T Nation

One Month of Bodybuilding


So I lost my job, and have a month to do whatever the hell I like, and enough money saved to spend a couple more months afterwards looking for a new job before I'm screwed. I have enough money saved for food too.

Anyway, a month that I'm going to dedicate almost entirely - well, as much time as is necessary/beneficial - to the gym. So... what would you do in this situation, as myself, a complete beginner?

I heard Arnold used to train about 6 hours a day - as did a lot of other pros and such - that's the kind of thing I'm talking about here (ok, I'm not talking about doing 6 hours every day 7 days a week here, but I want to do a lot more, that is my point). Would that be pointless for me? If it's suggested I go in for hours at a time, please advise what I should do ("3-4 exercises for 2 body parts daily" is enough of an explanation). Currently I'm doing 5-7 days/week split, no cardio, all lifting.

Not sure if this would be better off in the Bodybuilding forum for quality replies, or if it's a bit beginnerish, so I went with Beginners, but if you think I should move it, let me know.


Do you really think YOU (not Arnold on super supps) could recover properly from lifting 6 hours 5-7 days a week? Do you really think YOU could possibly have the energy to maintain over a 6 hour period at the gym?

Think about these things. Sometimes more is less, and in this case going to the gym for 6 hours a day makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Focus your extra time on diet/eating (dial it in to the T), more sleep for recovery, and all this will allow you to follow the same plan you have been except with increased intensity at the gym. You don't need to go to the gym for 6 hours. But prepare yourself through diet and recovery to have that extra boost for more intensity while you are at the gym for the 1-2 hours.


I've done that before - yes, working hard the entire time - a 6 hour gym session; basically mushing my 5 day split into one day. You're right, there's no way I could do that 5-7 days a week BUT since I have the time, I do want to do as much as will still be beneficial. You say increased intensity, but I basically make my sessions as intense as I possibly can every single time. If, by 'intense', you mean staying for 1-2 hours, as opposed to the hour or so I've been doing lately - actually, I used to stay there for about an hour minimum, usually 2 hours if not more - I plan on doing that anyway.

Yeah, the "sometimes more is less" thing worries me. I am the sort of person who will do more because I enjoy it, but I don't really hurt my progress. At the same time I feel like I have a golden opportunity here, and want to make the most of it, which is why I'm asking for opinions.

I think I will however use this time to get my diet completely under control though, if nothing else, thanks.


I aint a andvanced bodybuilder but I do know training for 6hrs for 5-7days is just stupid. All you need to do is a body-split program with 2-4 exercises per body part, make sure you train for about 1 or 2hrs, do high reps for size, have a well balanced diet with loads of calaries init and get good quality rest because thats were the gains come and maybe throw in some cardio to stay lean.


That's what I'm doing already. :frowning:

I'm at least going to start training 2-3 body parts a day I think, cutting down to maybe 5 days a week instead though. Spend one of the other 2 days doing cardio perhaps?


Give a look at this: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/double_trouble_hypertrophy


Thanks. You seem to have a link for every situation, LOL.


You could do 2-a-days.
Something like heavy TBT 3-4 days a week in the morning and then your higher rep BP split stuff at night.


I wouldn't recommend trying to do something radical just because you have a lot of free time on your hands, but the main benefit would be an increase in the intensity you can use in the gym with so little distractions and everyday shit cutting into recovery.

If I were in your situation, I would improve the quality of my training, diet, rest, and supplementation before I'd think about doing two-a-days or anything else.

I would bump up my protein to 2 grams per pound of bodyweight daily, clean up my diet to almost completely avoid sugar and trans fats, and get in enough calories to hit a 5lb gain every 4 weeks.

And for training I would either do a 4-way split, but cycle it with more frequency than you normally would (eg: day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, rest, day 1, day 2, etc...), or if I had a lagging bodypart or two I would double down on the training frequency and volume for those parts and hit the gym 6 days a week.

