5 Days a Week or 4 Days with One Double Session?

When I head to the office sometimes I get back home and I just dont want to lift weights.

Probably a stupid question but I’m going to ask it anyway.

I usually train 5 days a week. Lifting weights with cardio on all these 5 days.

As I’ve stated above would like merge two of the lifting days into one. Meaning I have 4 days lifting (double session) with 5 days of cardio remaining the same. Does this somehow delay results?

Not to any meaningful degree.


Why not just pick a good 4 day a week program and use the other day to just do some conditioning or more arms, you can never do enough arms. If you don’t feel like day 5 on any week then just drop it no issues.


Ditto to the two intelligent gentlemen above.

What’s your goal?

I would think of all of these as “sessions,” regardless of where in the day/ week they fall. So (assuming your cardio/ conditioning is hard), you’ve got 10 sessions a week. That’s a lot. You’d probably be better off coming down to 3-4 lifting sessions anyway. I like the idea of an easy day or conditioning day like @simo74 said.

As an aside on those “extra” days, CT calls them “gap” days - basically you do the curls and side raises and calves or whatever that you’re not killing during the main sessions and that don’t have a significant recovery cost. @T3hPwnisher once dropped a simliar concept about sticking cleans and box jumps and whatever into his conditioning sessions. Both of these ideas where huge for me: I get permission to do my screw around stuff without losing the forest for the trees with my main program.

If your cardio, on the other hand, is all walking or something simliar - that doesn’t count as another session; that’s just life. In that case, you don’t have to account for it in your week.

I think doing the math this way helps you figure out what you can recover from. For me, I can handle maybe 4 hard training “sessions” and two easy sessions per week right now. Those hard ones might be like a leg day or a hard interval conditioning session. Even if I did those back to back in the same two-hour block (God forbid), that would be two “sessions” for the week and I probably need the next day off. This equation helps me get the work in each week even if my schedule isn’t always the same.

The three answers above are all solid, and I can somewhat relate to your “problem”.

The best approach is likely what simo74 suggests: find a program that aligns with the number of days you’re willing to (or able to) commit to strength training. In my experience, these are most commonly 3, 4, or 5 days so you should have no issue there. I have typically run 531 programs with 3 or 4 days a week of strength training, and occasionally used programs with 2 days a week or 5 days a week.

I like what TrainForPain points out, too: the “gap” workout. I don’t know your strength level or training age, but for many strength training 3x a week (involving the big compound lifts) plus a day of more “accessory” work (DB, KB, higher rep pump work) is ideal. As pointed out CT advocates this approach and he really knows his stuff.

Now, I’ll give you my own personal approach these days. On training days, I do both strength and conditioning during a morning session (a tough crossfit workout), then add in accessory work later in the day. The accessory work is typically bodyweight work, DB work, and/or KB work. This is not overly strenuous (think 3 rounds of 12 reps of lat raises, DB curls, and dips or similar), but allows me to get in extra work and (vainly) keep a more jacked physique. I have taken to doing this 3x a week, then adding a dedicated strength day and a “wild card” day that may be conditioning at the track, a long run, a mountain bike ride, or whatever. I do prefer to take two days “off” each week, but these would still involve being active just not training.

Hope this helps. Also, as T3hPwnisher says, this type of detail will not really matter to any degree as long as you are hitting it consistently hard each week.

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