T Nation

Volume for Two-a-Days?

I’ve been doing a westside split for the past few months to start building a strength base and get some overall mass. It worked pretty well, but its time to switch things up. I want to go to a bodypart split to really pack some pounds on, and next quarter my class load is light so I’m looking to do two sessions each day for the same muscle groups. I just dont really know how to gauge volume for two-a-days. I was lookin at a split like this:


As for each session, I was thinking something like:
Main compound lift 5x3
Accessory movement 3x8
Isolation 3x12

Different compound movement 4x8
Mechanical dropset a la Thibs 3x8(first set)
Isolation 3x15

So for back/bi day it might look like:

Bent BB row 5x3
WG Pullups 3x8
BB curl 3x12

T-bar row 4x8
Pullup mech drop wide->narrow grip 3x8
DB curl 3x15

Hows this look? Too much? Could I get away with more? I plan to be packin away the kcals, probably in the realm of 4000/day. I’m 19, 175 lbs at around 8-10%, 5’11". I’m open to any and all suggestions. How have two a days worked for those who’ve tried them?

In my experience, two-adays work well for two things. Specialization or short bursts of overreaching followed by recovery. Either way, you’ll probably only want to stick with 2-adays every other week, or for two weeks straight and then take a deload week.

But why would you go from something like WS4SB to body part splits, that just doesn’t make much sense to me. Go with a Waterbury program like HFT, or ABBH and up the calories and especially carbs.

Personally, I have always figured total volume per week is a consideration independent of whether training is once-per-day or divided into twice-per-day.

In other words, other than concerns such as one’s personal schedule or that sort of thing, concerns related to how the body responds and how it deals with volumes of work aren’t I think much if any changed by whether the day’s work load is divided or not.

I just figured that a bp split would be pretty different from an upper/lower split. I guess I should shoot to switch up rep ranges and schemes more though too.

bill- that makes sense in one of those “duh” ways that never really occurred to me before. If 15 sets is too many for you to recover from in 24 hours, then it wouldn’t make a big difference if those 15 were in one session, or split in two. I just feel like I’ve heard around that twoadays are, all things considered, better than if it was a single session. I’m pretty sure thibs mentioned it in a thread.

Anyone try twoadays for a while and can vouch, one way or another on the results?

I am not sure – which means just exactly that – in cases where there is no particular reason calling for it.

But for example at the moment I’m doing it, because I have come up with an idea of combining the most fiendish ideas of Arthur Jones together with the most fiendish ideas of the damned Communists.

Namely, four days a week – this means, necessarily, there are two days that are back-to-back and never more than one rest day at a time – at 65, 70, 75, and 80% 1RM respectively, of:

  1. Hammer Strength Iso Row, single-armed
  2. HS Iso Row, two-arms: maximal reps with lower pronated grip, then immediately switch to higher neutral grip for maximal reps
  3. Leg Press
  4. Shrugs on a squat machine that has a shoulder yoke
  5. Shoulder width supinated pulldowns, one-and-a-third style (letting the weight back only 1/3 of the way and then pulling back to full contraction again, before letting weight fully down to complete the rep)
  6. Romanian deadlift
  7. Good morning
  8. Bent row (45 degrees max reps, then immediately 20 degrees max reps, then immediately still 20 degrees but now with leg drive for max reps)
  9. Don’t know a name for it: low pulley cable row using rope attachment, seated on bench, leaning way forward
  10. Cobra pulldown (this uses the crossover machine at highest setting, kneeling in the middle, pulling completely down and in)
  11. Voyer Shrug (Thibs has an article on it.)
  12. Strive Extreme Row (weight split between the positions that maximize load at bottom and at midrange, for max reps; then as fast as weight can be changed, with weight all at position maximizing load at bottom)
  13. Deadlift (made harder via having shoulders completely retracted at start and employing rather little legs, for max reps, then immediately strongest-form style for max reps)
  14. Snatch-grip deadlift. Likewise on making the earlier reps deliberately harder to do.
  15. Drag curls with EZ-curl bar for max reps immediately followed by DB curls at two lighter weights for max reps each.

Also there are warmup sets where needed or thought beneficial.

All exercises, whether so mentioned above or not, are for maximum reps that can be done.

Now, one thing that is easier than Arthur would have it is that I allow the negatives to be faster than he’d appreciate, and also do the positives faster. But this also results in having to do many more reps, so it’s not all peaches and cream.

