- Does Strength Training Once a Week Actually Do Anything for Your Body?
- WOW! You Only Need to Weight Train Once a Week?
- The Physiology Of Weight Training | Why Weight Training Once A Week Works!
- It Even Works For The Big Boys!
- Wait! But I Don’t Want to Be a Bodybuilder!
- It’s Important for EVERYONE to Weight Train Once a Week!
- Why Wait Seven Days Before Hitting the Gym Again?
- Why Only One Set per Muscle Group?
- If you like this article, please share it!
- Why My Personal Trainer is Worth It
- What if Hiring a Personal Trainer Isn’t an Option?
- You’re Working Out for the First Time
- You’ve Stopped Seeing Results
- You’re an Athlete
- You’re Training for a Marathon
- HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SEE A PERSONAL TRAINER?
- Once-A-Week Strength Training (Part 1)
- Experts keep telling us it doesn’t work
- How Often Should You Lift To Build Muscle?
- How many times per week should I lift weights?
- Benefits of Higher-Frequency Training
- How To Do High-Frequency Training
- Training 3 days per week
- Training four or more days
- The Truth about Training Frequency
Does Strength Training Once a Week Actually Do Anything for Your Body?
Confession: While I’d happily run or spin five or six times a week, I’m much less diligent about strength training.
It’s not that I’m ignorant to the perks. When I’m consistently pumping iron, I look and feel great, and I know my bones and heart benefit from the habit too. (Need more reasons to lift heavy weights? We’ve got eight.) But for some reason, working up a sweat on the running trails or a bike always ends up feeling like a much more efficient route to the endorphin rush I crave after exercising. Plus, lifting weights is hard! So when my week starts to fill up, my strength workouts are the first thing to go.
But! I do make a point of getting into the weight room-or doing a strength-based workout-at least once a week. In fact, I get a little paranoid if I go any longer without squeezing in some squats or push-ups. I don’t want run off all my muscle tone, after all. But is a once-a-week strength schedule even worth it? (And, for that matter, Do Arm Exercises In Workout Classes Like Barre and Spinning Count As Strength Training?)
Even when you combine a five-day-a-week running habit with one day a week of weights, the best you can hope for is “modest results in strength gain, muscle toning, and even an increase in bone density,” says Keuilian. Again, better than nothing-but I’m probably not going to get super ripped, and I’m definitely not getting all the benefits I could if I were to step it up a bit.
So what’s a cardio addict to do? Keuilian suggests spending just three to five minutes at a time on simple, no-space-required moves like bodyweight squats, tricep dips, and burpees (try these 9 Next-Level Strength Training Moves That Burn More Calories). He recommends doing that several times a day, but even adding a single five-minute weight “session” post-runs adds up-if I do that after every run, that’s another 25 to 30 minutes of muscle building I’ve snuck into a week.
My trick? Hitting up classes that combine cardio and strength, like Barry’s Bootcamp or even bouldering. (We’ve got a Barry’s Bootcamp-Inspired Abs, Butt, and Core Workout). My biceps will be back in no time!
- By Mirel Ketchiff @mirelbee
You only need to weight train once a week! Try “The Wow Method”!
WOW! You Only Need to Weight Train Once a Week?
It’s true! You only need to weight train for ONE full-body session per week. You only need to pay your personal trainer for ONE visit a week (assuming you do your cardio on your own).
Most people already subscribe to an “all or nothing” approach to their goals. The professional sports media hype encourages that same attitude toward exercise.
People believe that they have to shoot for athlete level or there’s no point in bothering. So they puff themselves up, make an emotional, determined resolution that this time they’re “GONNA DO IT”! They commit to going to the gym somewhere between 3 – 7 times a week. However, for most folks, that’s simply not feasible over the long term.
To put it bluntly: Because most people have more important things to do. So they stop exercising completely.
What’s more, is the belief that fit & healthy people have made a huge commitment of time & energy to accomplish what they have & that anything less is not worth doing. With this belief, the goal of becoming fit & healthy looms large, like an impossible-to-climb, brick wall. Many sedentary people find themselves discouraged before they even bother to try.
Not everybody is interested in committing to become an athlete! Not everyone has the inclination or the time donate to extreme fitness.
What about the CEO of a prominent corporation. Or an award winning architect known for monumental landmarks. Or even a best-selling author whose novels are translated in 17 different languages. Their time is sacrosanct! But to ensure optimal health, these successful people should:
- Be at the gym once per week to stretch & strengthen (maintain) their muscle mass.
- Combine their daily cardio/movement into fun & social time with family & friends.
Are you one of these successful, time pressed individuals? Yes?
Save time & money. Spare your body the inflammation that causes pesky aches, pains, injuries & even illness from over-training.
Weight train once a week (one full-body session) & watch your body transform!
You don’t believe it? Most don’t …
The Physiology Of Weight Training | Why Weight Training Once A Week Works!
- Training to complete muscular exhaustion ensures that you’ve exhausted all the muscle fibres in that particular muscle group (see “Henneman’s Size Principle“).
- By exhausting all the muscle fibres in that particular muscle group, you’ve stimulated each & every fibre to build new contractile units over the next week.
- The muscles actually need 6 to 7 days to recover completely. Training them more often interferes with the recovery process & causes inflammation.
- New contractile units in each & every muscle fibre … This equates to stronger & bigger muscles!
Note: For those who are interested; at the bottom of this article is a glossary of terms. Here is a further explanation of the physiology of why you only need to weight train once a week.
It Even Works For The Big Boys!
The principles of The WOW Method are not original. It started with a gentleman named, Arthur Allen Jones who invented the Nautilus exercise machines. Jones developed the basic tenet principles of High Intensity Training (HIT) as an alternative to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ideal of hour upon hour of weight-lifting in the gym.
- Lifting the weight with strict form & a slow & controlled cadence until momentary muscular failure so as to stimulate all muscle fibres in the targeted muscle group.
- Allowing adequate rest time between workouts to ensure full recovery of the muscle.
- Progressive overload – as strength increases, the weight increases.
Among some of the famous bodybuilders who practiced Jones’ HIT are Casey Viator, Lee Labrada, Mike Mentzer, Sergio Oliva & Dorian Yates.
Different authors have taken Jones’ HIT method & modified it. For instance, Ellington Darden believed in full body workouts while Dorian Yates split his workouts into four different sessions a week. Mike Mentzer advocated in his book, High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way, only one set per muscle group until muscular failure & then rest for 4 -7 days. Dr. Doug McGuff recommends in his book, Body By Science, 5 different exercises using HIT with super slow reps for 90 seconds each.
