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Optimal Twice a week Training

Hello, Mr. Thibaudeau! What are your recommendations as far as only being able to train twice a week for natural athletes?

I love following your articles where you discuss the differences between natural and enhanced athletes. I feel that this is a very underappreciated topic in the current fitness realm due to a myriad of factors. Unfortunately for myself, I am only able to make it to the gym twice a week.

Thank you in advance, and I very much appreciate your professionalism and expertise!

  • Colby

Dan John has an article on training twice a week

I also would be very interested in hearing Thibs opinion on this. What is the the best case scenario 2 day a week program, given all his new theories for natural athletes. Would we just use the Best Damn advice, except up the volume?

My 2 cents. “best damn” is based on high frequency. I would do 2 fullbody workouts with 1-2 exercises per body part so you are still hitting each muscle group twice per week. Super set if short on time eg chest & back, Hams & quads etc

When you are training only twice a week … which is honestly something that I never did myself and never really had clients do (so take my advice with a grain of salt), I believe that you will need more volume per session. Even if you were to produce more cortisol you have 5 days to regulate it down.

It would be a whole body routine because I believe that for maximal growth you need to hit each muscle at least twice per week.

Probably something like:


  • 3 big compound movements (one push, one pull, one lower body)
  • one pushing muscles superset
  • one pulling muscles superset
  • one lower body super set
  • The big compound movements can be trained fairly heavy with 4-5 sets of 4-6 reps or for slightly higher reps, 3-4 sets of 6-8 depending on your goal and neuro type

  • The supersets would use low stress exercises (machines or isolation work) for 3-4 work sets

  • Both sessions can either use the same exercises (if your are a “Type 3”), the same big lifts but different supersets (if you are Type 2b) and different exercises completely if you are a Type 2a

I don’t mention type 1a and 1b because twice a week training will not work well for them. Well, it is not optimal for anybody but the Type 2 and 3 can still progress fine on it.


Yep, pretty much correct

Thanks for taking the time to answer that.

Hey CT! Theoretical question: Is there such a thing as too much volume if you are training only twice a week? I mean, if you are trying to hit every muscle group, there is a limit to what you can do in a workout, and even if you do around 20-30 sets (including warmup) you still have 5 days to recover…Thanks!

As I always say volume and frequency are inversely proportional. So yeah, if you train less often you can (and likely should) do more volume.

That doesn’t necessarily mean doing a high volume of work in the absolute sense though. It means doing a high volume of work FOR YOU. This means that if there is a point in your workout where you feel like you motivation/focus/energy goes down, then that is too much volume.

That’s what I don’t like about low frequency training: you need to do a fair amount of overall volume to grow from it (because you need to stimulate each muscle at least twice per week to get a good rate of progress, so it means that with 2 workout sessions per week you need to train every thing at both workouts). And not everybody has the neurological and physiological profile to be capable of doing enough volume for every muscle group to progress optimally with 2 sessions a week.

If your goal is strength then it’s a bit easier. You can simply do heavy/low rep work for 3-4 basic lifts and you’re good. But if you want a complete physique and maximum hypertrophy you will likely need more than that, and I don’t know that many people who can do that amount of work without having a drastic drop in workout quality… they will be able to “do it” but it might not be as productive.

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Thanks CT :slight_smile:

Hey CT, you mentioned above that “I believe that for maximal growth you need to hit each muscle at least twice per week.” But I read one of your posts in another thread that the best split for a 2B was a 5 way training spit (Chest/Biceps, Quads, Back/Triceps, Shoulders, and posterior chain) training 5 days per week. I am a 2B myself and am a little confused. Can you please clarify the optimal split for a type 2B?

Post this in a new thread

Hi coach I know that’s an old thread @Christian_Thibaudeau

My little brother is moving onto a twice a week routine due to his schedule and I will have him do

Day one
Heavy : Squats, Bench, Rows
Light (volume): RDLs, OHP, Pullups

And vice versa the other day:
Day two
Heavy : RDLs, OHP, Pullups
Light (volume): Squats, Bench, Rows

Do you think this can work? (I believe he is a type 3) or he’d better do lower-stress exercises for the light/volume ?