T Nation

Days To Train

Hello all,

Just wondering if its fine to train 7 days of the week. Say…
Day 1 - Shoulders and back
Day 2 - Biceps and Triceps
Day 3 - Chest and Abs
Day 4 - Legs
Day 5 - Continue from Day 1
Day 6 - Continue from Day 2
Day 7 - Continue from Day 3

and it just cycles…

Thanks.

WAY TOO MUCH!

You can achieve all your strength and size goals in 3-4 weight training sessions per week. Anything more is a blow to your recovery, future progress and most likely setting you up for injuries, burnout and other problems.

When I first started training, I was on the “six-day-a-week” plan (chest/shoulders, tris; legs; back/bis, repeat). It was cool for those first six months of training, as I put on a few pounds and got leaner. But it only caused me to gain a limited amount of size and strength.

All the coaches on here will tell you that 3-4 days is plenty. Read some of the articles written by Chad Waterbury, Danny John and others. You’ll see that “less is more” in this case.

[quote]neb wrote:
Hello all,

Just wondering if its fine to train 7 days of the week. Say…
Day 1 - Shoulders and back
Day 2 - Biceps and Triceps
Day 3 - Chest and Abs
Day 4 - Legs
Day 5 - Continue from Day 1
Day 6 - Continue from Day 2
Day 7 - Continue from Day 3

and it just cycles…

Thanks.[/quote]

Rest is as/more important to building muscle as the workout.

This workout is not ideal for a couple of reasons.

I would say first and foremost–the rest factor. Your body requires this time to heal and grow.

Second, a whole day to train arms is too much. If you want to do individual arm work, that is fine. It may be more beneficial to you to throw some tris with back and shoulders and work your bis with chest and abs. Some will say you don’t need to do individual exercises for arms, but a few sets with your big body parts is not harmful.

A better split might look like this

M–back,shoulders,tris
T–legs
W–chest,abs,bis
TH–off
F–(= M)
SA–(= T)
SU–(= W)

Even this type of split could easily lend itself to overtraining. If you really want to workout this much you will need to be very disciplined in your volume on each day. You will need to cycle heavier weights and higher reps between workouts during the week.

Most people on this site don’t workout this often, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done or even that it is not beneficial. Especially for a beginner. You will need to eat ALOT, and get 8-9 good hours of sleep per night to maintain this regimine and make gains.

Get started and see what works. Read through the articles here and try to understand the benefit of–less is more–when it comes to iron sometimes. But again, especially for a beginner–have at it. Use good form and keep an eye on your volume and progress and how your body feels. If you begin to feel the effects of overtraining, back off IMMEDIATELY.

Overtraining:

Lack of motivation
stalled or backwards gains
injury
lack of sleep-difficulty sleeping

Thanks guys,

I have been overtraining from what you tell me overtraining is. I don’t feel i’m gaining anymore. I’ve been writing down what I lift in the gym and noticed I havn’t been moving up anymore, seem to be stuck. And I have been tired at the gym right when I get there. I’ll read up on CW’s articles and rearrange my workout schedule.

thanks for the info guys.

When it comes to workouts like this, too many people do what this guy is doing. They directly work every muscle on the upper body, but for the lower body they have one day, “legs”. If bodybuilding is your game, you’re going to need a bit more “legs” training incorperated, it should be equal to your upper body.

neb

If you really feel like you have been overtraining, take at least 2 weeks off of the iron. This will give you time to read a bunch of stuff on here and figure out what your immediate goals are and what type of plan might get you there.

Remember though, alot of these ‘plans’ are geared towards guys with some experience. You may not have the base for some.

Just try to get something that gets you to the gym 3-4 times a week to lift and hits your major body parts 2 times a week. Some form of Chad Waterbury’s --Total Body Training would probably be a great start.

[Mod Note: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=508031]

read it over several times–get a good feel for it because I’m quite sure it will be a new style of lifting for you.

Remember most of all, rest and food will be your best friends and absolutely necessary for you to make it through such a demanding program.

Look forward to hearing from you, and showing us your progress. Feel free to pop on with any question or concerns.

[quote]neb wrote:
Hello all,

Just wondering if its fine to train 7 days of the week. Say…
Day 1 - Shoulders and back
Day 2 - Biceps and Triceps
Day 3 - Chest and Abs
Day 4 - Legs
Day 5 - Continue from Day 1
Day 6 - Continue from Day 2
Day 7 - Continue from Day 3

and it just cycles…

Thanks.[/quote]

It is “fine” if cycled properly (i.e. maybe a 2 week stress or “shock” cycle, used once a year or so). Also, the above split could be used more often if volume and intensity are cycled properly, and if the workouts are kept to around 45 min and under. For example, are days 1, 2 and 3 just like 5, 6, and 7, or are the days alternated into feeder/active recovery workouts intended to recover you and raise work capacity, and higher intensity workouts inteded to cause size and strength increases? That is just an example that illustrates the importance of cycling volume and intensity to use this type of split to your advantage.