Wait! But I Don’t Want to Be a Bodybuilder!
Most don’t. We understand that you don’t want to be that weird, muscle-bound, gym person. We understand because we aren’t weird, muscle-bound gym people either.
The fact is that most bodybuilders are bodybuilders because they have a mesomorphic body type & they possess the correct genetics. Not to mention they have the desire to become bodybuilders.
Very rarely will a man or woman grow more muscle mass than they want. If you are mesomorphic & start to become “too big”, then weight train once every two weeks … or even only once a month.
The main goal is to preserve your muscle mass as you become older & prevent it from withering.
Case-in-point: if the bodybuilders above could achieve their ideal form by weight training once per week, then doesn’t it stand to reason that you’ll be able to make significant gains using the same method?
- Ectomorphic: long, thin muscle & low fat storage. Not predisposed to store fat or build muscle.
- Mesomorphic: large bones, above average muscle mass. Predisposed to build muscle.
- Endomorphic: medium bone structure, wide hips. Predisposed to store fat.
It’s Important for EVERYONE to Weight Train Once a Week!
Burn fat like you used to years ago.
A higher metabolism consumes fat faster than a lower metabolism. Slow metabolism during hibernation can sustain a bear, without eating, for months. Speed up & keep that metabolism high!
Muscles are the engines that burn calories.
Sometime between the ages of 25 – 35, you start to lose half a pound of muscle per year. Unfortunately, a lost muscle fibre can never be re-gained. Year after year, as the muscle fibre loss accumulates, the amount of calories you burn decreases as well. This is why people seem to replace muscle with fat as they age.
However, if you weight train, you keep most of your muscle! You also build up existing muscle mass while you’re at it (meaning – grow more contractile units into the existing muscle fibres).
Weight lifting leads to increased muscle strength & size, which in turn will boost your metabolism. Increased metabolism will burn more calories for as long as you have that muscle density – even while sleeping!
Increased muscle mass = Increased metabolism = Increased calories burned = Increased fat loss!
Another perk, increased muscle mass helps the body to manage blood sugar levels. Meaning, you can get away with a little more sugar (or alcohol, bread, potatoes, pasta) before your body will convert it to fat.
EVERYONE needs to weight train with correct form, impeccable posture & an effective amount of weight (although for some people a physician’s clearance may be necessary).
Why Wait Seven Days Before Hitting the Gym Again?
As Dr. Doug McGuff states, “’the average muscle recovery time for the general population is seven days.” The building of new tissues within the body can only happen at a set rate. At this set rate it usually takes a full seven days to:
- Dissipate the fatigue & inflammation
- Repair the tears in the muscle fibres
- Build new contractile units within the muscle fibres
- Strengthen the tendons, ligaments, fascia & bones so that they are strong enough to support the stronger muscles
Even if seven days seems like a long time, rest assured, you will not start to lose muscle during that time (unless you diet improperly).
Why Only One Set per Muscle Group?
Dr. Doug McGuff
Dr. Doug McGuff states that multiple weight-training sets are akin to pressing the elevator button again & again – when the first press of the elevator button already called the elevator car.
Just the same, one set is all it takes to stimulate the building of new contractile units within the muscle fibre. Further sets simply increase the fatigue, wear & tear & inflammation. Then, the body has to expend more energy to recover.
How Heavy Should I Weight Train?
Dr. Doug McGuff explains in his book, Body by Science that light weights are not effective. The slow twitch fibres will be recruited first, but because they fatigue so slowly, by the time the fast twitch fibres are starting to be triggered, some of the slow-twitch motor units will have started to recover & are cycling back into the contraction process preventing the fast-twitch fibres from being further engaged.
He talks about a similar problem with weights that are too heavy allowing too few repetitions. All the motor units (fast & slow) are engaged, but the fast-twitch units fatigue so quickly that the muscle will fail before the all the slow twitch fibres are properly stimulated.
Dr. McGuff argues that a moderately heavy weight allows full recruitment & stimulation of all muscle fibres by the time the muscle has completely failed & the set is completed.
Am I Too Old to Weight Train?
Clarence Bass at 70 years old!
It’s never too late to start! Anyone from the age of 14 onward can & will reap staggering results from weight training (although a doctor’s medical clearance might be necessary).
Many elderly men & women stay healthy through an exercise regime that includes weight training. Clarence Bass, born in 1937 & author of a fitness blog & many books, is one such gentleman. His most recent book is Take Charge: Fitness at the Edge of Science.
As per the study, High-Intensity Strength Training in Nonagenarians, Effects on Skeletal Muscle:
- A high-intensity, weight-training program is capable of inducing dramatic increases in muscle strength in frail men & women aged in their 90s, in spite of their very advanced age, extremely sedentary habits, multiple chronic diseases, functional disabilities & nutritional inadequacies.
Our own observations:
- Low-to-moderate resistance training has produced little or no increase in strength in older subjects.
- Strength gains are due, first to improved neural recruitment patterns, while hypertrophy comes later.
But, is it really useful to me?
Yes! Independent living absolutely requires fundamental & functional movements.
“… it seems that exercise interventions that include endurance, strength, and muscle power training should be prescribed to frail elderly in order to improve the functional capacity.” Source: Strength and Endurance Training Prescription in Healthy and Frail Elderly
The Ten Principles of “The WOW Method”:
- Each muscle group is strengthened no more than once a week. This means a full body workout including nine exercises for the prime mover muscles & further various exercises, prescribed as needed, for the accessory muscles.
- There should be only one set per exercise.
- Repetitions should be slow & controlled & executed with strict form & perfect posture.
- The set is finished only once the targeted muscle group has come to complete muscular failure. (It’s not absolutely necessary to take the set to complete muscular failure – it’s just the most efficient way to gain strength & muscle.)
- If the muscle group fails before the 14th repetition, the weight is too heavy & is decreased slightly during the next week’s workout.
- If the muscle group fails on or after the 20th repetition, the weight is increased slightly during the next week’s workout.
- For the duration of the set, the abdominal muscles below the belly button must remain fully contracted whilst allowing the ribcage to relax for maximum breathing capacity.
- Exhaling upon exertion reduces the pressure on the heart & blood vessels. So, be sure to exhale upon exertion (the contraction phase of the exercise). Inhale deeply while returning to the starting position.
- The targeted muscle group should be stretched mildly & immediately following completion of the set. The muscle group is warm from exertion & thus it maximizes the benefit of the stretch.
