T Nation

How often should I train?

Hi, I was wondering how often I should train. I have a four day split where I hit chest, then arms then legs and then back. I usually take a day off and then start over. Should I continue this or should I hit every thing once a week only, like chest every Monday, etc. I am trying to gain LBM. Whats the best strategy? I am 171 lbs at 5’9.

Also, I am thinking about starting creatine. Does anybody have any suggestions as to what types or brands are good.

ok, a good training program is the anti-bodybuilding hypertrophy program which can be found here: http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/244anti.jsp

you want to make sure you are eating enough to grow, so read these massive eating articles:

as for creatine read this article:

spend time to learn those articles, then come back and ask a few more questions

Here’s an article called “Game Plan: How Often Should I Work Out?” Sounds like just what you’re looking for, huh?

As far as your first ? that is a tough one. Are you getting results from the program? If not I would suggest checking out one of the programs outlined in the mag. Look under the frequently asked ?'s and there are links to many great programs. Just pick one that seems to fit your goals and give it a go, or come on back with ?'d about the particular program.

Creatine? Just stick with plain old micronized creatine. Dont fall for the supped up, super fast acting, carb loaded B.S. You are just paying for added junk that actually has the potential to be harmfull in some cases.

Hope that helps,

Hey, thanks for the input. I’ll have to check out some of those articles.
Its just I always hear of people training monday this, tuesday that, etc. I didn’t know how productive it would be to hit the same muscle group within the same week. Thanks, and I’ll do some reading.

There is no best strategy, there all good. Just use them wisely.

it really depends, if you want to get all scientific and shit you can work the same muslce group 3-4 times a week as prescribed by waterbury.

by using maximal weights(1-3rm) you train fast twitch primarily, then next session do higher rep work to hit the slow twitch fibers while your fast twitch regenerate, next hit your fast twitch again 2-3 days later with ~50% 1rm at max accelerations.

personally i’ve never tried it. while it seems feasable, it also seems like you can overtrain easily

Trial and error is your best bet. What works well for some may not be the best route for you. I, personally, train each muscle group once a week with good results. We also hit the muscles we work on Monday again on Saturday and rotate the others. It goes something like this:
Monday: Chest
Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: shoulders
Friday: Arms
Saturday: Chest
Sunday: Rest

On the following Monday, we start with back and train it again on Saturday. Everything rotates one spot each week for 5 weeks. The exercises used each day can vary but we try to stay heavy with high intensity (30-45 second rest between sets). this has worked well for all 4 members of our group.

Again, each person is different as to what they will respond to. I hope this helps a little.

For what it is worth, this is what I typically do. I cycle these routines every couple weeks.
Don’t train more than 2 days in a row.

Mon: Chest, Bis
Tues: Legs, Forearms
Wed: Off
Thur: Back, Tris
Fri: Off
Sat: Arms, Abs
Sun: Off

Mon: Vertical Push Pull
Tues: Quads, Calves
Wed: Off
Thur: Horizontal Push Pull
Fri: Hams, Glutes, Calves
Sat: Off
Sun: Arms, Abs or Off

Again, thanks for the responses. After reading the Anti BodyBuilding Hypertrophy article, I have to say, wow. It is quite a shock and kind of hard to swallow. Has anyone tried ABBH and had sucess with it?

Less sets, more frequently works the best for me. Right now I am training the full body with an AM/PM split every other day. I use primarily compound movements with about 3 sets per major bodypart on average and no more than 1 set for bi’s and tri’s. I alternate between two different workouts for variety. I go from 12 reps the first week then 8,6 and finally 4 reps. I increase the number of sets as I decrease the number of reps. For example, during the week of 12’s, I may only do 1 or 2 sets per bodypart but that will increase to 4 or 5 sets in the 4 reps range.

As several people have pointed out, you really just have to try different things and see what works best for you.

In my own personal experience, I usually train each bodypart once a week for awhile (usually several months.)After that, I switch to training each part more often, i.e. Big Boy Basics, or ABBH. When I started this, I noticed the gains really picked up, and as they finally leveled off, I switched back to once a week and the gains started again. This keeps it fresh for me, so I don’t start dreading hitting the gym.

And of course diet can make a big difference also. It’s probably the most important factor affecting your recovery ability. Well, diet and rest, but these tend to be overlooked so often when they really can be the deciding factors for how often and with what intensity you can train, and what kinds of gains you can make.

Sorry the post is kind of long, hope it makes a little sense.

I agree with loopfitt!

Travis, ABBH was picked by the editors of T-mag to be the best training program of last year and most who’ve tried it agree. Give it a go!

I have decided to do the ABBH program for the next month (as I assume thats the right time frame). I will post later on about my progress. Thanks for all the help and info.
-peace, T