Now, I realise I am playing Devil’s advocate a bit, as the original poster’s split and intentions probably refelcts something best suited for an Arnold book than anything else, however, I feel that nothing should be discredited as most things when applied properly have merit.

At any case if your over-trained take some time off and evaluate what your doing. What do they say about doing the same thing and expecting different results?

Cheers

you can work your abs out more though i believe. the recovery time for them is shorter then most of the other muscles. can anyone back me up on this?

[quote]neptune wrote:
you can work your abs out more though i believe. the recovery time for them is shorter then most of the other muscles. can anyone back me up on this?[/quote]

Provided your leg days include heavy squats and deadlifts, you won’t need to add too much extra in the way of ab work.

I believe that you could train everyday, or at least 6 days a week on a program like that, simply because in my book, half of what you are doing is wasted.

You have a whole day dedicated to arms, which is a waste of time. Then straight after arm day, you train your chest. How can you have a heavy chest day if your triceps are fried? So this is another day that is wasted. So in your week long program, you are wasting about 4 out of 7 days.

You can train the entire body twice a week without any problems, but you have to be a bit smarter with your exercise selection and timing. Take at least a week off and then try TBT or even a push/pull program, and see how it goes.

[quote]Massif wrote:
I believe that you could train everyday, or at least 6 days a week on a program like that, simply because in my book, half of what you are doing is wasted.

You have a whole day dedicated to arms, which is a waste of time. Then straight after arm day, you train your chest. How can you have a heavy chest day if your triceps are fried? So this is another day that is wasted. So in your week long program, you are wasting about 4 out of 7 days.

You can train the entire body twice a week without any problems, but you have to be a bit smarter with your exercise selection and timing. Take at least a week off and then try TBT or even a push/pull program, and see how it goes.[/quote]

Nicely Put, Massif. I fully agree.

TB

To paraphrase Ian King…you CAN train like that, but do you NEED to?

Your goal should be to identify the MINIMUM amount of work required to achieve the desired result.

You might be surprised by how little is needed to make gains. I know I was.

I read what everyone said, and I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here, but I was in the same boat as you 4 years ago when I was into lifting. I was following just about the same scheme and I mean I was getting results…slowly, but I was getting results.

I actually took a few years off and a few months ago, we decided we had the extra money to join the gym…so we did. I started lifting like I used to, then I remembered this site a couple weeks into it. I came on here and asked just like you and realized I was over-training as well. I took the next week off and researched.

Remember…less is more (you should still feel pain no doubt about it, but the good pain). I used to lift back, then the next day biceps…My muscles were still sore, but I pushed myself through it…I was killing my body.

Anyway…I feel a ton better about it now and can really feel my strength growing…and muscles I never had before are starting to appear with a fullness I’ve never had…it’s nice.

Anyway…here’s how I’m doing it (it might seem slow, but when I’m in the gym, I don’t mess around)…

Day 1: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps (hit chest hard, shoulders medium, and then I do one set just for triceps).

Day 2: off

Day 3: Legs/Abs/Lower back (I focus on the good stuff like squats, but every now and then I take it easy and do leg curls and so on – I do abs first – I usually throw in a set of those whatever they are for the lower back – they really stretch me out and make me feel good, and they hit the hams too because they’re already sore).

Day 4: Back/Biceps/Forearms (hit the back hard – pullups, rows etc – then I do something like reverse curls because my bi’s are already really sore – then I do forearms…a lot of people don’t do them at all, but I really like to give them a good pump)

Day 5: off

REPEAT

It works really well. I’m doing a ton less ‘strictly tri/bi’ work and my arms have to be a ton bigger than they were before…it’s nice…although sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough (because of the way I used to feel before from lifting) – but the next day I’m always sore and it feels good.

My chest has always been a tough spot for me. My shoulders dominate my upper body. So I’ve been pre-fatiguing my chest before benching by doing flyes first REALLY slowly, then benching. Of course, you have to leave your ‘macho attitude’ at the door because you’ll be benching less than you were before, but it works great.

Sorry if I rambled, but you sound like you might be in the same place as I was. Just thought I’d share some of the stuff I picked up while getting back into things. Hope that helps you.