- With all decisions, the top priority throughout is to maintain muscle balance & to ensure the optimal health of all the soft tissues & joints.
Find out more about therapeutic personal training with LEONG Orthopaedic Health!
- Accessory muscles are the stabilizers & the assisting muscles that sometimes get left behind with ongoing weight-training (Infraspinatus, Serratus Anterior, Gluteus Medius).
- Complete Muscular Failure means continuing to perform repetitions until the point of momentary muscular failure where, although you are engaged in lifting the weight (eg. bicep curl), the arm will no longer move because all motor units have been exhausted. Note: It is not absolutely necessary to lift to the point of complete muscular failure, it’s just the most efficient way to gain strength & size.
- Fast Twitch Motor Unit is comprised of a nerve & many fast twitch muscle fibres. These fast twitch fibres fire rapidly, therefore fatigue quickly.
- Ligaments are the fascial tissue that connects bone to bone thereby stabilizing a joint.
- Prime Mover Muscles are the primary muscles that act directly to bring about a desired movement (quadriceps during squats, latissimus dorsi in lat pulldowns & triceps brachii while dong close grip, bench press).
- Repetition (rep) is the controlled lifting & lowering of the weight through the full range of motion.
- Set consists of several repetitions without resting in between.
- Slow Twitch Motor Unit is comprised of a nerve & many slow twitch muscle fibres. These fibres fire slowly. Therefore, they are able to maintain continuous muscle contractions over extended periods of time.
- Tendons are the fascial tissue that connects the muscle to the bone.
Evidence based research has become so de rigueur that every theory is expected to be based upon it. However, we can’t help but notice that with just a bit of research on Google, any theory can easily be either proven or disproven.
Both above & below we’ve included several studies, or articles based upon studies. However, The WOW Method (created by LEONG Orthopaedic Health) is mostly based upon the last twenty years of results with our clientele.
- Motorneuron Mapping
- Strength Training Methods & The Work of Arthur Jones
- The Dose-Response Relationship of Exercise
- Strength Training for Health & Longevity with Doug McGuff, MD
- Comparison of once‐weekly and twice‐weekly strength training in older adults
- Recovery after heavy resistance exercise
– LEONG Orthopaedic Health
Only you can properly answer this question, writes PT Chris Bathke. Because it depends what you mean by ‘in shape’. Does that require you to have visible abs? To be able to run 5K without stopping? To complete 10 consecutive pull-ups? Or does it simply mean your belly doesn’t spill over the top of your jeans?
Two to three workouts per week, even if only 20 minutes long, are more effective than one 60-minute workout
Unless your definition is distinctly unambitious, however, one workout a week is not enough. A single well-planned session every weekend may help to maintain a good fitness level that has been built up through more frequent training, but only if other factors such as your sleep, nutrition and stress levels are optimised.
(Related: 6 simple way to hike your muscle growth)
That said, one workout a week is infinitely better than none. Lift some weights once every seven days and you’re already ahead of the pack. And those who have been living an extremely sedentary lifestyle will certainly see some (slow) improvements from just one workout a week. But it’s something to build on, not settle into.
Just remember, especially when starting out, frequency is more important than duration. Two to three workouts per week, even if only 20 minutes long, are more effective than one 60-minute workout. If time is tight or you don’t have a gym membership, opt for some fast body weight workouts, which you can storm through in your living room. Or take on 10-minute high intensity interval sessions in the park. Through increased exercise frequency, your body’s cycle of positive physiological stress followed by recovery becomes shorter and elicits faster, more effective adaptation.
(Related: MH’s top 5 HIIT workouts every man should try)
If your life is really so busy that only one workout a week seems possible, search out every opportunity to get short bouts of activity in. Do some press-ups and lunges while watching TV. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Clean the house at double speed to upgrade it from chore to cardio.
The clear-headedness delivered by upping your physical activity will no doubt help you see that, in truth, you could probably go to bed a little earlier and cut down your TV time. We all have time to exercise. It’s just a case of how much you want it.
There are a lot of pros to hiring a personal trainer to coach you through exercise, but one reason why many people don’t have personal trainers is that they are expensive. In the list of things you “have” to pay for, personal trainers fall way, way low on that list. In fact, I’m willing to bet a lot of people consider a personal trainer part of their disposable income costs, and whether or not they choose to have one is based on if they have the money to spend.
However, I’m going to have to come clean here: I have a personal trainer and I love it. I’ve used Trainer Space in the past when I was Boca Raton and I loved that too. Before I’m pilloried in the personal finance community, let me outline some of the reasons why I’ve found a personal trainer to be worth it and why you might find somewhere like Horizon Personal Training might be worthwhile for you… and alternatives to the traditional personal training sessions.
Why My Personal Trainer is Worth It
I was definitely one of those people who thought personal trainers were too expensive. As a frequent gym-goer, I also thought I knew all the machines and how to do basic exercises properly. However, in December, our local YMCA ran a special on personal training sessions, and my mom and I decided to get each other sessions as Christmas gifts. If you are a trainer yourself, why not read rules for keeping your personal training clients motivated as they will help you pick up and retain business!
As I started working with the personal trainer, I realized I definitely was wrong about a couple things. Here are the reasons I’ve found my personal trainer to be worth it:
- Consistency – yes, I’m one of “those people.” I won’t go (or will go less often) to the gym if I don’t have a buddy. By having a once a week, standing appointment with my personal trainer, I go. I go every week. Not only am I paying for it, but there is someone expecting me to be there… and I hate standing people up (especially people I’m paying!)
- Time – honestly, sometimes the only time I go to the gym is that once a week when I meet my trainer. I’m trying to build up my side hustle, plan a wedding, spend time with my family, occasionally hang out with B (I’m glad he’s understanding!), and… you know… spend 10 hours a day with my “real” job (commuting + work).
Even if you’re not that busy, I’m sure you have your own time crunches. Whether it’s a side hustle, family, or other hobbies, the gym is something easy to push down on the to-do list. You can’t really tell you two-year-old to wait while you go to the gym, but you can tell the gym to wait while you potty-train your two-year-old.
For me, my time with the personal trainer is non-negotiable. It’s a lot easier to say “no” to things when a) I’m paying for it and b) it’s only once a week.
- Learning new things to challenge my muscles. This has been one of the best pros to having a personal trainer. I used to be incredibly active: I played sports throughout high school and college, and even in graduate school I signed up for boot camps to challenge myself.
