 1 1/2 Hour. 30min of Cardio and 1 hour of weightlifting."

Based on that, which is a very limited snapshot, I'm thinking three things. 1 - Where the sweet holy hell is the leg work?, 2 - Unless you're specifically trying to increase your bench press, I can't think of why you'd bench again at the end of the workout, and 3 - 30 minutes of cardio everyday is probably more than you "need" unless you're specifically trying to lose fat or intentionally working on sports conditioning, and even then, I probably wouldn't go about it that way.


yea I wouldn't do chest after back either. that defeats the whole purpose of using the back to stabilize the shoulders for pressing movements.


Hey guys!

In my previous post I had just started going to they gym.. I was still "winging it". I don't kick myself for it, I just have to keep learning :slightly_smiling:

This is my new workout program, whenever two exercises are "together" in the same paragraph it means I do them in a row without any rest between:


Barbell Brench Press 4x12
Dumbbell bench press 4x15

Barbell Incline Shoulder Raise 4x12
Dumbbell Lying Fly 4x20

Dumbbell Straight Arm Pullover 3x20

With Exercises that concern the Barbell I add weight and do less amount of reps each time. Though with the Dumbbells I leave the weight and amount of reps the same.


Barbell Military Press 3x12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3x12

Deltoid Reverse Fly 4x15
Dumbbell Front Raise 4x15

With Exercises that concern the Military press and the Deltoid's I add weight and do less amount of reps each time. Though with the Dumbbells I leave the weight and amount of reps the same.


Leg Press Quads 3x15
Leg Press Hamstrings 3x15
Leg Press Calves 3x15

Leg Curl 3x15

With every exercise I add weight and lower the amount of reps.


Oar workout 3x15

Wide Grip rear Pulldown 4x15
Close Grip front Pulldown (palms facing towards me) 4x15

V bar pulldown 3x12

With every exercise I add weight and lower the amount of reps.


Barbell Curl 4x12
Triceps Cable Machine 4x12

Hammer Biceps Dumbbell Curl 3x15
Variant of Triceps Cable machine, couldn't find the exact name 3x15

Biceps Cable Machine 3x20
FreeWeight Triceps exercies, couldn't find the name in english either 3x20

With every exercise I add weight and lower the reps, except the Hammer Curl's and the Tricep Freeweight.

I hope you understand what I'm talking about! Im only allowed to rest 1 minute max between sets. If I'm really tired 1:30 but that't it.

I always end up the day with some ab-workouts. I usually spend 45 minutes at the gym each day.

Thx for the help!


My gym leader wrote this program for me.


There's a few reasons why I think that training's very likely crap (1 muscle group a day):

1) As a beginner you can recover in very little time (relatively speaking) so it's pointless waiting up to a week before you train a bodypart again - most peoples muscles return to previous state by the time training comes round again.

2) Extra workload (sets/exercises per bodypart) doesn't seem to lead to extra results for a beginner; extra weight on the bar does. Yes, it may hurt more the next day doing higher volume per bodypart (e.g. like in advanced routines), but in my experience with others and remembering my past as a newbie; hammering a bodypart with loads a of sets/exercises does nothing more than doing a low-moderate amount with a little more frequency does.

It could all be summed up by saying this - if you're a beginner, do a beginner routine :stuck_out_tongue:


Oh, you posted the routine while I posted...but my opinion still stands :slight_smile:


Thx for the reply Its_just_me, I'll take that into account!

Just to get things straight, you are saying I should do more muscles each day and do a higher amount of reps?


What Pokemon gym do you train at?


If I were you I would just get on a proven program. Read up on the following:

Juggernaught method
starting strength
texas method
and read the "do this routine instead of that dumb one" thread in the bodybuilding thread


I train at the Rock Gym... the Water gym is throwing offer's my way.. but they are pussies :slight_smile:


He is saying you should follow a beginner's program. In time, you'll be able to answer those questions for yourself.


A beginners program usually has you doing a basic split (limited exercises per bodypart) while training muscles a little more frequently (e.g. 2-3x/week) to take advantage of quick strength gains that can be made. So yeah, you should do more bodyparts in a session, and cut down the exercises per bodypart (just until newbie gains stop).

Beginners don't need too much stimulus to grow, so they can get away with less, and as a result they can recover faster. If you squatted/benched 1x a week adding weight to the bar each time versus squatting/benching 2x a week while adding weight to the bar each time; which method do you think you'll get bigger legs/chest from?

