T Nation

Training One Muscle a Day

Has anyone had success lifting 1 muscle a day?  That seems to be when I had the most success but I was also using gear.  I havent been able to get any gear in a long time and I am in the worst shape of my life.  I gotta find a way to get back into the swing of things.  Any suggestions would really be appreciated


I don't think it's even really possible to train one muscle a day. If you train chest, you're going to train triceps as well whether you like it or not.


Not if you're using the pec deck.

Anyway, literally training one muscle a day is a bad idea. There are so many muscles in the body, and doing that means training each muscle less than once a week. Training one muscle group would make more sense.


Training one big movement a day may make sense though, e.g. squats, bench, chins etc

I'd thought about that myself for when time is tight. 15 minutes a day can still get you some serious lifting


Good old OLAD.



Yes it is a good idea, training one muscle a day is pretty much OLAD with other accessory lifts, example of what you would want:

1 back - DEADLIFT + pull ups? db row? seated row?
2 chest - BENCH PRESS + incline bench, pec deck, db press
3 bicep - BARBELL CURL + preacher curls etc.
4 shoulder - MILITARY PRESS + lateral raises, rear delt raises, db shoulder press etc.
5 leg - SQUATS + leg curls, lunges, leg presses
6 tricep - WEIGHTED DIPS + cable press downs, db extension
7 rest

I don't know why people would recommend OLAD and wouldn't recommend 'focusing on one muscle group a day', it's the same thing! Except with adding more exercises; it would be be more focused to developing balance between muscles (bodybuilding).

I gained a lot of mass by doing the routine above, made very good gains on the main lifts and didn't have any lagging muscle groups.

I would only recommend a program like this for someone trying to gain mass though.


Thanks! T nation is a real treasure trove


Ok, Goodfellow thanks. That is pretty much what I did before and got really big. I am now looking to trim down and lose some weight mainly my gut. I was thinking possibly doing light weight with alot of sets and alot of running and throwing some ab routines in there.

I've got about 20lbs to lose before I can really think about having my abs back though. I'm thinking some toneing, with light weights and alot of running might be the routine for me. If anyone has any suggestions or know of good link on here let me know. Thanks again.


I think this is a bad idea. Keep your training the same that got you there and make the changes in your diet and cardio if you choose. If you got your size one way, it's going to stay there if you keep training hard. You run this risk of dieting off too much muscle if you decide to go light weights and especially combine this with distance running, goodbye leg size that took so long to build.


And probably some other size as well. I agree, it makes no sense to lighten up the training while trying to get leaner. Trim back especially the carbs and throw in some HIIT or maybe even go full body for several weeks.


from a hypertrophy standpoint, I've made my best gains training one body part a day. Although you are focusing on only 1 body part, another muscle always gets worked. So It's kind of like having a light day for that muscle, so it is still technically getting trained twice per week, now the problem is just in making sure you have sufficient rest between directly working a muscle, while keeping in mind to give the antagonist muscle rest between its next direct workout.


I know when I did it before. I would blast the 1 muscle I was working on. If it was biceps day I would try and get every last rep out of it. I usually did 4 different exerceiss for the day trying to hit that muscle from different angles. It still took about 45 minutes. It wasnt a short workout.

I usually do the one technique that I saw described on a recent article from here. Doing abs in between sets. That does work great. I've been doing that for a year or two now. I've visited this site since they had a magazine out. Are there any talks of putting another one out does anyone know?


Goodfellow, or some other guy, how would you handle the sets and reps for such days (one muscle a day)?


just do what feels right, I only like doing one muscle a day for about 4-5 weeks, choosing 4 exercises, doing my weaknesses first, or whatever I want to progress on the most the first, and do 4 sets, then i do about 3 sets for the rest.

I know that I grow the best using rep ranges of 8-12 for upper body and 15-20+ for lower body so I stick to that mostly.

After 4-5 weeks I like to do something different for 2-3 weeks, whatever I feel like, hitting body parts once or twice a week.

programs are all about listening to your body. Though I do definitely say that lifting hard and heavy is probably the best universal thing to do for dropping body fat. You need to give the body a reason to keep all that energy wasting muscle!