Thanks again for the info guys. I hit the gym yesterday following the link I was given cpl logs above, after the workout it felt good in a good way. But today, I don’t feel sore. When I first started working out, I felt sore for cpl days, but now, depending what i workout, that muscle group is sore the the following day, i feel fine. Is this normal or should I always feel sore the next day? I lift till failure as well. I’m on protien/creatine, dont know if that makes a difference in recovery. Today (rest day), i dont feel anything (sore), I actually want to hit the gym again today, but will try the program to see if any changes occur. Is there any good articles you guys recommend for nutrition as well?

Thanks for all the help and info again. Greatly appreaciated

[quote]neb wrote:
Thanks again for the info guys. I hit the gym yesterday following the link I was given cpl logs above, after the workout it felt good in a good way. But today, I don’t feel sore. When I first started working out, I felt sore for cpl days, but now, depending what i workout, that muscle group is sore the the following day, i feel fine. Is this normal or should I always feel sore the next day? I lift till failure as well. I’m on protien/creatine, dont know if that makes a difference in recovery. Today (rest day), i dont feel anything (sore), I actually want to hit the gym again today, but will try the program to see if any changes occur. Is there any good articles you guys recommend for nutrition as well?

Thanks for all the help and info again. Greatly appreaciated[/quote]

Being sore (DOMS) is not an indication of muscle growth, so don’t sweat it if you don’t feel anything. Progress is what counts, not “muscle feeling”. As far as wanting to hit the gym again, training less usually increases your enthusiasm by keeping you fresher.

Nutrionally speaking, there are about 42,000 options just on T-Nation. The most popular ones are Massive Eating by John Berardi, T-Dawg 2.0, and the Super Alpha Mega Huge Diet (where you only eat meat from carnivores that you kill with your bare hands). I’m not going to recommend one to you, as I don’t know what body type you are, or how you respond to different macronutrients. Just read the eating programs and the nutritional information on here and use a bit of your common sense as to what will work for you.

I lifted chest today…and my chest feels like it’s on fire.

I think you’re supposed to be sore the next day. If you’re not, your either not working hard enough or your muscles have adapted to what you’re putting them through. You can change exercises all you want or hit something from different angles, but if you’re ALWAYS doing 8 reps and 8 is failure, your muscles will adapt.

I change things up…sometimes I’ll do 12 reps, sometimes I’ll do it so I reach failure at 8…just depends what mood I’m in.

I have noticed though that my muscles are always more sore on the days where I’m doing 12 reps or so…I don’t know why.

Also, change your tempo. Sometimes lift less weight and concentrate more on the negatives. Sometimes pause in the middle on the way down, etc. Always be changing things up is my opinion.

[quote]
[Mod Note: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=508031][/quote]

It’d be nice for the links that mods provide to not include the trailing ] in the URI.

[quote]deapee wrote:
I think you’re supposed to be sore the next day. If you’re not, your either not working hard enough or your muscles have adapted to what you’re putting them through.[/quote]

You are misinformed and shouldn’t be giving others advice.

Soreness is not an indicator of progress. I know that many think otherwise due to what they read in the muscle magazines (remember, the stuff written is usually made up and not an accurate portrayal of those featured in the articles, especially the pro bodybuilders).

In fact, you should not seek soreness in your training, nor should you train to failure or seek fatigue.

I believe it was Charles Staley that mentioned that if you want to be sore, then be a sparring partner for Mike Tyson. Sure, you’ll be sore the next day, but will you be any better?

If you train for soreness, fatigue or failure, you are pushing your body further down the hill and it may not recover. So you may not come back bigger or stronger because supercompensation will never happen.

Although I agree that you can change things up frequently (sets, reps, tempo, etc.), I feel that that is better suited for more advanced trainees. Someone who has not been training, or has trained less than a year, will not need to change things that often. In fact, every 4-6 weeks is often enough.

[quote]deapee wrote:
I lifted chest today…and my chest feels like it’s on fire.

I think you’re supposed to be sore the next day.[/quote]

DOMS is caused during the eccentric (lowering) phase of a lift, not the contracting phase. While there can be good benefits to musculature in the lowering phase, muscle contraction is where most of the good shit happens.

Yes, “Good shit” is a technical term.

I agree that one should not strive for muscle soreness, as there are better indicators of progress, but it’s not a crime to be sore.

Just don’t base the quality of your workout on it. Let your stregth in subsequent workouts be your best guide to the progress you are making.

You are keeping a training log, right?!