T Nation

How Many Days a Week?

I’ve been working each muscle group twice a week because this seems to be the common recommendation. However some people recommend three days a week. If I switch to three days a week will I get more gains or will they be relatively the same?

Also, will things like running and jumping rope interfere with recovery on non leg days?

What are you currently doing? What are your stats? How long have you been lifting?

Not to sound like a broken record, but a program like Starting Strength or one of the 5x5 programs might be good for you, if you’re just starting out.

How does your diet look?

Running and jump-roping on your ‘off’ days shouldn’t hinder your efforts at all, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

Have you read the stickies at the top of this forum? :slight_smile:

Good luck!

[quote]darwin420 wrote:
What are you currently doing? What are your stats? How long have you been lifting?

Not to sound like a broken record, but a program like Starting Strength or one of the 5x5 programs might be good for you, if you’re just starting out.

How does your diet look?

Running and jump-roping on your ‘off’ days shouldn’t hinder your efforts at all, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

Have you read the stickies at the top of this forum? :slight_smile:

Good luck![/quote]

No, I’m not just starting out, a couple years ago I was doing the every other day thing until I started noticing that people recommended twice or sometimes even once a week. I’m basically just wondering if the gains from 3 times a week is worth the extra effort. My knowledge and workouts are a lot different now so I’m not sure how the results compare.

And I mentioned the leg thing because when I jumprope I feel my calves burn. I just want to be sure that it won’t interfere with my recovery.

Well, you can do a body-part split and hit each muscle once a week, but I haven’t seen a once a week workout. Heck, twice a week seems like too little, unless you’re primarily training for running/cycling and whatnot (as lifting would only be complimentary to your sport).

I wouldn’t worry about the jump-roping. Your calves will get used to it, and it shouldn’t affect your recovery at all.

I mean each group twice a week. i.e.

day 1 chest, tris, shoulders

day 2 back, bis, abs, forearms

day 3 legs, glutes

day 4 1

day 5 2

day 6 3

day 7 rest

the more training isn’t always better. your body grows while you’re sleeping and eating. you need to recover fully or else you will not grow or get your desired results. i would suggest doing mostly compound movements and listening to your body in terms of recovery. your body may have adapted to your body part specific program. don’t be afraid to mix things up. lift smart and eat clean.

[quote]Bujutsuka wrote:
I mean each group twice a week. i.e.

day 1 chest, tris, shoulders

day 2 back, bis, abs, forearms

day 3 legs, glutes

day 4 1

day 5 2

day 6 3

day 7 rest[/quote]

Without knowing the volume and intensity it’s impossible to tell you if 3x/wk is too much. You need to give some specific info on your workouts if you want good answers to your question.

heres my sample workout im going to play around with see if it works I did a 5x5 where it was 3 days heavy in a row and I added that up to where I was doing my thing 5 days
worked for a few weeks but then I was so sore I was shut down for a week already,legs mainly gave out

day 1 upper body pressing
day 2 legs (calves and leg presses)not so heavy
day 3 cardio/swiming light day
day 4 upper body pulling(includes back)
day 5 squats
day 6 and day 7 sleep and eat at brazilian BBQ buffets

I notice if I work 2 days in a row the second day is lighter cause I am hurt from the day before and does me really nothing because I go as heavy as i can untill near failure or to failure up to 8 reps of my working set.
all warm up is still my trusty 5x5 the full work out.

[quote]Bujutsuka wrote:
I mean each group twice a week. i.e.
[/quote]

Hahaha… my bad, sorry. I should have figured that’s what you meant.

Total body training = each group 3x a week.
Upper/Lower = each group 2x a week.
Standard Full Split = each group 1x a week. Sometimes closer to 2x.

Depending on your style or particular goals ti changed the frequency that you will hit a particulular muscle group.

I prefer an upper/lower split, but that is just me.

Just increased the frequency that you are hitting a muscle while maintianing a high degree of volume and intensity may hurt you progress. More is not always better.

What are you current goals, and what does your training look like.

Running and jumpnig rope shouldn’t interfere with recover unless you are doing a lot.