Actually there would be more than this, but I’m unusually beat up at the moment and so am very temporarily having to leave out squatting and pressing movements.

Since I am having to cut up at present, I could not do this in one workout. I would need a different workout plan entirely. (And even if not cutting up, I wouldn’t consider it personally workable to do the Romanian DL and good morning right before the deadlift and SGDL, but would reverse that order. However the break makes this order possible. For me: perhaps not for some given other person.)

However, as a two-a-day – first 7 exercises in the morning in right about 60 minutes, the last 8 after a 3 hour break, also taking right about an hour – it seems very good, at least as a short term plan.

It is only if there is a specific reason like this that I do a two-a-day, though. That is just personal: it doesn’t mean I’m saying it might not be better even if not necessitated from the training plan.

Note: not counting warmup sets, which in this case is reasonable not to count as they are deliberately quite non-tiring, this works out to 60 sets a week, which if anything is a reduction from what it would otherwise be.

And incidentally, if wondering how that would fit in with Arthur Jones’ most fiendish ideas, I am referring to the period in which he advocated 72 sets per week (24 sets 3x/week.) So the weekly volume actually is not at all in contradiction to what Jones would have approved of, at least at that time. I am using slightly less on account of there being really only one foo-foo exercise in there.

What if the reasoning one had to do two-a-days isn’t to add more volume without overtraining Bill, but to increase the effectiveness of the latter half of training session?

As a workout drags on, and fatigue sets in, the last exercises/sets/reps etc., you’d have to use less weight or form would suffer; but if you split the second half of the workout to later on in the day…the quality of what would have been the latter half of the workout, goes up.

Just thinking aloud.

That would be the reason I’m doing it now.

But ordinarily – if not cutting – I can do more work than this in 2 hours in one session and don’t at all feel that the second half is compromised.

When being miserly with the pre, mid, and post workout nutrition though, as well as overall not having the calories appropriate for working really hard, then no, after an hour I’m done and attempting a second hour straight off would indeed be compromising it severely.

Now it’s fair to say that the pre, mid, and post workout nutrition I employ would be considered extreme by many. For that matter, Tim thought I was insane when he heard how much I took. (Referring to, at that time, 3 scoops Surge Recovery plus about 45 g glucose pre, mid, AND post.)

It doesn’t actually take me that much for the second hour of two hours in a row to be uncompromised, but it does take a fair bit. My preferred amounts now are 2 scoops each Recovery and Workout Fuel pre and mid, with post being the same for the Recovery but with only one scoop of Workout Fuel.

Still a fair bit to be sure.

I expect that many that think they “can’t” train past an hour are just not taking in enough.

I don’t know how many calories are burned, but as a guess for me heartrate might well average what it does when some stupid-aerobics device such as a treadmill is saying I’m burning 500 or 600 calories an hour. So maybe 1000 or 1200 for two hours.

So especially considering that the goal is for this to be an opportunity for the muscles to take in nutrients and to get into the positive, how does it make sense to consume just 200 calories or whatever?

No wonder many are convinced they can’t do it. They aren’t providing the fuel.

So, just to clarify, you’re doing this two-a-day template now for a cut? or were you cutting already and just so happened upon this idea?

Yes i see your point that if one were to provide enough nutrition, especially in the form of peri-workout nutrition, you could have longer, more strenuous workouts.

I would be doing a roughly similar – except for being two-a-day – sort of training right now regardless, but unfortunately I had to cut at this time, due to having to be a groomsman at a friend’s wedding and needing to be the waist measurement I’d provided to the tailor for the tuxedo rental.

It’s really not to aid the cut, just to able to train as close to what I’d like to be training at despite the cut.

Check out Amit Sapir’s threads- Thibs basically has him do the powerlifts heavy but not to failure in the AM and pump up specific body parts in the PM.

Bear in mind Sapir has a huge work capacity and is a former Olympic athlete.

[quote]Cprimero wrote:
Check out Amit Sapir’s threads- Thibs basically has him do the powerlifts heavy but not to failure in the AM and pump up specific body parts in the PM.

Bear in mind Sapir has a huge work capacity and is a former Olympic athlete.[/quote]

Yeah, but like you said, Amit’s been doing it for many years and he has definitely upped his work capacity. I can’t imagine working full body everyday like he does.