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Thread: Can only lift twice a week

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Can only lift twice a week

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    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. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Concord, CA
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    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. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    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.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    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. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Calgary, AB
    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.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Santa Barbara
    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. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    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 at 12:49 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuck416 View Post
    Why not try 4 weeks of both and see which gives you the best results.
    Agree with this.

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