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Optimal Training Days Per Week

Hey CT,
Just a quick question on how many training days is optimal per week to do? In recent articles you mention 4 hard sessions per week is optimal for a natural trainer, and up to 5 on some occasions. Im currently doing your Conjugate Bodybuilding Program (which I have loved doing) so…

  1. With the Conjugate Bodybuilding Program, is it worth doing the optional extra workout on Tuesdays? I currently do an arm day for the optional extra workout on Thursday which has been really effective for me in improving greatly my biceps and triceps mind muscle activation and growth. So would I be better off doing 5 days per week (4 hard sessions and 1 easier isolation arms session) and dropping the Tuesday optional extra workout, going off your suggestion?
    As you mention when you become an iron addict you think doing more will give you better results, so I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the optional extra workout in the Conjugate Bodybuilding Program on Tuesday to what are the benefits or drawbacks of doing this day, as Im comfortable with either continuing with the it or dropping it.


I don’t know about you but I do feel better after the optionnal days, and believe they help me recovery. The exercises are low stress (very high reps, face-pulls, curls etc) so I’m not affraid to really bust my ass. Plus after these sessions I take at least 20 min of stretching, mobilization and corrective exercises, foam roller etc

I would not put the optional day in there if I didn’t think there was some benefits to it.

As for optimal training frequency, it depends on several factors. The two most important being your neurotype and the level of stress (physical and psychological) in your life.

For the neurotype…
1A respond better to more weekly sessions (up to 6-7) but they must be really short and low volume
1B and 2A do best on 5 sessions per week, 6 if they are in a very low stress situation.
2B do better on 4-5 weekly sessions, which goes down to 3-4 when under lots of stress
3 do better on 3-4 and as low as 2-3 when under stress

For stress level… of course the more stress you are under, the lower the training frequency (OR volume) should be. This is especially true of people who are under a lot of physical stress (physical job). in which case the “ideal” days per week will decrease by 1 or even 2 days.

Ok great, a couple to follow up-

  1. My stress levels are low and I am a 2A personality. Im happy either way doing the Tuesday or dropping it, so what would be more effective this type, keeping it in or dropping it?

  2. I have found it takes me around 60 minutes to complete the optional Tuesday session due to the large rest periods between sets. Is this ok or should these sessions be done in a shorter time, say 30 minutes?

Thanks again for the help and thanks aldebaran for your input,


  1. So yes, if you can do the optional day and it doesn’t affect your recovery, do it.

  2. I’m a 2A too and I also found the resting time way too long most of the time after completing the week 1. But after some digging on CT’s site, he explained this:

“The rest intervals in the program are “generic”… they are a broad recommendation considering the average person. As a 1B you need a bit less rest (but more than a 2A and 2B). You should never train by the clock, go with what fit your natural rhythm”

So yes you can lower the rest periods.

2As and 2Bs need the least rest. They are adrenalin-sensitive. Adrenalin potentiates them more than the other neurotypes (1A and 1B are potentiated by it, but it also drains them, type 3 will be negatively affected by adrenalin as they already have a high anxiety level).

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Is that why I feel so good after the dymanic days? All these jumps and o-lifts and explosive stuff raise adrenalin?

Yep, very likely. If you see me in normal settings (walking down the street, waiting at the airport) you would be shocked at how shy I am. My level of self-esteem and confidence is very low. But as soon as adrenalin kicks in I’m a different person: extroverted, confident, alpha-male. That’s why I love giving seminars.

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Interesting; this seems to fit with my temperament when I train. I’ve always hated long rest periods between sets as I feel like I am getting ‘cold’ instead of revving up the engine by keeping things moving. Though I’m still uncertain as to whether I fit the 2A or 2B profile, as I’m not necessarily someone who needs a ‘pump’ to feel good (2b), though I do like the feeling of exertion from 5x5 on squats or deadlifts, for example.

For rest intervals it is similar anyway.

Are you fun to be around? Someone who is fairly comfortable in groups or do your prefer to be only with one person at a time?

