T Nation

Days Per Week?


I'm currently doing a 3 day a week total body program. Seems to be going well. But my questions is this: at 45 would might I actually get better results with a 2 day a week program, since recovery (especially at 45) is probably the most important aspect at this point?


short answer
You might.

Questions you should ask yourself

Do you feel overtrained
Do you exhibit any of the symptoms
How intense/taxing are your workouts
Are you changing exxercises and rep schemes


I'm gaining pretty well with 3 per week and feel good. And I feel confident that if I could get some better sleep that my gains would increase substatially more.

But I was really asking if it was actually better to go to 2 days per week for most of those over 45? I'm just looking for max hypertrophy and avoiding going catabolic...


and that's the answer I provided.

It is dependent on how you feel. We are all individuals and respond differently to the same protocol.

I am 40+ and do the 3 sometimes 4 a week workouts. Yes, I can tell at the end of some weeks I am fried. And if I'm still down Monday, I back off for a while.

play it by ear and don't be afraid to adjust on the fly. It may be more of a volume change than a times a week change. i just like to be in the gym, so I may back off just a tad on the volume as opposed to giving up a day in the gym.


Follow this logic out: the guy who trains the least gains the most. WTF? I'm 50+ and I train every gd day! I run 6 days/week (Sunday is church, so excuse me on that one), do pushups and Hindu squats throughout the day (I'm a teacher and do this between classes, sometimes with the students), and lift with the football players (and they're PUSSIES, I tell 'em -- just kidding)! Take your Alpha Male, put on your Androgel (yeah I'm on HRT), get off your ass and go for it! You're too f'ing young to worry about that 2 or 3 day/week crap!! Save that for when you're 80!


I appreciate the example you've provided and I hope I'm kicking butt at 50 like you are. But I actually love going to the gym and would probably go 6 days/week if I could. I was really wondering about the way to build max muscle.

And one of the reasons I asked is that I feel I was overtraining in certain ways and just wondered if anyone felt like they had gained more on 2 per week.

But, again, thx for the example...


Makes sense.

Out of curiosity, are you telling me you can full bore 4X/week sometimes?? I can't imagine that yet. I need those 48-64 hours...


haha. You're already sounding like Jack Lalanne over here...


haha! depends on what your goals and personal situation is. at only 38, and trying to gain weight and improve my squat a deadlift, i found myself going backwards and getting hurt all the time with the typical 4 day WSB split. i was doing quite a bit of gpp and conditioning with the sled as well. for about 6 months, i combined ME and speed in one session, and went to 2 day a week training, one bench day, and one squat/dl day. soon i found the injuries stopped happening so frequently, and i was breaking records that i set in my mid twenties.

now i find at 5'7" and 250lbs, my overall health is at risk, and i am backing off the PL and doing more of a crossfit/strongman type routine, and working out 5 days a week.


louie simmons, at over 60 years old, squats 900, benches 600 and pulls 700. he works out 12-14 times a week.


I had similar concerns and actually think that I was undertraining because I was too cautious about overdoing it at 53 years of age.
However, I recently came across an excellent program on this site - Time-Efficient Hypertrophy
by Joel Marion - and I have been making noticable gains over the past month and a half with its 5 day per week protocol.
I really would recommend this program to anyone who feels their 3 day a week training has become a little stale.
I've tried ABBH, Waterbury Method, and other 3 day a week programs over the past three years with ok results (after 50, gains seem to come rather slowly), but nothing has worked as well (for me) as Time-Efficient Hypertrophy.
It requires less than 30 minutes a day and doesn't leave you feeling wasted afterwards, yet the gains are beyond anything I've experienced since I seriously started working out when I turned 50. I highly recommended this for other old farts (young farts may benefit also).
Thanks for a great program Joel!


A compromise can be instead of a M-W-F you can do a M-Th-Sun-Wed-Sat routine which is every 3 days if you feel you are overtraing


Absolutely! The body always wants to stay in homeostasis. You've got to brutalize you're body to make it adapt (unless you're one of the blessed few).


I'm 46 and get in four to five times a week. Five is probably a bit much. It's all about your training and your ability to recover. Some weeks I'm just fried. Keep heavy leg and back days separated as best you can.

Most the guys I observe that go "crazy" (progressively heavy, forced reps every set, negatives, five+ days a week) tend to go up in smoke after a few months.


Full bore--being a relative term--yes. you can go hard and intense, but it is all about volume control. Guys working out 6 days a week are not doing full body workouts. Simple as that. If you love the gym and have the time you could go on three day splits with a day off in between and be in the gym 6 days. NOW--you will not be able to go to failure on those days. maybe one chest day is 8x4 the next will be 3x10. It will also be a different exercise.
You just have to find what works for you.
You can beat your body up or be just as macho as someone working out 6 days a week--working out 3 days a week. It's what you do with your time in the gym.
I have a young family as well, so I like to get to the gym, but 3-4 days works best for me.


Yea but he is also on anabolic steroids. He said himself that he could never keep up that volume for all those years if he wasn't. Not that I have a problem with it, but if you are looking to do it naturally, he may not be the best guy to use as a model.

And jesus man, 5'7 250! Your health is more important than a huge bench unfortunately. Good luck.


When I was lifting 5-6 times a week, I wasn't going anywhere and was guilty of overtraining. I cut back to 3-4 and use the WS4SB routine, and have got stronger and put on weight. Not that it will work for everyone, but cutting back helped me. I'm 21 and I couldn't handle 5 days a week.

However, I 2 workouts a week doesn't seem like enough You can't workout every other day? I was under the impression that 2x a week is maintaining, as if I dip below 3 I dont make gains, but can hold steady.


Maybe, maybe not FI
I agree that for most 2x a week would not be a mass gain cycle. But this poster is 45 and looking for hypertrophy. Who knows what's going to work for him.
For me the last 3 mos. or so at 3x per week has been excellent. I was 4x a week for the 6 mos before that. With winter coming, I will probably go back to a 4x week schedule just to shake it up. 2 body splits per week as opposed to 3 full bodies.


Here on Earth, there are 7 days per week.



and even God rested on one of them