Since joining the working world? Ha, I consider myself lucky if I walk the dog around the park twice. That’s a workout for me (true story). When I go to the gym, I do the standard routine of elliptical (sometimes treadmill), a couple machines, maybe some tricep work with the free weights.
If you’re into working out at all, you’ll know that after a while, your body adjusts to repetition and you need more weights to shake it up. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t progressing. 12 lb. weights were the most I was doing, and that was on a good day.
Now, with my personal trainer, I’ve learned so many more exercises that really tax me. Best of all, I’ve learned how to use my own body weight as resistance, so I can do a lot of these exercises at home if I want. With my trainer, I also get a copy of the exercises we do weekly, which I can bring to the gym on my own and replicate. Even after I stop having a personal trainer, I’ll still keep the exercises I learned from her and continue to incorporate them into my gym routine.
- Price – I would be remiss to note that my personal trainer is not expensive. If the YMCA is close to you, check out their prices for sessions with personal trainers. Right now, I pay $40 an hour for my trainer, once a week.
What if Hiring a Personal Trainer Isn’t an Option?
While I think having a personal trainer is worth it, I do understand the cost may be an obstacle. However, I’d encourage you to check with your local gym and see what specials they are offering. Often around this time of year, gyms are trying to entice people with healthy New Year’s Resolutions to join their gyms and sign up with an introductory (sometimes free!) session with a personal trainer. Here are some additional ways to reduce the cost and fit in more exercise:
- Consider Semi-Personal Training – if hiring a personal trainer for individual sessions is too expensive, check with your gym and see if they’ll let you split the cost with friends or family. When we first started with our personal trainer, Mom and I didn’t want to work out alone; we were looking to work out but still spend time together.
Our gym didn’t offer semi-personal training sessions at all – until we asked. They worked something out where we both paid less but were still able to get a full hour of personal training. However, this never would have happened if we hadn’t asked. So ask! The worst they can say is “no” (and I really doubt a good gym would do that!)
- Stretch Out Your Sessions – you don’t have to visit a personal trainer twice a week, or even once every week. To get the most out of your money, schedule your personal training sessions twice or even once a month. Make sure to get a copy of the exercises you do with the personal trainer – either have your trainer make you a hard copy or email you a copy to review on your phone/tablet, or print it out at home. Doing this will save you money but still get you the access to (and accountability of) a personal trainer.
- Try Online Personal Training – If you don’t live close enough to a gym, or if the cost of a gym membership plus training would be too much, try online personal training. Sites like FitOrbit.com pair you with personal trainers and cost much less than a traditional, in-person personal trainer.
I haven’t tried a site like FitOrbit for personal training, but I have tried some free online workout videos and, if you have the motivation to do it on a regular basis, those online videos can be awesome resources. Plus, you can do it whenever, wherever in your own home, which is a pretty big plus for a busy individual!
Personally, I’ll stick with my personal trainer for a couple more months. I like having new exercises designed for me, and right now I’m willing to pay for that accountability factor. It helps that I get to go with my mom and bond with her too – it’s some extra time we get together, and I’m keeping her in shape to. It’s not something I’ll stick with long term, just when I need it… like now!
So what do you think? Do you think you’d ever hire a personal trainer, or do you think you’ll stick with the gym, outdoors exercise, or something else? What do you think of virtual or online personal trainers?
If you’re dedicated to getting in excellent shape, hiring a personal trainer is a great idea. However, before you start scheduling sessions, you may be wondering how often you should meet with your trainer. How often is too often? How often is too infrequent?
The answers to these questions really depend on what your goals for your workouts are. After all, a person training for a marathon and a person who is trying to get to a healthier weight are both trying for very different things. Here are some guidelines for how often you should see your personal trainer based on your specific situation:
You’re Working Out for the First Time
Have you had a good workout since you took your last high school gym class? If not, then you may not know where to start. There are many exercise guides out there, but they often include workouts that have the potential to injure you. Even if they only list safe and effective workouts, you can get hurt if you don’t do the exercises with the proper form.
If you’ve never worked out before or it’s been a long time since you last did, you’ll want to meet with your trainer 2-3 times a week. They’ll help you develop a workout routine designed that will get you closer to meeting your specific goals, and they’ll help you do the exercises with the proper form so that you don’t injure yourself.
After a couple of months, you may begin to feel more confident in your abilities. At that point, you can reduce your personal training sessions to once a week.
You’ve Stopped Seeing Results
If you know good form and good exercises but seem to have stopped progressing towards your goals, it’s a good idea to see a personal trainer. Some exercises can only get you so far towards your fitness goals; other times, you simply need to mix up your routine a bit. A personal trainer can help you revise your current workout routine or devise a new one so that you start seeing improvement again.
To get established in your new routine, it’s a good idea to see your fitness trainer 1-2 times a week for at least six weeks.
You’re an Athlete
If you play sports, you should be building your strength and endurance even while you’re not practicing. To do so, you should be working out regularly.
Whether you’re in your off-season or not, you’ll likely want to see your personal trainer once a week. They’ll help you keep moving continuously towards your fitness goals without getting injured and becoming incapable of playing your sport.
You’re Training for a Marathon
If you’re planning to participate in a marathon, triathlon, or another long event, a personal trainer can be invaluable. They’ll help you determine your limits and reach your goals. How often you should see your personal trainer leading up to the event really depends on what the event is. The more extreme the event, the more sessions you should have in a week. You can ask your trainer what they recommend based on your event and current fitness level.
If you’re looking for an experienced personal trainer to help you create or improve your workout routine, visit Texas FITT. They have several certified personal trainers who are experts at helping people meet their fitness goals. Contact them today to learn more about their trainers and state-of-the-art facilities.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SEE A PERSONAL TRAINER?
If you’re in the market for a personal trainer in Philadelphia — or a Pilates instructor, or any type of fitness class of any sort — you’ve probably wondered how many times per week you should attend. The answer may not be as short as you would like. There are many factors that go into making such an important decision about this investment in your health.
The first and most obvious factor in deciding how many times per week to train would be your budget. By looking closely at your expenses, you may realize your budget is bigger than you think. By cutting down on things like going out to eat or going out for drinks, you’ll not only save money for training, but you’ll also be helping your cause by improving your health. Another important thing to remember is that you’re paying for the results you want. Maybe training one more time per week will stretch your budget to an uncomfortable level, but if it actually gets you the results you’re looking for, isn’t it worth it? Many have wasted years and hundreds or thousands of dollars on things that haven’t worked, so if it costs a little bit more to finally reach your goal, you may find it’s well worth the money.