I would also make sure I got a good 10 hours of sleep at night, stretched my whole body for 20-40 minutes, and took a multivitamin and creatine daily.

But even after all of that I'd still have plenty of time to work on another hobby, or find a way to make a little money/do volunteer work/learn to knit.


Stretching is a good idea, didn't think of that.

Creatine though. That's something I didn't really want to touch until my gains in both strength & size stalled. I'm kind of viewing it as a Jack (for lack of a better description)- you know the saying "Steroids are your Ace card", and that you should use them when you've reached your natural potential?

I didn't realise sugar was THAT bad, jesus. I'm drinking loads of the stuff. Fuck.

As for the daily life shit cutting into my gym intensity, actually, it kind of did the opposite, lol. I got a "talking to" about a month ago for spending so much time at the gym, which resulted in me taking too much time at lunch. Since then my sessions are much shorter and more intense, but I wouldn't cut it short because I'm running a bit late.


I feel like doing a TBT in the morning, then training a muscle group in the evening would just cut into its' recovery. What are your thoughts on this?

I mean, if I leave enough time between the two workouts, and eat plenty in between, do you think it will it be alright?


I think I do, indeed...after all, archives are done for a reason :slight_smile:

And since you mentioned TBT + bodypart... http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/total_body_split_training (even if Waterbury get bashed from time to time :slight_smile:


Well, I'm no expert. Only been training about a year now. But I personally feel it would be manageable with proper nutrition and recovery.

Mr. Popular seems more knowledgeable on the subject though, just judging from other posts I've read of his.


It's not what I would do.

But to your original quesiton, why NOT plan to train 6 days a week for a month? Especially if you eat well and have good workout nutrition, you'll make good progress, and when the month is over you can deload to the extent necessary. You are not going to overtrain, or fail to make progress, with "too much" training for a month, as a beginner.

Basically go to the gym each day, if the body part(s) you plan to train aren't recovered yet, you'll know. Train something else that is recovered, or if nothing is, walk on the treadmill a bit, then go home.


What the hell are you expecting to accomplish training like that? First of all, your aren't going to make a ton of progress in only a month I don't care what you do, less taking juice. Second, if you are the complete beginner you say you are there is no way in hell your body could handle such a routine. Arnold took every steroid known at the time. YOU are not Arnold. Take the advice given here or waste a month doing something stupid.


Hmm, missed this before. . .what do you mean saying that 'intense' is 1-2 hours instead of 1 hour sessions?

That's backwards. Intense means working harder and producing more muscle damage and fatigue per unit time. If you increase the intensity, you cannot also increase the time and volume, at least not overnight.

If you have already been spending a couple hours in the gym most days prior to this month of focused dedication, then you're not likely to see much improvement by increasing volume in the month. Especially since you say your diet is not completely in order.


I actually misread his reply, I think. By staying there for longer than I am now, I didn't mean decreased intensity, I meant more exercises/more body parts.

To be honest, I'm not sure what I hoped to get out of this thread, and my initial thoughts are what you suggested - so I think I'm going to just do that. However, some of the links have been helpful, and I learned some stuff, so it wasn't a complete waste.




If you have a month of free time, I would think that slightly increasing your workout frequency, or intensity, but mainly sleeping a lot would be the best bet. During the school year I get about 5 hours of sleep every night, because there's not enough time in the day to do everything that I need to do, namely studying. On breaks (Christmas Break, summer, etc.) I'll get 9 hours a night usually, and it helps tons. I was reading something from Jay Cutler where he would say that he sleeps 10 hours a night.

Also, humans got about 10 hours a night before the light bulb was invented, so your body definitely wouldn't argue with it! Most people today in their day to day life are way to busy to sleep that long, but if you have a month of free time then do what most can't and catch up on that sleep. You may also find that you can decently increase the amount of hard work that you do in this time period once you're getting more rest.


Light Pollution FTL


So wait... do we even know what he's aiming for?

Strength Training?
or.... is he a powerlift wannabe???