T Nation

Total Body and Frequency Question


#1

Hey Fellas,

6'1 215 with #1 goal is looking to lose body fat. Right now I do a 5x5 routine of 5 exercises. A typical day would look like this

Incline DB press
Squat
upright rows
seated rows
and a isolation exercise

the next workout might look like this

DB Flat
Lat pull (Cant do pullups yet)
Deadlift (varies on type)
1 arm bent over row
isolation exercise

I think you get the idea.

I usually follow up the workout with a quick 15 interval training on an ellipital or treadmill. Im usually done with the entire workout in less than an hour.

My question is since I dont hit a specific muscle extremley hard each workout, would it benefit me to do this 4 or 5 times a week, or do I still need more recovery time. Supplementing with BCAA's, creatine and BETA-7 help in the recovery so Im wondering if its ok to up the frequency to this level if 1st goal is fat loss.

Thanks for any input.


#2

im doing total body training as well and is similar to what u do except I use 4 compound exercise with 2 isolation(CW plan). the thing is, you said that you do 5x5 but u dont hit a specific muscle extremely hard each workout, does that mean your 5th rep of every set is not your hardest? in that case, I think you should bump up the weight and make it so that your 5th rep of every set is almost near failure.

that is the way i train when i do like 4x6,3x8,8x3 etc total body, and i defnietly can feel it the next day or two, espicially squat,back, and lower back.

thus, I just train every other day and it seems to work fine for me cuz it allows me to recover the heavy load i do previously.


#3

Personally, I would err on the side of 3 times per week. I know I would be pushing a 5x5 routine with heavy weights to build muscle. If your goal is fat loss then I'm assuming you're using lighter weights and shorter rest intervals, correct? If that is the case then it should alright to do 4x a week, M-T Th-F for example.

The main question is, however, how do you feel each time you go in to workout? If you are dreading the workout, then you haven't recovered enough. If you feel adequately recovered, then you probably are.

You could always just go 1 day on, 1 day on a linear schedule. That way you would end up with 3 days some weeks and 4 days other weeks.


#4

I'd do this up to 5 to 6 times a week for a few weeks and then have a back-off week every 3 to 4 weeks. The whole point of TBT/HFT is not only to train the muscles in your body, but to train your body to recover faster.

To do this you must train often. If you only do this 2 to 3 times a week, you might as well do splits, you'll get more benefit from that because you can concentrate on annihilating each muscle and allowing a longer recovery.


#5

What I found to work for me is I dont have a certain set in stone scedule of days. Instead, if the muscle is still sore and the day comes where the schedule says it's time to hit it agai- I don't.

I wait until the soreness is gone, then I hit it. Some people are going to tell you to work through it but you'll soon find out that the soreness means the muscle isnt ready for more work and you wll be weaker than you thought on your lifts, and you won't be able to get that extra 5lbs on each lift for than next workout.

More likely than not, your previous session's weight will seem far heavier than you remembered it being just a few days ago and you will then get a complex because it will seem like you are actually losing strength- this would be because you're hitting it again too soon.

The smaller stuff like biceps and triceps and delts definitely will recover much faster and you'll notice that while you may only be able to realistically do a heavy bench press, squat, and deadlift once per week, you can definitely hit the smaller muscles more often than this.

If you are hel bent on sticking with a m-w-f or upper-lower-off-repeat routine you'd better do it heavy-medium-light/ heavy-light style because there's no way you're going to be doing 10 sets of 3 on the bench with 90% 1RM 3 days a week without being in constant pain and making no progress.


#6

If your goal is fat loss, then I really don't think you need to be hitting up the gym 4-5 times a week. The purpose of lifting during weight loss is to prevent yourself from losing muscle from the calorie deficit. The purpose is not to try and build muscle. If you try and build muscle while losing fat, you're going to do neither effectively.