How disciplined are you when it comes to exercise? If you work with a personal trainer once per week, but it’s your goal to get in four workouts per week, are you disciplined enough to do those three workouts on your own, or will you most likely skip them? This is the time to look yourself in the mirror and decide how accountable you’re going to be for your own workouts. If you’re going to skip your solo workouts, chances are you’ll need to train more frequently with a personal trainer or another fitness professional to see the results you’re looking for.
Speaking of results, you should have a good idea of what you want your end result to be and when you want to reach it. If you’re looking to get in significantly better shape for your wedding in 3 months, you may want to work with your trainer more frequently. If you’re looking for a more long term program, you may not need to be as aggressive.
Maybe you can afford to see a personal trainer three times per week, but your schedule will also need to work out in your favor. Ask yourself if you have time to get to your trainer that often without interrupting your everyday life.
So, what’s the ultimate answer? It varies. Some individuals may get the results they’re looking for by training only once per week, while others may need two or three, or even more, depending on the factors in this article. Remember, no matter how many times per week you decide on seeing your personal trainer or fitness professional, keep in mind that it’s going require you to make sacrifices. If you truly want results, you’re going to have to sacrifice part of your budget, part of your schedule, and parts of your lifestyle that may be holding you back from reaching your goal. It’s important to realize that your health is not going to change by doing the same things you’ve been doing, so be ready to make changes and sacrifices to your lifestyle.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and start working with a personal trainer in Philadelphia, contact us today to see how we can help!
Once-A-Week Strength Training (Part 1)
Experts keep telling us it doesn’t work
Judging by the reactions I get from other fitness professionals (when we share philosophies) the single most controversial aspect of our Purposefully Primitive approach is a flat statement of proven fact: if done right, truly outstanding strength and muscle size gains can be obtained by anyone at any level engaging in just one strength training session per week. Further, the lone result producing strength training session should never exceed 45-minutes in duration.
This statement usually elicits incredulous bemusement or outright laughter. In polite company it falls on deaf ears or disbelieving ears or is greeted with yawning distain. As in, “Well Marty, that is a physiological impossibility. How could someone even maintain strength, restricted to one training session per week? At best, this is feeble maintenance. How could any actual progress be possible with one weekly strength training session?”
When I relate that – no, to the contrary – you are mistaken – once-a-week strength training is not just some lame maintenance routine, national and world champions have successfully used a once-a-week strength training template – and won national and world titles and set national and world records. I have trained a group of local athletes for years and they train once a week. Every single one has experienced dramatic improvements in both performance and physique. So please don’t tell us this cannot or will not work.
When I expound on once-a-week strength training in public I get looks and reactions similar to if I had told the audience that I am from Krypton and that they should all kneel before Zod. I could not get a cooler response than if I said the earth was flat and I see dead people. I inform folks that there is a long history of elite powerlifters winning national and world titles and setting world records training but once a week. Born out of necessity and circumstance, once-a-week training proved to be a viable alternative and another valid arrow in the strength training quiver.
I long ago learned that iron minimalism was not just doable, but preferable. My world champion mentors, my world champion training partners and my world champion students all were (and remain) minimalist. In 1989 I won the Connecticut state powerlifting championships training once-a-week for twelve weeks. Weighing a skinny 218, I squatted 660 and deadlifted 685. I was ramrodding a steel warehouse and working 12-hour days, six days a week. This herding a crew of roughnecks and on-the-job drunks.
I was off on Sunday and lifted with all the hardcore boys at Kenny Fantano’s Muscle Factory in West Haven. Ken would shut the gym to the public and invited a crew of 10-12 elite weightlifters to participate. Barbell squat, bench, deadlift and arm work, all in one long-ass session. Ken would come in on Wednesday and do heavy incline presses. Most of the other guys were unable.
I had zero time during the week. And zero energy. Yet, I had a fabulous three-month training phase; I didn’t miss a single preplanned training lift and had a good competition. A lot of really good lifters have been forced, by work constraints, family commitments, whatever, to not have time to train. What circumstance and reality taught these power athletes was that excellent and consistent strength gains can be had, even if you could only train once a week.
The question then becomes: how does the athlete strength train in this one weekly session? What are the contents of this magical session? The “core four” are compound multi-joint exercises: squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press. The core four are allotted whatever training time is available. The genius of the core four approach is that, between them, they stimulate every muscle on the body.
Each of the core four exercises have five sequential variations, five iterations. Each iteration builds on the lessons and techniques of its predecessor and lays the groundwork for the subsequent iteration. We concentrate on doing fewer things better and seek to make light weights heavy. We insist on using full range of motion in all the core four exercises and their variations. We put the resistance back into progressive resistance.
Full ROM ensures maximum muscle fiber stimulation. In order to dig the deepest possible muscular inroad, given our limited time to train, we make liberal use of “intensity-amplifiers.” These include pauses at the rep turnaround, slowed or accelerated rep speeds, assisted or resisted reps, drop set protocols, etc. Intensity amplifiers are used to further enhance the degree of difficulty associated with effective progressive resistance training.
Minimum volume only works by exerting maximum intensity. Classic power training trains each of the core four lifts one time per week. The greatest powerlifters in history, hall-of-fame guys, all-time greats, men like Ed Coan, Doug Furnas, Kirk Karwoski, Dan Austin and Dave Jacoby, would squat, bench press and deadlift one time a week. Not all on the same day. A typical elite powerlifting training split would be: squat and bench on Sunday, deadlift and overhead press on Wednesday.
The most widely used strength training split was a three-day split: day 1, squats & leg assistance work; day 2, bench press & arms work; Day 3 deadlift & overhead pressing. There would be two or three days of rest between each of these three weekly training sessions. Note that no exercise was hit more than once a week. Sometimes time and energy are in short supply.
Elite powerlifters that worked real jobs tended to be in blue collar jobs, physically demanding and often grueling day jobs. A lot of guys would work their asses off during the week at the construction site or on a assembly line and have no gas after work to wrestle with 700-pound deadlifts. With no time or energy to train during the week, these men would eat up and rest up on Saturday and rested and revitalized, kick ass in a Sunday power session with other alpha training partners in the same lack-of-time-and-energy boat.
To this day the once-a-week strength training template is being used successfully by regular people working regular jobs. We have a training group that meets every Sunday at Don B’s country gym (Fitness from Big Pink.) A group of 12-15 weightlifters gather to train. Everyone is a local. These are regular men working all types of jobs. Many have families and children and lives crammed full of commitment and responsibility. They break away for a few hours on Sunday and fight their way through squats, bench presses and deadlifts. Their actual time under tension is probably 30-minutes.
