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Can only lift twice a week

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  • Can only lift twice a week

    Hey gang, this is mostly for the starting strength or 5/3/1 type guys, I'm an experienced lifter, got a new job that limits me to only being able to get in two sessions a week with days off for recovery I was wondering which program you would think might be best, muscle and strength are the goals, not too crazy about getting bigger.

    Day 1: Squat 5/3/1, Press 5/3/1, Chins, Dips ( 5x8-10)
    Day 2: Dead 5/3/1, Bench 5/3/1, Rows, Cleans ( 5x8-10)


    Day 1: Squat 5/3/1, Lunges, Stiff leg dead lifts (5x8-10)
    Day 2: Bench 5/3/1, Rows, Dips ( 5x8-10)
    then replace the two main lifts with dead and press the following week.

    I keep debating between A, hitting my main lifts every week, or B, getting my main lifts stronger ( albeit slow and stead) with solid assistance work, while still working the muscle groups hit. Thoughts?

  • #2
    Personally I like to hit upper body twice a week, I seem to get better results. So I would go with A. However I am sure it's different for everyone. Why not try 4 weeks of both and see which gives you the best results.
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    • #3
      I like A, but I definitely think you're doing the right thing either way with all those compound lifts. I know a lot of people who love 5/3/1.

      Maybe switch it up and try an upper/lower spirit some weeks? Good luck!


      • #4
        A looks better to me. The progression is faster, and doing the main lifts at least once each week is important to keeping the neural pathways effective. Do what works best for you and your goals, though.
        In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

        This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.


        • #5
          I'm doing a 2-day program based on Texas Method right now. The program is something like this:

          Volume means 5 x 5
          Intensity means 1 x 5, 5 x 1, 2 x 3, or 3 x 2. I rotate as things stall so that I can keep progressing

          Thursday: Volume squats, volume/intensity press (alternates week to week), Power cleans, chin-ups
          Monday: Intensity squats, volume/intensity bench press (alternating), intensity deadlift, dips

          When progress ceases, I plan to do something similar to your A setup of 5/3/1, but skipping the "3" and the "deload" weeks (credit to Karl Schudt for the 5/1 idea), but I'll still squat both days. So Thursday would be 5/1 squats and Monday would be 5/5/10 squats (no AMRAP) with 45%/55%/65% of my training 1RM as defined by Wendler's formula, then the deadlifts and bench.
          The Champagne of Beards


          • #6
            I usually only lift twice each week, split in to a push and pull day. I do other HIIT training and box for the other 4 days, and I take 1 day off. anyway, I just changed it up a little bit and am doing more of a 5x5, but still split as push and pull. so on push day I do bench press/squat/overhead press/dips and on pull day I did deadlift/pullups, db rows, and upright rows. it seems to work for me


            • #7
              I like Option A. I think two days of the whole body lifting is better than two splits a week. Split routines are designed to accommodate people's desire to lift 4+ days a week imo.
              My Journal:
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


              • #8
                I do:

                Day 1: Bench, Squat
                Day 2: Press, Deadlift

                I also fit in cleans, machine pullups, pushups, rdls and tabatas in there. I haven't worked out the best days for these so I haven't been strictly on a 2x/week schedule.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                • #9
                  I only lift 1-2x/week. Works terrific for me.

                  A: Deadlift and OHP
                  B: Weighted Dips, Weighted Chins, Leg Press (throw in some pushup and lateral raises if I'm up for it at the end)

                  Was also doing some pistols and muscleups at the park for fun yesterday though and went for a 5 mile hike carrying a 40lb 3 year old boy for most of it
                  Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-05-2013, 12:49 PM.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by canuck416 View Post
                    Why not try 4 weeks of both and see which gives you the best results.
                    Agree with this.


                    • #11
                      Option B is the way to go, as advised by Jim Wendler himself:


                      I've pasted below, his response to your specific situation:

                      Modification #2: I'm a busy guy and hitting the gym four times a week is tough. Any lower frequency ideas that still yield gains?

                      "I get this a lot, and I have a kick-ass answer. Move everything to two times a week and do the following:

                      Week 1:

                      Monday: Squats 5/3/1, leg press 5 x 10, stiff leg deads 5 x 10, abs

                      Thursday: Bench press 5/3/1, dumbbell press 5 x 10, dumbbell row 5 x 10, biceps curls (yes, curls).

                      Include three days of hard conditioning (hill sprints) on nonconsecutive days.

                      Week 2:

                      Monday: Deadlift 5/3/1, safety bar squat 5 x 10, good mornings 5 x 10, abs

                      Thursday: Overhead press 5/3/1, chin-ups 5 x 10, dips 5 x 10, biceps curls (no, the joke isn't on you, biceps curls).

                      Include three days of hard conditioning (hill sprints) on nonconsecutive days.


                      • #12
                        With the reduced frequency, Wendler says there's no need to deload, and each training cycle now goes six weeks instead of the usual four.

                        And for those guys who think that this sounds like their mama's split, Wendler says look out.

                        "The 5 x 10 assistance work is no joke, if you hit it hard. It's definitely not a pussy split — in fact, it could be the best variation of all.

                        Following this split is the reason I decided recently to do another meet."

                        Twice a week of lifting: Are you sure that's enough volume?

                        "I think most guys — even guys with all kinds of time to train — would be better off stripping down their volume and stepping up their conditioning," says Wendler.


                        • #13
                          Monday: Deadlift
                          Tue: Press
                          Thu: Squat

                          Works well for me. I stopped doing pull ups, push ups. I do sumo deadlift variation instead of pull ups.
                          Few but ripe.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 70in2012 View Post
                            Monday: Deadlift
                            Tue: Press
                            Thu: Squat

                            Works well for me. I stopped doing pull ups, push ups. I do sumo deadlift variation instead of pull ups.
                            i'd still do pullups. and some sort of ohp.


                            • #15
                              I do 2x a week with the iron.

                              Day 1 - squat, bench, deadlift
                              Day 2 - squat, overhead press, pullups