T Nation

Possible to See Progress Training Each Muscle Once a Week?


There are templates like this

Squat/ deadlift (alternate every week)
Squat variation
Ab/low back

Press/bench (alternate
Press variation
High rep press variation
(superset with with some kind of late work.

This is upper and lower being worked once a week. Unless you count the throws and jumps etc. I don’t.

I read Chris’ post and he seems to be talking only about the original 4 day routine.


This is a limited template for those who can only train twice a week, not really fair to lump this into his other programs for people who no time constraints. Of course if you only have 20 minutes to train you will have to make concessions, but it wouldn’t be fair to use CT’s 20 minute muscle builder as an example of his programs.


Just pick a proven program like the one Chris linked or this Thib one.
All laid out and no thinking needed…


No, I’m talking about 97% of 5/3/1 templates which train movements more than once per week, most often once as the 5/3/1 work and another session working a variation of that movement as assistance.

What you laid out is one way to run a limited twice a week plan (which, like Lonnie said, is quite a reach to use as an example in the first place). Another way to train 5/3/1 twice a week which Wendler wrote about here is squat, bench, and assistance one day; dead, press, and assistance another day. This template can easily work the same “bodyparts” in both sessions if the lifter wanted to.

There’s also the 5/3/1 rest-pause template that uses full body workouts twice a week. So, again, it’s very fair to say that 5/3/1 almost never trains a “bodypart” once per week.


It’s not a reach to use that as an example at all. I’m on his forum and the vast majority of Jim’s two day a week programs these days are like what I posted and he recommends 2 days a week a lot.

I’m well aware there are full body 2 day a week routines but he doesn’t seem to post them much now (those articles is from 2012 and 2013). I was replying to T3hPwnisher who was asking what templates only train a muscle once a week. There are lots like that. Far more than you seem to be aware of.


Yep, I’m not a member of his private forum so I can only go by what I’ve seen Jim say elsewhere. I’ll let him speak for himself. From 48 hours ago:

And from 6 weeks ago:
"The other thing you can do is this:

Week one


Squat - 5’s PRO, BBS or BBB or Widowmaker or 5x5/3/1
Bench - 5’s Pro, 3x5 FSL


Deadlift - 5s PRO, 3x5 FSL
Press - see squat above for options
Everyday Shit:

Push-ups x 100 total reps
Chin-ups x 50 total reps
1 mile run"

Looks like a full body 2-day plan to me.

You were also incorrectly guessing at what I meant when I made a comment earlier. I was clarifying.


I’m not sure what the point of posting that post from Jim. I’m not saying he doesn’t ever recommend a routine like that. I’m currently training full body 2 days a week myself. My only point was there are a lot templates like I mentioned earlier.


you could do the original 5/3/1 and still train everything once a week, or you could train everything as many times as you like.

I’m not sure what the point of arguing this is.


If you Bench Press on “chest day” you’re also hitting your shoulders and triceps. If you Overhead Press on “shoulder day” you’re working your delts and tri’s a second time. Same deal if you squat on “leg day” and deadlift on “back day”, the quads hams and butt work in both.

If you’re using ONLY isolation excercises to hit all your muscles once a week your program probably sucks. Just my 2c.