The modern version of the Muscle Factory training template is working as fabulously in 2019 as it did in 1989. Those that show up and put in the work never fail to obtain mind-blowing results. The template is so simplistic as to be laughable: each man works up to a single “top set” in the squat, bench press and deadlift. The top set is predetermined by a periodized training cycle, a written plan wherein each week has a predetermined poundage and rep goal. Every week the trainee stairsteps slightly upward.
Small incremental gains, 5 to10 pounds a week in the core four, compound over the months and reap huge cumulative increases in strength and muscle. Men are getting stronger using highly specific technique and exerting maximally: strength increases beget lean muscle mass increases and all our Barn Boys are undergoing radical physical transformations one week at a time. So can you, so can anyone that follows our protocols and procedures which we insist on.
About the Author
As an athlete Marty Gallagher is a national and world champion in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. He was a world champion team coach in 1991 and coached Black’s Gym to five national team titles. He’s also coached some of the strongest men on the planet including Kirk Karwoski when he completed his world record 1,003 lb. squat. Today he teaches the US Secret Service and Tier 1 Spec Ops on how to maximize their strength in minimal time. As a writer since 1978 he’s written for Powerlifting USA, Milo, Flex Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Prime Fitness, Washington Post, Dragon Door and now IRON COMPANY. He’s also the author of numerous books including Purposeful Primitive, Strong Medicine, Ed Coan’s book “Coan, The Man, the Myth, the Method” and numerous others. Read the Marty Gallagher biography here.
How Often Should You Lift To Build Muscle?
When people start lifting, they usually overdo it. You want muscle fast so you train five, six, or even seven days a week, thinking that the more you do, the faster you’ll see results. But it doesn’t take long before you learn the hard way about the importance of recovery. You’re sore all the time and your progress grinds to a halt, forcing you to scale your workouts so you only hit a muscle once or twice a week, and this is the frequency most of us then stay with indefinitely.
The thing is though, our impulse to use a higher training frequency isn’t wrong. It’s the way we went about it that was. In fact, you can train the same muscle groups—and train them hard—three, five, or up to seven days a week if you want to. And doing so can bring the best muscle and strength gains of your life.
How many times per week should I lift weights?
Most people weight train according to some kind of body-part split routine. Chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, legs Wednesday, etc. There’s nothing blatantly wrong with this approach, and it’s always been the preferred schedule among bodybuilders. Still, for most genetically-average, drug-free lifters, there’s no clear advantage to it over full-body training.
The majority of research has found that the total amount of work you do for a muscle over the course of a training week matters more than how you do the work. A 2016 study in the International Journal of Exercise Science compared subjects doing a body-part split (chest, shoulders, and triceps one day, back and biceps the next, then legs) to a group that followed full-body workouts. The body-part guys did nine sets per muscle group once per week while the full-body team trained each area three times per week with three sets each—so the total training volume was the same. After eight weeks, the muscle and strength gains the two groups made were roughly equivalent.
But the big take-home here isn’t that your training split doesn’t matter. It’s that you don’t need to crush a muscle with a long, grueling workout to make it grow. If doing three sets, three times per week yields the same gains as bombing a body part one time per week, doesn’t it make more sense to use the minimum effective dose?
It’s a matter of efficiency. If you train your whole body each workout, you don’t need multiple workouts to make sure you cover everything at least once in a week. Total-body training is especially useful if you have a tough schedule that forces you to miss workouts from time to time. If you’re on a body-part split and you miss a day, you could end up going a week or more without training a muscle group, and that can cost you progress. Whereas if you do a little training for your chest Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for example, missing a day only costs you a few sets off your total volume for the week. And so what? You will have just worked chest two days earlier and you already know you’re going to hit it again the next session.
Full-body training also tends to allow you to train heavier. On a leg day, after you’re done squatting, you may have little left in the tank to do Romanian deadlifts or lunges with intensity. You’re more likely to coast with lighter weights. But in a total-body workout, you’re relatively fresh for each exercise. Heavy squatting won’t do much to impair your pressing, so you can give each muscle group a full stimulus.
While you may be able to lift more weight, at the same time, you won’t get as sore doing total-body workouts as you would if you wailed on one body part or muscle area for a whole workout. This is preferable if you play sports or do other activities that you want to be energized for. Full-body workouts won’t leave you nearly as tender and stiff the next day.
A good middle-ground between body-part training and full-body training is upper-lower splits. They give you a chance to train the same muscles at least twice a week. For instance, you could base your first upper-body day around bench presses and rows, do squats on your lower-body day, and then do shoulder work and chinups in your second upper-body session followed by deadlifts in your second leg day. However,
There are several aspects of training your whole body three or more days per week that can make full-body workouts an even wiser choice.
Benefits of Higher-Frequency Training
You’ll train smarter
When you only work a muscle group or train a lift once a week, there’s a lot of inherent pressure to go as hard as you can. “You know you have one day to set a PR, or at least top your last performance,” says Jason Ferruggia, a strength coach, author, and host of the Renegade Radio podcast (jasonferruggia.com), so you’re liable to go to failure or go heavier than you may be feeling up to. You want to make the most of the workout, so “it’s hard to be mentally OK with backing off or doing fewer reps on days when you really need to.”
But if you know you’re going to train shoulders, for example, two more times that week, it’s easier to be responsible and train within your limits. Full-body workouts also control your volume automatically, reducing your risk of overtraining. You simply won’t have the time or energy to get carried away with bench pressing when you know you have to work back, legs, core, etc. in the same session. You pretty much ensure balanced training as well. If you did three sets for chest, you’ll probably realize that you ought to do three sets for back before you leave the gym—you won’t favor one body part over another anymore.
You’ll get stronger
Increasing the frequency that you train a lift is probably the simplest way to see improvement on it. Each workout feels like a practice session, helping your muscles to memorize good technique. A squat that feels a little wonky in Week 1 will feel smooth and fast within a week or two of regular rehearsals—provided you’re doing it properly. “If your form is bad,” says Ferruggia, “then you’re practicing hurting yourself much more often,” which could be disastrous. “But if that’s the case, you shouldn’t be doing that exercise anyway.” Choose the lifts you want to bring up wisely, making sure they’re ones you can do with maximum proficiency, or at least troubleshoot by yourself.
