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Is Once a Week Enough (Prof. X).

THis is more of a question for Professor X, but i guess i will ask everyone. When you train once a week do you feel like you work that muscle so hard on that one day that it takes a full 7 days to recover? or do you feel like maybe on the 5th you could work it again but do not for other reasons?

I ask because i used to train once ever 7 days and by the 4th or 5th day i really wanted to train it again, it just felt like it needed it. This lead me to try upper/lower splits and what not.

Someone advanced as PX might need 7 days to recover from the very heavy weights he uses… someone not at that level could train more frequently most likely.

If you could train a bodypart 2x a week and recover/progress, don’t you think you’d grow faster than doing it just once?

There is a point of diminishing returns with increasing frequency(past recovery/progression each session) but find what the most YOU can do is and do it, train that way till you are forced to take more days off as you advance.

Well its more complicated than just that. I can’t progress on the same exercise doing it 2x per week. But on a diff exercise but same muscle usually i can. However the gains on that exercise does not usually carry over the other… if that makes any sense.

[quote]Scott M wrote:
Someone advanced as PX might need 7 days to recover from the very heavy weights he uses… someone not at that level could train more frequently most likely.

If you could train a bodypart 2x a week and recover/progress, don’t you think you’d grow faster than doing it just once?

There is a point of diminishing returns with increasing frequency(past recovery/progression each session) but find what the most YOU can do is and do it, train that way till you are forced to take more days off as you advance. [/quote]

A bit off topic, but the thing that always bothered me about the higher frequency proponent’s argument that “higher frequency = more growth opportunities = more growth” is that they assume all growth opportunities are equal (which I suspect aren’t, but I have no way of proving it).

Secondly some fail to acknowledge that hypertrophy is systemic (oh, wait, they do acknowledge it, but only when trying to convince you not to perform any direct arm exercises - then they rave about it! j/k), so you are still getting overlapping stimulus from working other body parts.

I guess if you doubled the EXACT SAME volume that you used in a 1x/week routine to a 2x/week routine and were able to recoup you definitely grow faster, but often they recommend reducing the volume by half so that the total weekly volume is the same as a 1x/week routine…

Sorry for the hijack…

I don’t consider that off topic, no need for apology.

[quote]Protoculture wrote:

A bit off topic, but the thing that always bothered me about the higher frequency proponent’s argument that “higher frequency = more growth opportunities = more growth” is that they assume all growth opportunities are equal (which I suspect aren’t, but I have no way of proving it).

[/quote]

Well let’s say the OP does chest work and does

Incline Barbell Press
Flat Dumbbell Press
Dumbbell Fly

up to a top 1-2 sets trying for a PR on Monday morning.

If he is ready to go and do BETTER 3-4 days afterwards why would he not? If he can add 10 lbs to the barbell press and get in his pre determined rep range(6-10 maybe), move up to the next dumbbells and add 3 reps to the flys… should he have waited longer?

I’m not saying train through soreness and train frequently just for the sake of doing it(like I believe Waterbury might)… I mean progressing as frequently as possible for that individual. If someone can do that every other day, every 4 days, every 6 days or every 10 days(bottom barrel recovery ability) than in my opinion they should.

As you get stronger you will need more recovery time, but why copy an advanced person who is brutally sore for 4-6 days after their chest session and NEEDS to train everything once a week if you can train it twice a week or every five days or whatever it may be.

I consider a growth opportunity anytime you give the muscle something it has never experienced before, in particular more weight or more reps just for clarification. Not just lifting hard, or going to failure… brand new stimulus to force adaptation from the muscle.

I would LOVE to train bodyparts 3x a week but I know I can’t recover and progress that fast, nor 2x a week. 1x a week I can recover but I know I can do a little better than that… 3x in 2 weeks is right at that limit of how often I can train incredibly hard the way I like to(pushing strength limits) and be able to do it again consistently.

Let me say this then. I want to try this 5 day training of one major muscle each training day. Weekends off. I like having my weekends off because i am in college and there is a lot of fun to be had, i’ll just be honest there.

Do you believe that NOT stimulating the muscle as soon as it is repaired would possibly minimize the benefits of the supercompensation? Or would it just be a little less than optimal?

Previously when i tried a similar program i was paranoid that my muscle could be getting smaller and weaker on the days i was not training it… That might just be me being paranoid.

The reason many train a muscle group once every 7 days is because many bodybuilder split their body into 4 to 5 sessions. Assuming you need 2 to 3 off days during the week to maintain physical and mental recovery, then obviously the frequency per muscle is once every 7 days.

