T Nation

Frequency = Achey?

Hello All, Long time lurky first time poster

I’m not quite 35 but I’m getting there, and you all should have the experience necessary to answer this one.

I’m generally a Full-Body lifter, every other day. But my knees, shoulders, and elbows never feel good and it’s getting progressively worse over the last few years. Had a knee scoped a few months ago, bursitus in my right elbow, shoulders that are getting creakier by the day.

Changed up rep schemes to primarily 8 - 12 (I prefer 3 - 6), I’ve backed off volume as well, but still no dice.

Will be moving to a once a week style in the coming weeks since obviously something has to change (legs, off, push, off, pull, maybe arms, off, repeat). I’m thinking that the lowered frequency will help lessen the burden on the joints. obviously the volume will go way up on that particular day, but then they get 6 days of rest.

What’s your thoughts on lowering frequency to help with joint issues? Does the high volume day make this a worse system since it overloads them, or does the long rest make up for it in your experiences?

Thanks!
E

Why are you doing full body lifts?

Are you foam rolling? What supps are you taking? What is your kcal intake?

This is going to be HIGHLY individual. I am a volume whore BUT I have learned what causes pain and what doesn’t. Once you figure that out you will be golden. If you keep an exercise that you love and mess with the rep schemes and still have pain then why keep the exercise. Volume and Progression are great, even at 36 (me), but the secret is the exercises not reps.

EDIT: Full body is ok I guess but not every other day. Find a good 3 day split and throw in some recovery based conditioning (depending on goals of course).

Thanks for the replies fellas.

Derek542 --> I’ve been involved with sports very consistently up until a couple years ago. Have to be efficent with lifting so that’s why Full-Body. Plus I enjoy it more, easier to fit in olympic variations, and I’ve always felt more body control/balance if I was doing a squat/dead variation 3 times a week. I’m a poor athlete so that really helped when I figured that one out.

I foam roll a few times a week, get 3200 - 3700 calories a day (gain fat quickly if I stick too close to 3700 for too long) and I take a multi and fish oil

Mateus --> you’re 100% right with getting rid of the lifts that don’t work for you, dips and skullcrushers are out!

Are you guys both body part once a weekers? Or are you more frequent than that? Notice any difference messing with Frequency at all?

I try to train each muscle group once every 14 days. My week is basically 14 days long which allows for recovery and I don’t feel burned out. I think the 7 day week in strength training is ruining peoples bodies. I’ve heard of hundreds of programs and every one is based off of the 7 day between muscle groups. You will not get weaker if you go beyond 7 days. Scientific studies that claim otherwise aren’t long enough to prove otherwise.

I’m 38 and high-frequency training based on heavy compound movements does not work for me at all. It’s a recipe for joint pain and sets me up for injuries.

I’ve gravitated towards body part splits based on unilateral DB and cable isolation work. On the surface, it sounds kind of weak. But I inject all sorts of intensity by adding special techniques like holds, drop-and-catch reps, super-slow reps, etc.

I end up training bodyparts about once every 3-5 days, depending on what my priority is.

This system is giving me some very nice results. I’ll throw my body a curve by switching it up to heavier work every once in a while, but I use it as a boost instead of my base training style.

[quote]fu7upj wrote:
Thanks for the replies fellas.

Derek542 --> I’ve been involved with sports very consistently up until a couple years ago. Have to be efficent with lifting so that’s why Full-Body. Plus I enjoy it more, easier to fit in olympic variations, and I’ve always felt more body control/balance if I was doing a squat/dead variation 3 times a week. I’m a poor athlete so that really helped when I figured that one out.

I foam roll a few times a week, get 3200 - 3700 calories a day (gain fat quickly if I stick too close to 3700 for too long) and I take a multi and fish oil

Mateus --> you’re 100% right with getting rid of the lifts that don’t work for you, dips and skullcrushers are out!

Are you guys both body part once a weekers? Or are you more frequent than that? Notice any difference messing with Frequency at all?

[/quote]

Experiment with lowered frequency. You will probably be surprised at how it will affect your training and how you feel.

You will obviously do what you want but if you triple your vegetable intake it might help. Search alkaline foods they are your friends. Acidity is a source of pain so lentils are your best protein source. 2 weekly WO will not generate more pain than 1 where you will do too much in my opinion. A 10 days break might be a plus. Maybe a month at 12-15 reps might help than try 12-10, maybe 12-8.
I am 55 and i use 12-10-8 weekly it was suggested to me and i love it. Instead of the big load stimulus you might try the short rests 25-75 sec. stimulus by building up fatigue over 5-6 sets per exercise.
All the best !

Update:

Into my 8th week of once a week body part Training:

Sunday: Legs
Tuesday: Chest (Pressing Movements)
Thursday: Back (Pulling Movements)
Saturday: Arms
The other days are off if the time isn’t there or are light cardio/sled work days

Feel great. Less frequency is definitely helping the joints and allowing me to work in the 3 - 5 rep range for the first big movement, then 8 - 12 for the followup lifts (Groundbreaking Stuff HUH?!)

I was really worried moving to this style of training mainly because of weight gain (I get fluffy easily), but I’m pulling in around 3500 cals a day and have only gained 1 pound (it appears to be a good pound too). I’m guessing the once a week muscle destruction causes them to use more fuel through the week recovering? Figured squating and benching multiple times a week would help me burn more, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, surprised me…or it’s just something different and I’m still adapting, will find out down the road.

Thanks for the feedback guys!