T Nation

Recovery Time (Can't Stay Away)

I’m currently following the squat template from Peary Rader’s Old school training - so a total body workout 3 days a week. However, on my days off, I’m having difficulty staying away from the gym. I know I need the time to recover, but it just feels like I have too much energy to not go or do something.

Anyone have any suggestions on a workout or some form of exercise I could do on my “off” days - without a lot of cardio because I am trying to bulk (right now I’m at a measly 149 lbs at 5’ 6")

You can do minor exercises not done on the TBT days that are not so taxing.

These could include for example forearm work, neck work, the tibialis, some ab work though I would avoid side bends, and could include calves though that is not a minor exercise.

Or if wanting to do the bulk of the calf work on your TBT days, you could do seated calf on inbetween days.

Of course you COULD also just get rid of the TBT method. :wink:

True but I love the compound movements - squats deads, cleans, and I feel like incorporating those into a 5 day a week program would be the same as doing my TBT workout 5 days a week…

do you think some light back work maybe direct tricep work could be added in? I’m typically used to landscaping 10 hours a day 5 days a week (building retaining walls, heavy shoveling, brick laying etc. etc.) and I’m laid off for the winter now and only shoveling snow every once in a while (maybe once a week) if I keep my calories up can I get away with doing some lighter work with some of the same body parts without putting too much strain on them?

I wouldn’t do that as then these muscles would be substantively trained every day, or if there are any off days in the week, for many days in succession anyway.

Now what you could do if you just love to train and want to train these bodyparts is to do just one or two pump sets. By which I mean using a really trivial weight such as 1/6th to 1/4 the 1 rep max, or say 1/8th to 1/5th a 5 rep work weight, for 20 or 30 reps.

It’ll get the blood going but not drain the muscle or impede recovery.

Or you could decide which muscles are not being trained much in the squat, DL, and clean and move all of those to the other days of the week. Of course that wouldn’t be TBT anymore but might suit you better.

E.g., lats aren’t being worked hard in those movements, though the midback is so that would limit your selection of lat exercises (which can be perfectly OK for given periods of time, then changing things later.) Biceps aren’t. As well as the above suggestions.

So, in your opinion would it be more productive for me to move to an upper/lower split? something along the lines of:
M,F: deadlift, front squat, lunges, calf raises, alternating sets of say 8x3 and 3x10 Jump rope for 10 minutes

T,TR: Clean to push press, Towel Pull ups (or some other variation of chin/pull up), bench press variation, row variation, either a front or lateral raise, for the same sets as above
W: misc core work, sprints

Something along those lines? That way I can keep the compound movements I like, and still be able to lift? Or is that coming too close to overtraining?

walk at 3-3.5 mph at a slight incline for 30-45 minutes

OR you could divide your current program into five days

Personally i’m a big fan of doing things intuitively (after you’ve been training long enough to have some intuition)…there’s a limit to that where I obviously won’t train chest heavily 2 days in row no matter how good it feels. But if I feel like my body can take more it probably can. If I were in your shoes i’d move my workouts so I never have more than a day of rest.

Moving into a split might give you more flexibility to work out more though since you can make sure every body part gets the rest it needs.

[quote]GVkid wrote:
So, in your opinion would it be more productive for me to move to an upper/lower split? [/quote]

Not necessarily upper/lower. While ordinarily – there are exceptions, for example Olympic lifters, or athletes who for their sport need to have similar strength every day rather than this day be temporarily weaker from shortly-post-training effect, that day that bodypart be weaker, etc – it is not needed to squat or deadlift three times per week, a beginner is often well served by training exercises three times per week for the sake of developing skills at the lifts at a faster pace.

So I’m not objecting to your preference of doing the squat, DL, and clean three times per week. I doubt you should do it that way throughout your lifting career but staying with this for quite some time may be a perfectly fine thing to do for you.

However, doing that, it would be possible to make those days less-than-TBT and do the remainder of the body on two or three other days of the week.

[quote]something along the lines of:
M,F: deadlift, front squat, lunges, calf raises, alternating sets of say 8x3 and 3x10 Jump rope for 10 minutes

T,TR: Clean to push press, Towel Pull ups (or some other variation of chin/pull up), bench press variation, row variation, either a front or lateral raise, for the same sets as above
W: misc core work, sprints

Something along those lines? That way I can keep the compound movements I like, and still be able to lift? Or is that coming too close to overtraining?[/quote]

You might well be able to do that. I guess it would depend on how challenging the cleans are to your lower back (as well as quads/glutes/hams). If not so much, then maybe so. I have to say maybe because I have never known anyone who has done this.

I would also wonder how well you might do with rows being the day after deadlifts and having that “double” (so to speak) occurring twice per week. Again it’s guesswork, if I’ve known anybody who did rows the day after deadlifts let alone twice per week that way, I didn’t know that I did or I have forgotten it.

Whether the above is overtraining or not depends much more on the total volume than on how it’s divided up during the week.

I would feel for these exercise selections more confident with say this 4 day rotation, if you can do that instead of a weekly rotation:

Day 1: deadlift, clean and push press, front squat, lunges, rows
Day 2: calves, miscellaneous core work, jump rope
Day 3: bench press variation, lateral raise, chins/pullups variation, sprints
Day 4: Rest

(Exercises are named in no particular order whatsoever, just listing the ones for each day.)

so just to make sure I’m understanding right - you’re saying do Day 1: deadlift, clean and push press, front squat, lunges, rows
Day 2: calves, miscellaneous core work, jump rope
Day 3: bench press variation, lateral raise, chins/pullups variation, sprints
Day 4: Rest

and then it would start over again at day 1 instead of resting day 5, 6, and 7?

Because if that’s the case that actually sounds like it would fit what I’m looking for pretty nicely…

Yes, that is it. I thought about it calling it 8 days to be clearer and more similar in layout to your weekly plan, and actually started typing it that way: but as days 5-8 were the same as 1-4, I decided to just call it a 4 day rotation. But yes, it was meant exactly as you figured above.

Awesome. Thanks for all the help I appreciate it. I find it hard to sift through so much information on this site sometimes. Or other times I start to develop training ADD and want to try everything. In any case I think that doing this 4 days a week should turn out to be pretty decent for me.

I do think it should work well for you. While different from what most are doing, just rearranging a bit what you’d already conceived has yielded a quite sound program.

If you could post back in a while and give an update that would be great.

Yea will do. I need to finish up the week with the program I’m doing right now so I’ll update in 2-3 weeks.

I started the program today: Here’s a link to my training Log and I’ll be updating at least once a week if not every day.