T Nation

Too Inconsistent?


#1

I have a question regarding training.

my wife gave birth to my daughter this year and I had to stop with my bb style training 4 day splits.

I ended up doing a 3 day powerlifting or power building type thing. I will say it has been working pretty awesome but latley work has made it alot more inconsistent. I use to go Mon,wed,Fri and latley it ends up being something random like Mon,Thurs,sat or Mon,sat,sun.
is this going to slow progress or am I over thinking it


#2

It doesn't matter as long as it is 3x a week. I've seen great results not being super rigid. With that said I record everything in my notebook so I always know where to pick up from.


#3

You'll be fine. Your body really doesn't care if it's Wednesday this week then Thursday the next.


#4

Family comes first and it's great that you were still able to adjust your training schedule to make things work. Realistically, inconsistent training could slow progress a bit depending on how much rest you get in between training days but it's better to make some progress than none. If you really feel under-recovered or fatigued then it's okay to scale back a bit on volume (just try your best not to let it come to that).

The ideal situation is to gauge volume by how much you can recover from. Too little and you don't stimulate enough stress; too much that you can't recover from and the extra effort is wasted. Getting even one recovery day to prevent all consecutive training sessions will help. In the worst case where you have to lift three days in a row like Sat, Sun, Mon; it would probably be best to save the heavy volume for the last day since you have the most time to recover from that session.

If all three days had even volume for the same muscle group, I would take a small amount of volume from the first day, a moderate amount from the second day, and dump that into the third day so it would be med, light, heavy.


#5

My approach during hectic times is to divide my training into "essential" and "desirable" sections instead of planning specific workouts. For example, I will do my 5x5 Front Squats, I might do some mechanical dropset front squats. More often than not, you'll find you'll get through the whole list before the end of the week anyway, unless you're really hectic.

I also find some of these workouts to be the most focussed. Some of the most intense workouts I've ever had have been "I've got 20mins to squat, let's throw everything at it"


#6

Well firstly congratulations on the birth of your daughter. This is what's really important.

Training 3 days per week can be fine if the days are staggered but if they are altogether that makes things a little different but still it can be done ok .

I would probably go with something like this:

A)
Bench Press 3 x 3-5
Dumbbell Low Incline Bench Press 3 x 8-10
Push Press 3 x 5-7
Dumbbell Lateral Raises 5 x 10-15
Dips 3 x 10 - 15

B)
Squat 3 x 3-5
Leg Press 3 x 10-12
Romanian Deadlift 3 x 5-7
Calf Raises 3 x 12-20
Abs 3 sets till failure.

C)
Weighted Pull Ups 5 x 5
Dumbbell Row 3 x 8-10
Supinated Lat Pull Downs 3 x 10-12
Seated Cable Row 3 x 10-12
EZ Bar Curls 3 x 8-10

Just rotate through A, B, C no matter what day of the week it is.
Only working sets are listed. Obviously you will work up to working sets so 3 working sets of squats could take around 9 sets all up.


#7

Big congrats on the kiddo, but I don't understand why a change in schedule required a change in goals. What are your current short and long-term goals?

There are plenty of solid programs that "only" have 2 or 3 days of training. If designed right, the days can often be done back-to-back.

Wendler's Effective Training for Busy Men:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/effective_training_for_busy_men_1
5/3/1 with 2 days of training, with an optional third day. Also has a Sat/Sun-only plan.

Solid bodybuilding upper/lower split from Dr. Clay Hyght:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/blending_size_and_strength_version_20
The beauty of an upper/lower plan in general is that you can totally do two days back to back if/when necessary. You can also just stretch the 4-day a week plan over three training days. In the long run, it's not a deal-breaker at all.

The other option, if time is tight and you want to try keeping more training days, is to do something strictly time-based like EDT or something with intentionally-brief sessions like basic low volume/high intensity stuff where you're going up to and beyond muscle failure with just 1-2 sets per bodypart.