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View Full Version : How many times a week can you do legs?



Beaker
02-23-2010, 02:28 PM
Im not talking about all out 90% weight sets, but i would like to add some front squats to my routine on Tuesday or Wednesday at a moderate weight with low rest for more of the cardio factor than anything else, I'd also like to do this for deadlift or straight leg deads.

Could you split it like this ?

Monday - Bench 5-3-1
Tuesday - Moderate Front squat and legs
Wed- Shoulder Press 5-3-1
Thursday - Moderate/Light deadlift
Friday - Off
Saturday - Heavy Squat and Dead
Sunday - Light steady cardio (jog, walk dogs etc)

Im asking mainly because I got an invitation to train with some REALLY strong guys that I can learn a lot from on Saturdays, but they do Squat and Dead on the same day.

I dont like the idea of just being in the gym 3 days a week, going is part of my routine and i really enjoy it, i also am trying to drop a bit of fat, and i plan on doing the weight loss complexes and tabata on my Tues and Thursday,

Once warm weather rolls around i plan on doing tire flips etc on Tues and Thurs.

james_w8lifter
02-23-2010, 02:48 PM
That looks manageable. I do legs alone on Tuesdays and then throw in 1-2 leg exercises on Fridays after I do shoulders. Like you said, I don't push it too hard with legs on Fridays because sometimes the legs are still a little tender. Doing 2 really strenuous leg workouts within 3-4 days of each other is really tough to do.

StLRPh
02-23-2010, 03:53 PM
Texas method has you doing:
moderate intensity high volume on Monday
low intensity moderate volume on Wednesday
high intensity low volume on Friday.

ScottYard
02-23-2010, 05:48 PM
If you can do it, go for it.. My money says it will just slow you down in the long run. The most important factor for strength is rest.

mastermonster
02-23-2010, 08:21 PM
The 1st lesson to learn from the 'Big, Strong Dudes' is that they got to be Big, Strong Dudes by doing what they're doing. Bustin' it on each bodypart once per week and feeding it and resting it the rest of the week probably. If they are where you want to be, then hook up with them and do what they are doing. Don't go adding a bunch of bodybuilding stuff (no offense / I used to be a bodybuilder) to it. To make optimum strength and /or muscle gains these things 'MUST' happen; not should happen. 1st, you have to put sufficient stress on the muscle (intensity of effort , not volume of effort). 2nd, nutrients in sufficient quantity and quality. 3rd sufficient rest. And 4th and were so many fail is; recovery phase. This chain must be totally complete for 'optimum' gains to occur. If any one of these phases is compremised, there 'WILL' be less than optimum gains. Maybe gains, but less than optimum...who wants mediocre results! No offense, but you kinda' have to eventually decide if you want to be a powerlifter, a cross fitter, a bodybuilder, a strongman athlete, or just enjoy the gym. All good goals. But I finally learned to be your best at either, you'll have to eventually pick one and train 'like' one. Anything else is watered down. Just my thoughts from over the years. Good luck whatever you do.

SELK
02-23-2010, 10:41 PM
Ive made my biggest gains in the squat training it 3-4x per week.

I have the opinion that you will make the best gains using the most amount of intensity and volume, that you can recover from. If you can't recover from it, its no good. The only reason that I could recover from squatting heavy 3-4x per week is that I pretty much would only squat, no accessory work at all or deadlift, and only 1 bench day. This may not work for everyone, but its worked good for me as i have put over 200lbs on my squat in the last 18 months.

the one
02-24-2010, 05:50 AM
master monster had one of the best posts ive seen in a long time....great input man

hairyback40k
02-24-2010, 06:07 AM
The only way you can get away with training 'bodyparts' once a week is by eating. You get bigger... you get stronger. The single best solution to compliment or fill holes in any lifting regime.

How are you supposed to do much max and sub max work once a week? How are you supposed to choose? The alternative is either lower intesity and up volume or pyramid like a bodybuilder would. You just can't get much variation in working out once a week.

Not only that but there's no way of telling how you're going to feel on the day. By working out more frequently you give your body more chances to excel as opposed to relying on what you think you should be capable of doing that coincides with your workout. This means lifting when you CAN, not when the calender says! That means lifting as much weight as perfectly possible. Soon as the bar is travelling excessively slow and/or form gets sloppy, chip a few pounds off and call that your best effort for the day

I'm with the guy above: 3-4 times per week, depending on how much work you end up doing and then work recovery from there.

JSully
02-24-2010, 08:37 AM
Ive made my biggest gains in the squat training it 3-4x per week.

I have the opinion that you will make the best gains using the most amount of intensity and volume, that you can recover from. If you can't recover from it, its no good. The only reason that I could recover from squatting heavy 3-4x per week is that I pretty much would only squat, no accessory work at all or deadlift, and only 1 bench day. This may not work for everyone, but its worked good for me as i have put over 200lbs on my squat in the last 18 months.

before getting on this bench program that I've been on now for the past 2 1/2 weeks I would have disagreed.