When you get much stronger and have adapted (milked the newbie gains), you'll need longer to recover and more bodypart focus (where the more split routines come in).

Reps/sets aren't THAT important (especially as a beginner where most things "work"), what matters more, especially at this stage, is weight added to the bar, or extra reps with same weight (stronger = bigger). Most get good results from somewhere between 15-30 total reps/exercise.

Example rep/set schemes (first 2-3 sets are not maximal effort, just last one[s]):

4-5 sets x 5-6 reps
3-4 sets x 6-8 reps
3 sets x 8-10 reps


If you wanted more strength, you'd sway more towards lessor total reps (e.g. 15 or less). As a beginner, I feel it's better to keep reps in the medium range (e.g. 5-10 reps). Hard to go wrong with that.

If your strength is really bad (e.g. 120lbs squat or less), I'd go for a full body workout and milk it for a few months before splitting things up and doing bodyparts less frequently. Let me know if you want an example routine or anything...


good post, I also aggree that 2x a week for a beginner is great, the more you do a movement the better you get at it and the stronger you get at it so i think that would be a lot more useful


Thx! I would love a example routine.. i'll check the forums though to see what I can find.


Training the body over-all more frequently takes quite a bit more calories (especially considering your starting point). As you can imagine, gaining 20lbs+ over say 6-9 months is gonna have to come from somewhere (lots of calories/protein). It's like shoving a plant outside in the scorching sun (higher frequency training) and expecting it to grow without adequate water/nutrients (food). So yeah, keep that in mind probably more-so than your routine right now (no weight gain over the weeks = no muscle gains).

There's plenty programs to chose from, but as you do any of them, keep in mind the fundamentals of muscle growth - the overcompensation principle and progressive over-load (picture attached). Basically, the training stimulus needs to be adequate enough (enough volume and intensity, which was covered in my last post), and the sessions need to be spaced out adequately. Train a bodypart too soon and it won't have had enough time to recover and adapt (so you won't get stronger), whereas train a bodypart too far apart (too much time between "hits") and it overcompensates and returns to previous state (which again leads to small/zero strength gains). It's very simply and not as complicated as I've made it sound (lol) - whatever frequency allows you get stronger on, that's the one to use for you.

If you chose to use a split to bring strength up really quickly, do a full body routine 3x/week like this (M/W/F alternate sessions A and B):

Session A:
Squat 3 sets of 5 reps
Chinups 3-4 sets of 5 reps
Bench Press 3-4 sets of 5 reps
Seated shoulder press 2-3 sets of 5 reps
Calf raise 5 sets of 5 reps

Session B:
Deadlifts 1 set of 5 reps (work up/ramp up to 5)
Lunges 2 sets of 12 reps
Dumbbell rows 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Incline press 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Barbell curls 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps
Skull crushers/PJR's 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps

You'd only do that for 3-9 months (just until you can't add ~5lbs or 2% to the bar each session)

Other than that, you can do the Upper/Lower split 4x/week


Mondays and Thursdays/Fridays (lower)

Squat - 3x5reps
Deadlift - 1x5 reps - (ramp up/work up to this)
Leg press - 2x10-12 reps
Lunges - 2x10-12 reps
Standing calf raise - 5x6 reps
Seated calf raise - 2x12 reps

Tuesdays and Fridays/Saturdays (upper)

Flat bench press - 3x6-8 reps
Incline bench press - 2x8-10 reps
Dumbbell rows - 3x10-12 reps
Chinups - 2x8-12 reps
Barbell curl - 2-3x8-10 reps
Skull crushers/PJR's - 2-3x6-8 reps

After strength stagnates on either of the above routines (e.g. after 9 months or so) and it's not because you're not eating enough (gaining solid weight), or if you just want more muscle specialisation, move onto something more split like a 3 way (e.g. push/pull/legs) done 4-6x/week and do more exercises/bodypart (e.g. 3/bodypart).



Yeah, IMO, it's one of the reasons many powerlifters laugh at newbie bodybuilders and get a bad impression of bodybuilding - they see some poor guy with an advanced routine, racing from one machine/station to the next, no real intensity, not enough opportunities to increase weight, all volume, sweating/pumping away (while posing every so often lol) and spinning their wheels going nowhere every week...