T Nation

Days Per Week

I’ve been a lifter for years, on and off, and have gotten big, when your gait changes and you keep bumping into doorways, I’ve have injuries. I’ve been back into it for a while now and am about to go heavier on compound exercises so I’ve been reading some routines.

My question: I’ve read top research from universities and medical groups and none of the studies have ever shown getting maximum size by hitting a muscle once a week. Regardless of intensity or nutrition or anything. Most state optimal is every 48-72 hours. Sure, if you lift you’ll get stronger or bigger, depending on your routine. I’m surprised to find so many routines that swear once a week can give maximum results.

I also fail to understand some routines which state for instance, to increase weight each set and do the same reps every set. Unless implying go to failure somewhere in the 8-12 reps. Doesn’t make sense. Also, if I’m going to do 36 sets of anything in under an hour I submit you’re not going to be able to lift to failure, which I’ve always presumed is the norm for a set if your goal is size.

Any thoughts from the knowledgeable, vs. the back bench?

[quote]Mac29 wrote:
My question: I’ve read top research from universities and medical groups and none of the studies have ever shown getting maximum size by hitting a muscle once a week. Regardless of intensity or nutrition or anything. Most state optimal is every 48-72 hours. Sure, if you lift you’ll get stronger or bigger, depending on your routine. I’m surprised to find so many routines that swear once a week can give maximum results.[/quote]
As often happens, the actual results people have been seeing in the gym for years run counter to what “should” work in studies. Should be no surprise by now. Hitting a bodypart once a week has been building plenty of size and strength for decades. Yes, higher frequency training can also work just fine, but there’s nothing “wrong” with hitting things once a week. Volume, intensity, and recovery is certainly a factor though.

Not really sure what you’re trying to say here. Generally you can progress either by increasing the weight or doing more reps or, on days when everything’s running at 100%, both. That’s standard. Where did the 8-12 reps come from?

Training to muscular failure is not necessary for results. Training just shy of failure (1-2 reps in the tank) will generally allow more consistent progress session to session and month to month.

Also not sure where you got 36 sets from, but in any case, it’s not necessary to be in and out of the gym in under an hour. Better to get in and do what it takes to have a productive workout, rather than keep a distracted eye on the clock and head out at minute 59 with a sigh of relief.