T Nation

Twice a week

For those of you that train each bodypart twice a week, What is your training split. I’m looking for new ideas. I’ve been training each twice a week for sometime now and i’m looking to switch it up. I’ve been doing:
Chest/Back, Shoulders/Tri, Legs/Bi. Monday thru Saturday, Sunday off. Thanks, Jacked

Don’t know if you should take my advice but…

I tend to specialize on a certain part in my split 3/4 times a week. If I’m specializing, say my back, then I do a more intense workout for the back on two workouts in a row, each targetting different muscle groups. For example, lots of horizontal pulling one day for back and a lot of vertical pulling another day. Stronger motions for thickening one day, wider for another. Then I pretty much leave that body part alone for the rest of the week. I find that the recovery time is necessary and I seem to grow more. Obviously, not all body parts can be targeted this way. But chest (inclines and declines and pullovers on one day and flat bench and flys incline and decline the next) and legs are also doable. I don’t work my arms out they tend to grown on their own. Every few weeks I throw in an arm day or two…

I also squat 3 times a week. One day is a hard 20 rep squat, the rest of the week is a much lighter 20 rep.

I’m an ultra hard gainer so I find that the recovery time is what helps me grow the most. The other thing I do EVERY day of training and in commercial breaks when watching TV is abs work.

What I like to do occassionally is hit each bodypart twice a week but hit it a little differently in each session. For example the 1st round through I might concentrate on heavy weights lifting for strength and mass and on the 2nd day I’ll do some power or speed/strength work. Since it looks like your focus is bodybuilding you might consider using a heavy/light scheme. The first workout for each bodypart use heavy weights with lower reps for more sets and the 2nd workout use fewer sets with higher reps. Chad Waterbury’s recent anti-bodybuilding article is an example. Also there is a 6 day split you can use that kind’ve automatically makes you train in a heavy/light fashion with a method of Push/Pull/Legs and pre-exhaustion. Here is an example. Do each bodypart in this order.
Day 1- Back, biceps, forearms
Day 2- quadriceps, hamstrings, calves
Day 3- Chest, shoulders, Triceps
Day 4- off
Day 5- forearms, biceps, back
day 6- calves, hamstrings, quadriceps
Day 7- Triceps, shoulders, Chest

The 2nd round through you’re reversing the order of the exercises so the bodyparts you train at the beginning automatically take on a heavier intensity and the bodyparts you train at the end take on less.

If strength is your goal, this is a great split:

Bench Press
T-bar Rows
Power Cleans

Push Press


The exercises can be changed to meet your specific goals, the point is big compound movements, hitting all major muscle groups. They are performed circuit-style (1 set of dips, then one set of chins, one set of push-press, etc.) Four sets worked well for me, at 4-6 reps, resting around 2 min between sets. I used Fridays for directly working arms, forearms, abs, and calves. Olympic lifts and/or The Bear on Friday would also be a good idea.

Oh yeah, for size gains, check out the Anti-bodybuilding Hypertrophy Program by Chad Waterbury, found in the previous issues of this mag.

i like the idea of doing compound movements throughout the week that target similar muscles rather then doing the same routine twice a week. No one seems to have given a response to specific twice a week training. Powerlifters will work specific movements twice a week using high intensity low reps and low intensity speed reps. Thats the only example that i’ve seen other then HST training which is a full body workout which also relies on the big compound movements. The key is to hit the muscle from all angles to get the most stimulation and development while also allowing enough time to recover inorder to progress. laters pk

HST…oops, that’s actually three times a week but it’s my favorite program yet.


Thank you all for your replies and ideas.
Kelly, you nailed it and I should have specified in my first post that bodybuilding is my focus. I like the routine that you gave me as an example. I would like to keep Sunday’s as my off day so do you think that i could do the following:
Day 1- (Sunday) Off
Day 2- Chest, shoulders, Triceps
Day 3- Back, biceps, forearms
Day 4- quadriceps, hamstrings, calves
Day 5- Triceps, shoulders, Chest
day 6- forearms, biceps, back
Day 7- calves, hamstrings, quadriceps

My recovery is quick since I have been doing each bodypart twice a week for sometime now and have become “used to it” This is my reason for changing it up. Thanks for the reference to the article too, i’ll check it out. Jacked

jacked you are working out 6 days in a row. God bless you for resting on Sunday, but how do you really do it. That looks like overkill even if you were jacked on anabolics. Forget about this notion of the 7 day week and add in some specific rest days to recover. You might take it as a touch and go process but definitely add in another off day. laters pk

what volume would you use on that split?

Kelly, would 3X12 and 5X5 be a good choice for light and heavy respectively?

Patman, is there any benefit to circuit-style training rather then finishing say the 3-5 sets for an exercise before moving on to the next? What are the pros and cons?

On my current training schedule I do a total of 36 sets for chest, back, shoulders(traps included), and legs. 18 total sets for bi’s and tri’s. See my first post for the split. This is all in one week, six consecutive days, sunday’s off. The exercises due vary each workout so I’m not benching or squating twice a week. I admit at first the volume wasn’t as great but now my recovery is very good, I feel that post nutrition plays a key role. I have at least 48hrs to recovery before the next bout and feel that this is sufficient.

Sorry, I meant 72 hours in between not 48. My bad.

My spilt hits each body part three times in two weeks. A: Back and Traps, B: Chest and Tris, C: Shoulders and Biceps, D: Legs. I do a six on one off split to get 12 workouts in 14 days.