Repeating a lift almost daily works especially well for mastering high-skill exercises such as those that legendary strongmen like Arthur Saxon and Eugen Sandow made famous. If you want to do a bent press with a barbell or a one-legged (pistol) squat, you’re better off training them multiple times per week. It’s the same as if you wanted to learn to play the piano or make three-point shots in basketball: you’ll get better, faster, practicing several days per week than you would dedicating just one day to it weekly.
Don’t worry too much about recovery. We’ll discuss strategies to ensure you don’t overtrain further down, but training big, compound lifts multiple days (even in a row) isn’t as rough as it may seem. Consider that Jim Williams, a powerlifting legend, bench pressed five days per week and was the first man to put up 675 pounds in competition. Finally, there are these words from Arthur Saxon: “If a man seriously proposes to go in for lifting heavy weights, he should make a point of practicing certain lifts every day. This daily practice is absolutely essential to the achievement of any real success.”
You’ll get in the habit
Some people need to specifically budget time into their schedules to work out or they won’t do it at all. For them, training more often is a good solution. Going to the gym more frequently helps them establish regular exercise as a habit. “It becomes just another part of their day,” says Ferruggia. “It’s like punching the clock at their job,” and can help improve adherence to a training program.
Another habit that every frequent gym-goer will establish is mobility work. More workouts means more warmups and will necessitate more dynamic and static flexibility training to keep your joints and soft tissues healthy. If you usually breeze through this kind of “maintenance” work, high-frequency training will make you do it on the reg, and take it seriously.
How To Do High-Frequency Training
The big question when training more often is how much is too much—“how many days can I train and still recover?” For the sake of safety and avoiding burnout, it’s probably best to stop at five or six, although, as Saxon proved, seven days of lifting can be effective if you have your mind set on it. The amount you do depends on your preference and the time you have, and it will determine how much volume and intensity you put into each session.
Training 3 days per week
Three workouts a week is a common go-to for beginners and those looking to get lean, but works great for muscle gains as well as it provides more exposure to a training stimulus than most are used to. In this case, Ferruggia recommends one of two approaches.
The first is to do two sets per movement pattern. If you’re not sure, movement patterns break down as the following: squatting (including lunge variations), hinging (any deadlift variation), pushing (vertical, as in overhead presses, and horizontal, i.e. bench pressing), and pulling (vertical: chinups, horizontal: rows).
“You could go in and do two sets each of incline dumbbell press, flat bench, chinups, rows, front squats, and RDLs,” says Ferruggia. Two days later, go back and change up the exercises. “Or, if you want to get really good at those exercises, keep them for four weeks. But I would change them after that because your joints will start to take a beating. Variety will keep you healthier.”
How you do the two sets is up to you. The first can be heavy, done for low reps, and the second lighter for higher reps. Or, go light first. Or do them both heavy. Experiment to see what works best for you, but understand that “two sets” means work sets and doesn’t include however many sets you need to warm up and build up to the weights you want to use for a particular lift. For instance, if you’re going to squat 300 pounds, you’ll need sets with loads of around 135, 185, 225, and 275 under your belt beforehand to be properly prepared.
And another thing: “leave two reps in the tank on each set,” says Ferruggia. In other words, stop shy of failure. You’re going to train again in two days, and you want to be fresh for it. Maxing out regularly on a high-frequency program will burn you out and bring on injuries fast.
The second approach is even more basic. You narrow down your exercises to a single push, pull, and leg movement (rotating options each session), and play with the volume. “You can do 5 sets of 6 Monday, then 3 sets of 12 Wednesday, and Friday do 4 sets of 8,” says Ferruggia. The extra sets let you pound each muscle a little more so it feels more like a traditional body-part or upper-lower split—if that’s what you prefer—but limiting yourself to three basic movements keeps the volume under control. Ferruggia often does these exercises as a circuit for a greater fat-burning effect. Of course, you can throw a few sets of a loaded carry like farmer’s walks, or core/delts/biceps/triceps work in at the end if you like.
Training four or more days
You can probably see where this is going. If you’re going to train almost daily, you’ll have to be very conservative with each workout. If that’s not your style because you like to train hard and heavy all the time, so be it, but you can get brutally strong and impressively ripped if you learn to hold back a little more.
Choose three big lifts and limit yourself to two to three sets, staying far away from failure. Treat every set like a practice, working up to a weight that feels moderate. “Just do whatever you can do that day,” says Ferruggia, and realize that some days will be better than others. “If a lift is up 10 pounds, great. If it’s down 20 pounds, that’s fine too. You’re going to have another shot at it later in the week.”
Such frequency is great for bringing up lifts like squats and bench presses. “I wouldn’t want to deadlift every day,” says Ferruggia, “but you could do something like bench, front squat, and chinup with 2 sets of 5 each and see fast gains.”
Be cautious about any isolation lifts you want to use with this approach. Even though you’re avoiding failure like the plague, four-plus days of working the same muscles is taxing, especially on your joints, and even something as innocuous as curls could lead to elbow or shoulder pain. “I wouldn’t do any isolation work for the first three or four weeks,” says Ferruggia. “Then you could slowly add in one set of laterals at end of a workout. The next day, one set of curls or one set of pushdowns. Keep these light; 10–15 reps.”
The Truth about Training Frequency
Training frequency is a hotly debated topic.
Some say that if you train more often than once a fortnight, you’ll overtrain and your nervous system will explode. Others say that if you aren’t training six, eight, or even ten or more times per week, there’s no way you’re going to see progress.
For most, the best approach lies somewhere in the middle. Let’s start off with an example to help illustrate my point.
Off The Grid
A few weeks back, one of my online training clients went “off the grid,” and decided he would pull on a Monday. It wasn’t ridiculously heavy, but the work sets ended up somewhere around 80% of his 1-RM. The next day (the day he was supposed to deadlift), his workout absolutely sucked.
Other than failing to adhere to my program, what was the biggest issue here?
Here’s the first rule of training frequency: Your body is amazingly adept at recovering fromwhatever training load it’s used to. If you’re used to training once every five days, your body gets used to that. It likes training once every five days.
On the contrary, if you’re an elite athlete, you may train twice per day, six days per week. If you’re used to training 12 times per week, your body gets used to that as well.
Now let’s break this down a bit further.
The Frequency Question
At the end of the day, it’s not a question of how often you can train. The real question ishow much training can you recover from? There are two key components to training: Stimulating the muscle/nervous system to elicit an adaptation (fat loss, muscle gain, strength gain, etc.), and being able to recover from it.
Before we talk training, let’s focus on the other side of the equation that no one wants to discuss – recovery.