You CAN trash a muscle enough for it to require 7 days untouched (well not fully untouched; that’s impossible if you are training your body as a whole throughout the week).

I understand Scott M is a DC proponent and they argue for a higher frequency. However, as Protoculture stated, not all growth opportunities are equal. DC training lends itself to more frequent training because it usually splits the body in 2 sessions with 1 exercise per muscle group at each session.

Because others use more exercises per muscle group, they have to break the body up more, lending to less frequency but allowing for for more mechanical stress for a muscle group at each session. More mechanical stress requires a longer recovery period.

So, I don’t believe that training a muscle group with higher frequency and less volume is superior as in the 2x/week suggestion. But some people like training that way, so that is great for them. I don’t think I would have the success I do if I didn’t train each muscle with multiple exercises, including isolation exercises at each session.

Also, just because you felt it recover in 5 days - which I do to - does not mean that by the 7th day you have gone backwards. Besides, by the 5th day, I already have another muscle to train.

By the way, training is not all about what you feel like or enjoy doing all the time. I think training shoulders, abs, and calves is quite boring.

By the way, if I recall correctly, PX trains muscle more frequently than once every 7 days and relies on how he feels to determine what muscle group will be trained ona given day. I THINK. I don’t want to speak for the guy.

Little less than optimal in my opinion. You can 100% no doubt in my mind get very large training each bodypart once a week, that ensures enough time for recovery for just about every single person. I think MOST can do a little better though.

[quote]Popiapang wrote:
THis is more of a question for Professor X, but i guess i will ask everyone. When you train once a week do you feel like you work that muscle so hard on that one day that it takes a full 7 days to recover? or do you feel like maybe on the 5th you could work it again but do not for other reasons?

I ask because i used to train once ever 7 days and by the 4th or 5th day i really wanted to train it again, it just felt like it needed it. This lead me to try upper/lower splits and what not.[/quote]

I usually train shoulders twice a week as I do any muscle group I am prioritizing over others. My shoulders are good now. I want them to be “holy shit” worthy…and that is going to take more work.

What I am getting at is the goal is not to ONLY train muscles once a week. The goal is to train them when they feel rested while allowing enough planning to actually train the entire body.

I did back tonight. I probably won’t train it again until next week. The reason for that is because I have an entire body to train between now and then, I only train one body part a day (aside from chest and triceps), and I am focusing on my shoulders so they get it twice.

Also, yes, when I train a muscle group, I feel WIPED THE FUCK OUT. It takes days for me to recover from that. I did legs yesterday and they still ache.

A typical once-every-5-days frequency type of split is:

Day 1: Chest, biceps, triceps
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: off
Day 4: Back, shoulders
Day 5: off

or …

Day 1: Chest and back
Day 2: legs
Day 3: off
Day 4: shoulders, arms
Day 5: off

I find this training to be a huge pain in the ass as it does not follow the days of the week, which can be a nuisance for someone with fixed obligations. What if you cannot train on Wednesday night or morning no matter what?

[quote]Popiapang wrote:
Well its more complicated than just that. I can’t progress on the same exercise doing it 2x per week. But on a diff exercise but same muscle usually i can. However the gains on that exercise does not usually carry over the other… if that makes any sense.[/quote]

Uhm…nope.

[quote]Protoculture wrote:
Scott M wrote:
Someone advanced as PX might need 7 days to recover from the very heavy weights he uses… someone not at that level could train more frequently most likely.

If you could train a bodypart 2x a week and recover/progress, don’t you think you’d grow faster than doing it just once? There is a point of diminishing returns with increasing frequency(past recovery/progression each session) but find what the most YOU can do is and do it, train that way till you are forced to take more days off as you advance.

A bit off topic, but the thing that always bothered me about the higher frequency proponent’s argument that “higher frequency = more growth opportunities = more growth” is that they assume all growth opportunities are equal (which I suspect aren’t, but I have no way of proving it).

Secondly some fail to acknowledge that hypertrophy is systemic (oh, wait, they do acknowledge it, but only when trying to convince you not to perform any direct arm exercises - then they rave about it! j/k), so you are still getting overlapping stimulus from working other body parts.

I guess if you doubled the EXACT SAME volume that you used in a 1x/week routine to a 2x/week routine and were able to recoup you definitely grow faster, but often they recommend reducing the volume by half so that the total weekly volume is the same as a 1x/week routine…

Sorry for the hijack…
[/quote]

Very good post. I wish more would think like this.

