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  • Training frequency

    how frequent do you guys train? I was using Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 program for a bit but not seeing great results. I'm switching over to a new split because I am now more interested in bodybuilding, the one my older brother created, it goes something like

    Chest/Tris
    Back/Bis
    Shoulder/Tris
    Legs/Bis

    He lifts every day, cycling this routine. The whole workout is like 3-4 exercises for the big muscle group and 2 exercises for the small one, 3 sets each. So its about 16-18 sets total. The trick he told me, is to pick one main exercise for the bigger muscle group and go fairly heavy (3 sets 5-7 reps) at the beginning of the workout. Then, all subsequent exercises, use much higher rep ranges (8-20) with really good form. This makes sense to me, I think higher rep ranges with good form are better for hypertrophy anyway. And by only lifting heavy on that one exercise I guess he doesn't burn out his CNS, which is why he can lift every day.

    I think if you are training like that every day, you don't want to take too many sets to failure otherwise you wont have enough energy to keep training everyday. But I'm starting to think more and more that training frequency is much more important than just simply annihilating the muscle group whenever its "chest day". Because I can hit chest and be ready to train it again in 3-4 days. So why only do it once a week?

    thoughts? by the way I'm 19 and a college fresman. 6 foot, 195 lbs, bench around 260, deadlift about 405. Probably like 15%-18% bodyfat

  • #2
    You should stick with 5/3/1. Go for BBB assistance work (http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...onth_challenge, this has a good template in it). It works.

    Anyhow, to answer your question. I train 3x a week. I'd lift more if I had the time but I'm too busy as it is and I like this frequency, it works well. Besides, I like to get some conditioning work in. Once my schedule clears up a bit I might go for 5/3/1 with BBB assistance but I like my full body workout approach for now and it's doing wonders for my squat and press.
    Disclaimer: I am not a DC trainee/expert/guru/coach, anything I say is purely my opinion based on experience and research I've read

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bmp View Post
      how frequent do you guys train? I was using Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 program for a bit but not seeing great results. I'm switching over to a new split because I am now more interested in bodybuilding, the one my older brother created, it goes something like

      Chest/Tris
      Back/Bis
      Shoulder/Tris
      Legs/Bis

      He lifts every day, cycling this routine. The whole workout is like 3-4 exercises for the big muscle group and 2 exercises for the small one, 3 sets each. So its about 16-18 sets total. The trick he told me, is to pick one main exercise for the bigger muscle group and go fairly heavy (3 sets 5-7 reps) at the beginning of the workout. Then, all subsequent exercises, use much higher rep ranges (8-20) with really good form. This makes sense to me, I think higher rep ranges with good form are better for hypertrophy anyway. And by only lifting heavy on that one exercise I guess he doesn't burn out his CNS, which is why he can lift every day.
      As for your brother's routine, if it works for him then it works. His approach might not necessarily work for you though, keep that in mind.
      Still, the whole working up to a heavy set or two and then going for a back off set with less weight and more reps (or using a different exercise) is a really good concept. Not sure whether I'd do it everyday but hey who am I to argue if it's working?
      Disclaimer: I am not a DC trainee/expert/guru/coach, anything I say is purely my opinion based on experience and research I've read

      Comment


      • #4
        carlito, the thing is for some reason on 5/3/1 I have trouble during the 5/3/1 week. Like for deadlifts for some reason I usually can't budge the "1" weight off the floor. Even though I can hit all my other numbers for the cycle. Maybe you can take a lot at my setup?

        Sunday - Military Day
        5/3/1 for Military Press
        Pullup variations for 5 sets
        5 sets of BW dips (previous pr was 10,10,10,8,8)
        3 sets of 10 Close Grip Neutral Lat Pulldown

        Tuesday - Deadlift Day
        5/3/1 for Deadlift
        5 sets of 10 hamstring curls
        5 sets of 10 leg raises
        5 sets of 10 lower back extensions
        5 sets of 10 leg press

        Thursday - Bench Day
        5/3/1 for Bench Press
        5 sets of Dips (see previous PR above)
        5 sets of 10 Strict Form Seated Close Neutral Grip Cable Rows
        5 sets of 10 Low incline DB Press
        5 sets of 10 Chest Supported Rowing Machine

        Fri - Squat Day
        5/3/1 for Squat
        5 sets of 10 hamstring curls
        5 sets of 10 leg raises
        5 sets of 10 lower back extensions
        5 sets of 10 leg press

        I took this previous week (spring break) off kinda and just worked out with my bro. Maybe Ill stick with 5/3/1 for a bit longer. But should I move on to the next month's weight if I got everything but the "1" weight?

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        • #5
          Also, looking at all that I just typed, I'm thinking there are just too many exercises/volume. I should probably switch to the BBB assistance....after all, benching for more sets will probably make me better at benching, same applies for deadlifting, squatting, etc, im assuming?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bmp View Post
            carlito, the thing is for some reason on 5/3/1 I have trouble during the 5/3/1 week. Like for deadlifts for some reason I usually can't budge the "1" weight off the floor. Even though I can hit all my other numbers for the cycle.
            You might need to re-evaluate your percentages and wave down accordingly. Another possible factor could be your meal plan. I know when I stagnate before I should have it's almost always because I wasn't eating enough.

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            • #7
              @frank,

              thanks for the feedback. I think the nutrition is probably more likely, as I've only been doing 5/3/1 for like 3 months now. But it is weird that it happens on the "1" set only. Another possible reason why is that I used to deadlift without resetting between reps. So maybe my "off the ground" deadlift strength is subpar because of that. I've always been better at deadlifting for reps than maximal weights.

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              • #8
                3x a week, full body workouts for me.

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                • #9
                  I do push/legs/pull mon/wed/fri. About to drop an arms day in on Tuesdays. I have tried cycling this routine:
                  1 - Chest, Calves.
                  2 - Back, Abs.
                  3 - Shoulders, Calves.
                  4 - Arms, Calves.
                  5 - Legs.

                  I was eating 600g carbs, 200 fat, 500 pro and I burnt out quickly. I need a day of rest between workouts. Probably most people do. Don't fixate in training programs so much man. The simpler, the better. Train something, and train like
                  an ox, take the next day off. Rinse and repeat. And hey presto, muscle starts growing.
                  TEAM :tea: SKIP

                  2012 IFBB Australian Grand Prix Novice 4th Place.
                  2013 Nabba Victorian Championships Novice 3rd Place.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the advice. I guess I'm going to stick with 5/3/1 four days a week.

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                    • #11
                      Once I can bench 315 and deadlift 500+ I'll worry about more complicated stuff.

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                      • #12
                        Go read the 5/3/1 book. All of these questions are answered in it. You are not making progress, because you haven't read it.
                        I will give you a hint though, if you miss the 1 week, your percentages are too high.

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