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Training Twice a Week

Recently I have cut down on training days due to being very busy at work, which is a good thing I guess, as I’m self-employed. The drawback of this that it left me with little spare time, besides doing what has to be done (cooking/cleaning/etc.). I read an article by Dan John about training twice a week and that he still got some solid gains from it. So far my training days consist of (day1) bench/squat as main movements ramping to one top set and (day2) bench/dealift ramping. After each top set I do 2 back off sets of the same movement (except for deadlifts which I replace with RDL). After that, depending on how much time I have to spend I do 3-5 accessories (always a pulling movement, few sets of biceps/triceps and something shoulder related - lateral raise, face pull, …).

I’ve made good strength gains, my joints feel better than ever and I have a lot of energy going into the gym so my workouts are fantastic. Physique-wise I think my diet could be better with a bit more preparing in advance.

Now my question is: should I keep on benching twice, or switch one day for OHP? Or should I switch it up entirely by having one low volume strength day and one higher volume hypertrophy day?

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks.

I feel like the answer depends on your goals. For instance if your focus is improving your shoulders then maybe the OHP would be a good addition. I would probably instead choose a variation of incline pressing instead of a second flat bench day. Just my $0.02

Incline press at around 15 to 30 degrees is better for pecs. Twice a week just do full body.

yep try it


errr? …keep doing what you’re doing!!

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What do you do as a second movement?
If you’re enjoying it, stay the course as you are. But if are worried about overall development you could always do more pressing exercises after benching.
Something like
Days 1
1 top set bench, 2-3 sets of ohp or incline bench.
Day 2
1 top set bench, 2-3 sets decline bench or dips.

I’m a bit sketchy when it comes to shoulder pressing. I have a labrum tear and I spent a year rehabbing. But I don’t want to neglect it either.

Do lateral raises and rear delt exercises give you the same bang dor your buck as ohp?

Currently it’s:

Face pulls/external rotation warm-up
BP 1 top set + 2 back off sets
SQ 1 top set + 2 back off sets
Wide grip row 2 sets
Biceps curl 2 sets
Triceps skulls. 2 sets
Lateral raises 2 sets

Face pulls/ext. rotations
BP 1 top set + 2 back off sets
DL 1 top set + 2 back off RDL sets
Lat pulldown 2 sets
Shoulder db press 2 sets
Biceps curl 2 sets
Triceps pushdown 2 sets

I like the back off sets of the same movement just bc of the convenience. Take of a plate and rep out more sets. But maybe I should switch those up like you suggest.

I’m also wondering if this is enough volume. After a workout like this I’m gassed bc of the intensity. A real amrap of bench/squats/deads is murder. Would it be better to hold back a bit more and do more sets, rather than focussing on intensity? My main goal is physique related, but getting bigger without getting stronger is… Impossible as I have learnt by now.

I have limited experience, but the works outs do not look poor. But its depends on your goals. Do you want more chest development or more shoulder development?

Either way – I’d lose some of the isolation exercises and start adding more compound moves. Lat rises and tricep skulls could be combined into behind the neck pressing for example. If your shoulders are health enough of course.

With regards to volume. 5-10 sets per muscle group per week is fine. There is a super long tread on Paul Carters section about this. Just 5-10 sets, always getting stronger in the 8-12 rep range. And you will get bigger.

You could triple the volume on rows and lat pulldowns. 2 sets a week is nothing.

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Why not keep all this and go to the gym 2x a week when you need to, but get some light dumbbells at home, and do 50-100 reps daily of all the isolation stuff like curls, skull crushers, later raise, etc?

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Been doing versions of this for 1.5 years. I change specific exercises in some movement patterns, some set/rep schemes, and the assistance work depending on what I need to focus on (and don’t always do only upper or lower assistance work each day). Still progressing.