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Thread: Can only lift twice a week

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    264

    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 inbetween...so I was wondering which program you would think might be best, muscle and strength are the goals, not too crazy about getting bigger.

    A)
    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)

    or

    B)
    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
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    Concord, CA
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    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
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Option B is the way to go, as advised by Jim Wendler himself:

    /http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/531_reloaded

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    London
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    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Georgia
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    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!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
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    2,522
    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.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    NJ
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    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    nj
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    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
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    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: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
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