[quote]Popiapang wrote:
Let me say this then. I want to try this 5 day training of one major muscle each training day. Weekends off. I like having my weekends off because i am in college and there is a lot of fun to be had, i’ll just be honest there.

Do you believe that NOT stimulating the muscle as soon as it is repaired would possibly minimize the benefits of the supercompensation? [/quote]

Yes.

[quote]
Or would it just be a little less than optimal?[/quote]

Yes.

[quote]
Previously when i tried a similar program i was paranoid that my muscle could be getting smaller and weaker on the days i was not training it… That might just be me being paranoid.[/quote]

Yes.

Your muscles wouldn’t ATROPHY that quickly. They might lose muscle glycogen and look flatter, but you don’t lose biceps size simply because you didn’t train them but once a week.

Thanks this was a helpful thread. I am not going to try to explain what i was talking about Prof X… because its confusing me now that i reread it. Appreciate the input

[quote]Popiapang wrote:
nevermind
[/quote]

?

I had posted a question that you answered already… then decided to re edit it a couple of times ignore that post

Protoculture,

The thing is that the TBT goons bash bodypart splits while still ignoring what you just said. Waterbury contradicts himself by bashing split routines when he says they do not allow for a high frequency. This is how.

As an example, he states pullups are the best biceps builders but still recognizes that bar curls also are biceps builders.

So, according to Waterbury, those of on split routines, ARE training biceps more than once per week (the thing he has a gripe with).

Also, as Proto said hypertrophy is systemic. Not only that, but by training certain muscle groups, you are allowing for more growth in other areas.

-By training traps, upper back, and lats, you are allowing for a better squat and deadlift.
-When you train tris, you are allowing for more weight on all chest pressing exercises leading to more pec growth.
-Wehen you train legs, you are also making your chest pressing exercises, bent over rows, shrugs, and bar curls go up from more stability and leverage.

Bricknyce,

Not to go in complete hater mode (j/k), but I understand what you mean about some of the online PTs making little sense when they criticize split routines for lacking frequency (which they credit a lot for hypertrophy) and then point out how the concept of isolating muscles is ridiculous because the body does not move in isolation.

One PT often uses the example of a single arm lateral raise to prove this point, saying that it’s impossible to isolate the delts because your still using your opposite side obliques to stabilize your torso…

When I read that I’m thinking to myself, “Gee, well doesn’t that take care of that “frequency” issue you have with splits?”

But that’s just me…

On another tangent, I think the importance of frequency and even volume has been blown out of proportion when discussing hypertrophy…

A study a while back, I’m sure you’re familiar with it, discovered that sumo wrestlers have more lean mass than powerlifters and bodybuilders of the same height even though they barely weight train…

Sure, they are fat fucks, but that still tells me that FOOD INTAKE has far greater impact on anabolism than frequency or volume.

Tell you the truth (but first puts on fire retardant jacket) I’m willing to bet that DC’s success is primarily due to it’s extreme focus on DIET (ie: 600+ grams of protein per day + heavy olive oil etc…) rather than simply increasing “growth opportunities”…

Ok, I think I’ve pissed enough people off for one night…

good thread

I believe this worrying about progression is pointless on a per workout basis for all but beginners.

You aren’t going to bench one day and rep out on a set, and add ten pounds the next workout for the same reps, the same week or even in the next week, unless you are a newer lifter. And if you can, you won’t do it consistently. That’s not how progression works.

I like the professors ideology. The only thing I’ve found different is I don’t even try to fit it into a week. I know I want to train certain body groups so many times in the period I train. That’s usually 8-9 days.

I usually need 2 rest days in that period,but
whatever recovers, that’s what gets trained.

Personally, the week is irrelevant for me, and so is the progression. I’ll lift for strength and change up my rep ranges or the exercise I’m putting first and going heaviest on if I plateau.

I’m not a huge dude, and to be completely honest have wasted much time dieting or focusing on things that weren’t necessary.

But I think the relevant point is, not to worry so much about the details, go to the gym, remember why you’re going, and do your job. I can’t imagine ever plateauing if you make that your priority every time you enter the weight room.

If you need to bring up a lagging bodypart more, or can get everything done in a week or less in your split, or even do great with a 3 day split, that’s great. But the point is individualization and learning what your body responds to.

Then you will consistently know what to do and have good progress, whatever your goals, and not just for bodybuilding

IMO