I think Zag hit the nail on the head, but he forgot the conclusion-

[quote] Zagman wrote:
Total body training = each group 3x a week.
Upper/Lower = each group 2x a week.
Standard Full Split = each group 1x a week. Sometimes closer to 2x.[/quote]

Frequency is indirectly proportional to intensity x volume. You can’t hit your arms 3x a week with 20sets each time and expect it to grow. You can DECIMATE your arms… and then give them a week to recover. Or you can just five sets of squats… and come back two days later and do it again.

I’ve been doing Rippetoe M-W-F for the last couple of weeks but I’m dying to hit up the gym on my off days even when I’m sore, any recommendations? Just hold myself back?

As some others have mentioned- we need to know your personal goals (strength?hypertrophy?athletic performance?) before we can give you a truelly informed opinion.

Also, read through the volumes of training articles on this site- there’s just so much info to chew on. All of your questions may get answered with a little research.

so what are your goals???

light biking or walking or jogging even helps with sore legs and back.

I would say do whatever you feel like doing but hold back some so tha ton your m-w-f working days you will not stop your progress.

as long as you get heavier on those days your all good once you stall out a bit on progress just back off on the extra stuff.

[quote]B3 wrote:
As some others have mentioned- we need to know your personal goals (strength?hypertrophy?athletic performance?) before we can give you a truelly informed opinion.

Also, read through the volumes of training articles on this site- there’s just so much info to chew on. All of your questions may get answered with a little research.

so what are your goals???

[/quote]

My goals are basically just consistent progression which so far I haven’t had much problem with. I get little if any soreness so I’m basically just wondering if anyone who has been in my position has had good results upping to every other day. I think I’m just gonna give it a shot. If my gains are the same or insignifigant I’ll go back to my present routine.

[quote]Otep wrote:
I think Zag hit the nail on the head, but he forgot the conclusion-

Zagman wrote:
Total body training = each group 3x a week.
Upper/Lower = each group 2x a week.
Standard Full Split = each group 1x a week. Sometimes closer to 2x.

Frequency is indirectly proportional to intensity x volume. You can’t hit your arms 3x a week with 20sets each time and expect it to grow. You can DECIMATE your arms… and then give them a week to recover. Or you can just five sets of squats… and come back two days later and do it again.[/quote]

For “Upper/Lower = each group 2x a week” do the number of sets and reps for the week stay the same for the two workouts.

I was adding 10 pounds to every work out doing my 5x5

I am still adding 5 pounds every workout but I am also doing some max effort body part stuff after I get in my 5x5

[quote]Digity wrote:
For “Upper/Lower = each group 2x a week” do the number of sets and reps for the week stay the same for the two workouts.[/quote]

The point of the statment was that there is a trade-off between frequency, intensity, and volume, rather than giving hard-and-fast rules.

So uh… sure. Or not. Your choice.

[quote]Bujutsuka wrote:
I mean each group twice a week. i.e.

day 1 chest, tris, shoulders

day 2 back, bis, abs, forearms

day 3 legs, glutes

day 4 1

day 5 2

day 6 3

day 7 rest[/quote]

If I understand you correctly, you are working out six days in a row without taking a break. If that is correct, you need to insert a rest day between day 3 and 4. If you are working out with sufficient intensity, your body needs a break every few days in order to recover. Remember, just because you aren’t working the same muscles every day, you are working your nervous system. Recovery is critical.

But I suspect overtraining is not really the issue here. As a solution to stalled progress, I think instead of increasing frequency, you need to focus on increasing intensity. You haven’t given much indication of how you train, but by your training frequency, I would guess you train lighter weights with high reps. I would suggest lifting weights 80-95% of your max in low rep (3-5 reps) sets (5-8 sets) on the core lifts. If you are lifting hard enough you will soon realize the importance of recovery.

To sum it up, don’t lift more often LIFT HARDER!!!

The question you need to ask is:

Am I making gains with my current program?

If the answer is yes, then continue with what you have been doing.

If the answer is no, then try something different.