T Nation

The 1-Day Challenge


So this is how it works, I origionally thought I could workout 3 times a week, boy was I wrong. I will only be able to workout 1 time per week, that's it. Sooo... the 1-day challenge, basically I would like to hear what everyones ideal 1 workout would be for someone who can only lift 1 day per week.

Mind you, this will be an incredibly intense lift and I want to hear what exercises, reps, tempo etc. you all think I should use for my 1 lift a week.

The second challenge: guess what line of work I am in where I can only workout once per week. Yes, flames welcomed.


You mean you really can't lift any other day or you can't go to the gym more than once a week ?


Why only 1? What's holding you back?


Uh...I'm pretty sure that's what he's saying.

In any case, how long would you have to lift during this session? No doubt you'd have to bust your fuckin balls. I know you said strength is a main issue so I'd say maybe start the workout with compounds.

You can probably even afford to hit multiple reps with your 1RM for the day and do some kind of eccentric overload (as it has a delayed effect). After using Max Effort stuff, move to assitance movements supersetted (to make best use of the time) and hit near to or absolute failure on each set. If you need speed work I'd say do DE followed by ME and then RE. Works things in order of importance and on how fresh you need to be to get the most benefit form each.



Listend to Chad's latest d-tap. Guess what size shoe I wear. Why do I give a shit what job you have?


if your meaning of "workout" is going to GYM, then can you also do some bodyweight exercises at home?

if you can, all i can think of is training heavy at GYM once, then train at home (light) once.

how that sounds?


Good post. I'd add in supersets, even with your big lifts. For example, supersetting front squats with pull ups, etc.
The advantage you have to see here, is you can do things that would normally be to taxing on the body to recover from. Drop sets, lots of band tension, accentuated eccentrics, training to and past failure, etc.


I could do some body weight stuff at home, the only thing that comes to mind is pushups...

I figure I should be able to workout for 3+ hours on the 1 day I can get in the gym, so time is not an issue.

I was thinking somthing along the lines of:

1: deadlift
2: weighted dips of bench
3: pullups
4: oh press
5: goodmornings
6: not sure...?


Man, you got the wrong attitude about this, what you gotta do is go MacGuyver on this bitch.

20kg sandbags from toystore - $5
Heavy Duty Canvas bags - $10
Getting the workout of a lifetime, strongman style? Priceless.

Look at the shit you have at home, and what you can add to it for as little as a $20 note after a single trip to a hardware store. Sandbag snatches, keg work [stolen from the back of a pub], tire flipping / hitting with a sledgehammer.

If you have a garage / backyard / spare room / 4 square metre cell and an hour after work [which you do, unless you work 16 hours, 6 days a week] you can get some intense workouts going with very little. Don't belive me? Try farmers runs with 40 kgs of sand in each hand and tell me its not a workout. It's all in the mindset brother.

Note: The single day program posted above is still solid if you only wanna train one day a week.


Fat T-Man only works out once a week too!


I was just gunna suggest getting a tire or keg to do some training with... Strongman training in the backyard will be very helpful. In fact, if I had 3 hours a day once a week to work out, it would probably be doing strongman training.

As for what you posted, its good for a start. I would ditch the dips off of a bench in favor of real dips, and you could probably continue with supplementary work.


The Naked Warrior
By Pavel


I dont know about you, but if I do a ball busting set of heavy ass squats, front or reg, I need at least a minute before I can even think about doing a pull up. I guess alternate would better for me than super setting those exercises you listed. Bi's and tri's sure, squats and pull ups not so much.





1) Back Squat 4 x 5

2) Dead Lift 4 x 5

3) Hang Clean 3 x 5

4) Bench 4 x 5

5) Chins 4 x Max

All heavy.

At least thats what I would do.

For home besides pushups, wall sits are good too.


If you have time to workout at home, I don't see where you think this is a challenge at all. Get yourself some dumbbells and a pull-up bar. You can perform all 6 essential compound movements with just that equipment. Problem solved.

Look at my T-Nation blog if you need an example, because this is all the equipment I have access to and my current routine is always posted.


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You will have to add some bodyweight stuff on other days, let's say you go to the gym on monday, you can perform towel chins,push-ups(any king..one arm, handstand, explosive...) and pistols on wednesday and friday.


I find it hard to believe that you can only work out once a week. A couple of years ago I was working, on average, 70 hours a week. And I was still lifting 5 mornings a week. I don't care what your job is, but you can find a way. Find a 24-hour gym or something.

It's just my opinion, but working out once a week is basically maintenance, at best. If you want gains, 2 or 3 workouts per week are needed.


ummmm i would do..

Squat 5x5
Bench 5x5
Deadlift 5x5
Barbell Row 5x8
Military Press 5x8

all heavy sets and id super set them all with something easy. then id do home and throw up and cry