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Back to Back Training?

Now, when i say Back to Back training, im referring to training a muscle group on two consecutive days. The idea is to train a muscle group again the very next day but with very light weight, higher reps, fewer sets, and very low intensity to help increase blood flow to the muscle tissue.

The theory behind this is that it will supply the recovering muscle cells with more nutrients such as amino acids and glucose, anabolic hormones, and more oxygen for faster recovery, while helping remove waste products and leading to a greater water flow from the blood supply into the muscle. From what i’ve seen, i’ve found no studies focusing on muscle growth directly related with this, but i did find one study where the cortisol response on the second workout day was significantly lower and the testosterone levels were slightly higher.

Thoughts or ideas on this?

Wouldnâ??t adding a â??high rep - low weightâ?? set to the end of your workout not do the same? Works for me… Why kick a guy when his down… Why work the muscle when it needs to recover… longer recovering time…?

Never tried that…

I did have my doubts about trying, for a given exercise, 8 sets of 4 at 80% 1RM followed the very next day by 10 sets of 3 at 85%, but found it to work out fine. (This occurs within the Smolov program.)

I think there is an inordinate degree of fear about training a muscle two days in a row. While I don’t think it is ordinarily the way to go, it shouldn’t be as verboten as some have it to be.

The layout is a 6-8 set, 15-20 rep workout, Bill. I have tried it 2x before, on a chest workout and once on a shoulders workout. If the muscle was severely broken down the first day with a high intensity workout (the point where your pecs hurt just from bouncing em), i found the 2nd workouts to be a bitch, lol and i mean seeing a big guy like me sitting there Cable pressing 40lbs and feeling a burn, BUT the following day, did not feel too broken at all.

Also Bill, from what i read, it is NOT something that should be employed often. Its recommended you do Back to backs no more than once a week, and that you should space it about 2 or 3 months between muscle groups. Having a 4 day split like i do, i could essentially cycle a 1 month on 1 month off and keep a 2month gap between muscle groups.

In my own experience it works well for recovery and I do it sometimes to get rid of soreness. I wouldn’t call the recovery work “training” though, there’s so little that’s actually needed.

There are better things to do with free time than pumping stuff to remove soreness, like training another muscle group heavy!

[quote]plateau wrote:
There are better things to do with free time than pumping stuff to remove soreness, like training another muscle group heavy![/quote]

Nah. Inbetween training other muscle groups heavy there will be plenty of time to work on recovery and prehab in order to be able to work the muscles even heavier, more often and for a longer time without injuries.

[quote]Akuma01 wrote:
The layout is a 6-8 set, 15-20 rep workout, Bill. I have tried it 2x before, on a chest workout and once on a shoulders workout. If the muscle was severely broken down the first day with a high intensity workout (the point where your pecs hurt just from bouncing em), i found the 2nd workouts to be a bitch, lol and i mean seeing a big guy like me sitting there Cable pressing 40lbs and feeling a burn, BUT the following day, did not feel too broken at all.

Also Bill, from what i read, it is NOT something that should be employed often. Its recommended you do Back to backs no more than once a week, and that you should space it about 2 or 3 months between muscle groups. Having a 4 day split like i do, i could essentially cycle a 1 month on 1 month off and keep a 2month gap between muscle groups.[/quote]

Yes. The Smolov routine, for example, does it only once per week, and for only three weeks in succession. And if discussing the full Smolov routine (as opposed to "Smolov Jr,: which is only those 3 weeks) it is only those 3 weeks out of 12 weeks, or 13 if counting the end taper.

And no one recommends doing Smolov’s back-to-back-to-back-to-back through the training year, either.

My point just was that it can be doable and productive, yet here in the West most of us have been pretty thoroughly programmed to fear this and to consider it an absolute to not train a muscle on consecutive days, except for calves and forearms widely being considered acceptable.

And with regard to the original question of the second workout being a much lighter one on the immediately following day, I agree that that should not be done all the time either, but that (contrary to fears) it can be doable and productive when used judiciously. Based on experiences of others: I haven’t myself done that.