Too many people assume that stress is solely relegated to what they do in the gym. In other words, they think the only stress that influences their recovery is the masochist workouts they put themselves through.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here’s a short list of things that can positively (or negatively) influence recovery:
- Training Age
- Chronological Age
- Quality and quantity of sleep
- Hormonal status
- Family stress (wife, girlfriend, children, friends, etc.)
- Work-related stress
- Money-related stress
- Diet and nutrition
- Supplementation (both of the legal and illegal variety)
As you can see, there are a ton of things that determine how well we recover from a single workout. If you’re not recovering from your training, you’re not maximizing your progress.
Common Sense Recommendations
Now that we’ve covered the topic of stress and recovery, let’s begin with a dose of common sense concerning training frequency.
Training once every seven to ten days probably isn’t going to cut it, regardless of your goals. Even strength maintenance is going to be tough when you’re training that infrequently. Unless you have the Testosterone levels of an 80-year old grandmother, or the most stressful job on the planet, chances are you can recover enough to train more frequently than this.
On the other hand, some are quick to espouse training multiple training sessions per day. They’ll cite that Olympic caliber athletes often train this way, and that you should be able to as well.
This argument is seriously flawed. First off, Olympic caliber athletes are 100% committed to their sport. They don’t have jobs and usually have structured their lives to have minimal stress outside of training.
They’ve also taken years, if not decades, to increase their work capacity to a point where they can train multiple times per day. Even for some of the elite guys that may be reading this, chances are you can get more than sufficient gains sticking with a more manageable split.
For most, hitting the weights between two and four times per week is probably more than enough to reach your goals. But before I give you my specific recommendations, let’s examine how some extreme examples can work.
Practical Examples of Training Frequency
Bubba loves HIT, and thinks it’s the only way to go for size gains. Sergei says that Sheiko is what really took his squat through the roof.
While I respect everyone’s opinion, I also understand that in most cases N=1. Everyone assumes that if it works for them, it should work for everyone. The old saying definitely rings true: “Everything works – but nothing works forever!”
Lower frequency training methods (such as HIT) can work, especially if someone has pushed their recovery envelope in the weeks/months leading up to its introduction.
Imagine this, you’ve just come off the hardest training cycle of your life. You pushed every rep of every set, and you’re absolutely gassed. You trained four days per week and no session was half-assed.
This could be a time where your body needs that extra recovery. Some of the biggest proponents of HIT-style training were bodybuilders who were notorious for killing themselves in the gym six days per week.
Is it any wonder why HIT worked for them? They pushed and pushed, so when they finally took extra time to back off, their gains went through the roof!
On the other hand, high frequency programs can elicit serious progress as well. Look at guys that use the introductory Sheiko programs, the Smolov squat routine, or attempt some of the Bulgarian weightlifting programs.
These programs offer a unique blend of volume, intensity, and perhaps most importantly, work on the specific lifts (motor learning). After all if you squat two, three, or even four times per week, chances are you’ll get pretty darn good at squatting!
IF they can survive, the results they get are astounding. But that’s a big if. The Bulgarian system is known for its meat-grinding effects; throw in a couple thousand lifters, and the ones that survive the training programs comprise their Olympic team!
Again, the key is figuring out what will work best for you. What training frequency is best given your goals, your recovery abilities, etc.? Once we’ve determined your goals, we can determine how many times per week is probably best to maximize your performance.
How Your Goals Influence Your Training Frequency
1 – Building Size
Building mass may be the program that allows you to train the least frequently. Unfortunately, these need to be seriously kick-ass sessions while you’re in the gym!
For example, in his new book Mass Made Simple, Dan John would have you train one day and then take two days off before training again. However, he also dishes out complexes and high rep squats, so these workouts are far from a walk in the park!
John McCallum, in his book Keys to Progress, cites three days per week as the optimal training frequency if your goal is to pack on size. At most, I wouldn’t recommend more than three times per week.
If you’re training twice per week, you need two total-body workouts. If you’re training three days per week, you choose either total or split-body workouts.
2 – Strength Gain
Strength gain may be the goal with the most variability. Some programs have you squatting four times per week, while others may only have you squat once per week.
For most trainees who are serious about getting stronger, three to four workouts per week is probably ideal. If you’re training four days, an upper-lower split with two workouts apiece is a great start.
If you’re training three times per week, you could probably get away with total body workouts, but you’re likely better served with an upper-lower split.
3 – Shedding Body Fat
Body fat reduction is on the opposite end of the training spectrum from mass gain. If your goal is to gain mass, you want to minimize calorie expenditure outside of training and focus your efforts on building those gunz.
On the contrary, if your goal is to shed body fat, you want to burn as many calories as possible. Duh!
For fat loss clients, I often recommend a minimum of three workouts per week. However, depending on the client, their schedule, and their recovery capacity, that could be bumped up to six training sessions per week.
Three sessions would include strength training and some form of higher intensity cardio, while they could do longer duration/lower intensity cardio on their off days for both recovery and additional calorie burning purposes.
Here’s a handy summary:
|Training Goal||Training Frequency||Type of Routine|
|Mass gain||2x / week
3x / week
Total or Upper / Lower Split
|Strength gain||3x / week
4x / week
|Total or Upper / Lower Split
Upper / Lower Split
|Fat Loss||3-6x / week||Total / Cardio on off Days|
My Philosophy on Training
My philosophy on training for strength and size is simple. I want to do as little as possible to continue making gains. If anything, I’d rather under train than over train.
This goes hand-in-hand with another key priority: I always focus on quality of training and movement. For fat loss, clients often need a total lifestyle overhaul. I like to get them doing something, anything, as often as their schedule will afford.
I’d love to have them come in and strength train 3x/week, but I’d love it even more if they’d take a walk on their off days, or ride the Airdyne bike.
When they move more frequently, not only are they more in tune with their bodies, but they tend to “get it” much faster.
Losing weight and/or body fat isn’t a goal that’s achieved overnight; it’s something that takes hard work and dedication. Perhaps most importantly, it requires a shift to a more healthy lifestyle overall.
Before I encourage you to post your questions on the LiveSpill, I know someone is going to say I still haven’t told you the exact frequency you need to follow.
Nope, I sure haven’t. Like everything in training, you need to figure out what works best for you and your body. I can’t tell you exactly what to do, because I don’t know you.
If you’re serious about this here strength training stuff, you’ll use the general guidelines I’ve provided to start figuring it out for yourself.
Remember your goals, your recovery capacity, and a host of other factors help you determine the optimal training frequency for you.
Once you figure it out, you’ll be amazed at the progress you make.