Do you have a good level of natural skill or do you need to work extra hard at everything?

Are you ok with explosive exercises or do you find it hard to produce speed and explosion?

Those who know me would say that I am fun to be around, and that I am comfortable in groups, but both being in groups and being with one person at a time drain a lot of my energy, hence my being an introvert.

I enjoy being with people and one-on-one conversations, but as I invest a lot of energy into them (listening carefully, giving a lot of non-verbal and verbal feedback, etc.), I find them to be draining and have to limit them. But anyone who looks at me from the outside would say that I am very social.

However, at the gym while I train, I am sort of ‘anti-social’, as I do not like to chat while I train as it is my ‘focus time’.

I pretty much need to work hard at everything I do. I don’t consider myself as having natural ‘gifts’ in anything in particular. My proficiency in most of my skills (music, training, scholarly matters) really came through practice and work, indeed.

I am not explosive. I really like to do Oly lifts and sprints BUT I certainly do not have the same explosive capacity as other athletes have naturally. I’ve gotten better at the Oly lifts, but again that is only because of lots of practice. Still, some random guy with more fast-twitch fibers would probably be more explosive than I am doing them for the first time. This reminds me that about a year ago, I was supposed to be doing “speed squats” at 60% from a oly program, and there was very little ‘speed’ going on with the bar, hah.

Yeah you sound more like a 2A but with low acetylcholine levels (which makes it harder for you to be slow). Very similar to myself actually.

Ok; I’m a bit confused regarding the link between acetycholine and pace of workout though. According your neurotype description of 1B here, high acetycholine is linked with short rest periods? Or maybe I don’t understand the link between adrenaline and acetycholine?

And does this have to do with motivation throughout a workout? I know that my workouts need to be short (under 45 minutes) but intense/hard. When it exceeds 45-60 minutes, I lose motivation and focus pretty fast. I prefer having 5-6 workouts per week lasting 45 minutes than 3-4 lasting 60+ minutes.

Acetylcholine plays many roles. I’ll try to help you, but neurotyping is a 12 hours seminar, so it’s kinda hard to explain all the intricacies of the various neurotransmitters and how they affect each other.


  • Protects dopamine by reducing the need to produce adrenaline during training because ACH and adrenaline share some functions (force production, increasing blood flow). Adrenaline is made from dopamine and when someone deplete his dopamine he will have symptoms of CNS fatigue and will feel like crap (and loss of motivation). ACH affects rest intervals mostly with Type 1 (1A and 1B) who are super sensitive to dopamine but have low levels of it (so are at a greater risk of depleting it).

  • Improves the efficacy of the stretch reflex. People with more acetylcholine will have a more sensitive and efficient stretch reflex which also makes them more naturally explosive.

  • Makes you better at learning motor skills and have better natural coordination.

  • Plays a big role in memory, especially short term memory as well as give you the capacity to multi-task

That is likely more a matter of adrenaline. If you are a Type 2, you are adrenaline dominant… you are super responsive to adrenaline, but as soon as it goes down you lose motivation, confidence, grit, etc. So if it crashes at 45-60 min, you will lose your motivation to train. I’m the same way.

Fascinating, this explains me to a T, being a 2A personality.

Completed Upper Max Effort today going by feel for rest periods (which were much shorter) and I felt a lot better, focusing on keeping my adrenalin up for the whole session. This felt better and drew a better mind muscle connection, plus strength progressed as well.

I did this session in 70 - 80 minutes, being a 2A, your neurotype article suggests a good base for 2A session be between 70 to 90 minutes. Am I on the right track with this.

Thanks again CT and for aldebaran and mpascension for your topic of inputs


I modified the neurotyping material A LOT since the article. I keep researching and experimenting. For 2A the best workout duration is around 60-70 minutes BUT if they stay motivated they can do 80

Yes, this helps me connect the dots a lot for me as well… Thanks!

@Christian_Thibaudeau, since you mentioned your Neurotype seminar, I see those are generally held outside of the United States. Any plan to make them available as a video series?

It is available as a video series already.

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