I have been benching 4x a week with little to no assistace work and after only 2 1/2 weeks I can tell I've probably put about 15-20lbs on my bench.. the first week I was couldn't handle all sets with 330 and was forced to drop weight, last week I rocked out 340 for all the sets.. not the best bench#s but it's definately increasing faster than if I were doing only once or twice a week...

So.. IMO, squatting 3-4 times a week for a limited amount of time could definately be beneficial so long as you're getting ample rest, food and not going stir crazy on assistance work..

I think your proposition looks good.

-JM-
02-25-2010, 03:44 AM
Are you running 531 for all lifts?

What about using your deadlift day to squat? Two upper days, two lower days a week.

Something like.....

Monday - Bench 5-3-1
Tuesday - Squat + Squat & DL assistance.
Wed- Off
Thursday - Shoulder Press 5-3-1
Friday - Deadlift + Squat & DL assistance (add a squat variation, box squat, pin squat, zercher etc...)
Saturday - Off
Sunday - Light steady cardio (jog, walk dogs etc)

mchicia1
02-25-2010, 01:23 PM
Are you running 531 for all lifts?

What about using your deadlift day to squat? Two upper days, two lower days a week.

Something like.....

Monday - Bench 5-3-1
Tuesday - Squat + Squat & DL assistance.
Wed- Off
Thursday - Shoulder Press 5-3-1
Friday - Deadlift + Squat & DL assistance (add a squat variation, box squat, pin squat, zercher etc...)
Saturday - Off
Sunday - Light steady cardio (jog, walk dogs etc)

Has been only 2 weeks for me, but I am doing a 4 day upper/lower split with my 5/3/1. I can already tell squatting/DLing once per week is going to be better for me than when I was squatting twice,deadlifting once. I feel fresh every time I am in the gym...its a great feeling. This allows me to put 100% intensity into every set I do. Before, on my 2nd squat day of the week, I always had to just "get by". Not crazy numbers, but my first week of 5/3/1 I could only do 305x6...the next week I hit 325x6 and it felt lighter.

Beaker
02-25-2010, 01:32 PM
If you can do it, go for it.. My money says it will just slow you down in the long run. The most important factor for strength is rest.

youre correct... i did my 5-3-1 deadlift yesterday and i am totally beat today... im going to stick to what the 5-3-1 as it was originally intended.

Tom Mutaffis
02-25-2010, 02:40 PM
Im not talking about all out 90% weight sets, but i would like to add some front squats to my routine on Tuesday or Wednesday at a moderate weight with low rest for more of the cardio factor than anything else, I'd also like to do this for deadlift or straight leg deads.

Could you split it like this ?

Monday - Bench 5-3-1
Tuesday - Moderate Front squat and legs
Wed- Shoulder Press 5-3-1
Thursday - Moderate/Light deadlift
Friday - Off
Saturday - Heavy Squat and Dead
Sunday - Light steady cardio (jog, walk dogs etc)

Im asking mainly because I got an invitation to train with some REALLY strong guys that I can learn a lot from on Saturdays, but they do Squat and Dead on the same day.

I dont like the idea of just being in the gym 3 days a week, going is part of my routine and i really enjoy it, i also am trying to drop a bit of fat, and i plan on doing the weight loss complexes and tabata on my Tues and Thursday,

Once warm weather rolls around i plan on doing tire flips etc on Tues and Thurs.

Andrew -

I think that a 'Westside' method with ME/DE split may work better than having two DE days and an ME day. As Scott and others mentioned your biggest struggle with this routine would be recovery (CNS & Physical). I have made my best gains by deadlifting and squatting every other week, although I know guys who will do both movements twice per week - so you need to find what works for you and what program will provide you with the best gains without overtraining.

My opinion would be that with your overall program you would probably end up overtraining. I would try to keep two off days per week if you are going to have relatively intense weight training sessions. You can always combine one of your conditioning workouts with one of your weight training workouts to free up the additional Rest day.

Here is what I would recommend:

Beaker's Template:
Monday - 5/3/1 Bench, Conditioning
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - DE Squat / Deadlift
Thursday - Back Training (Rows / Chins)
Friday - 5/3/1 OHP
Saturday - ME Squat / Deadlift
Sunday - Rest

ScottYard
02-25-2010, 03:06 PM
youre correct... i did my 5-3-1 deadlift yesterday and i am totally beat today... im going to stick to what the 5-3-1 as it was originally intended.

Atleats you tried. You never know until you try!

-JM-
02-25-2010, 03:12 PM
Beaker's Template:
Monday - 5/3/1 Bench, Conditioning
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - DE Squat / Deadlift
Thursday - Back Training (Rows / Chins)
Friday - 5/3/1 OHP
Saturday - ME Squat / Deadlift
Sunday - Rest

Would it not be better to Include the upper back training on the OHP day? Four days on the trot would be killer (and not in a good way) if kept up?

littlelou
02-25-2010, 06:10 PM
Ive made my biggest gains in the squat training it 3-4x per week.

I agree too; I made my best squat gains on 5x5 squating three days a week

mastermonster
02-25-2010, 09:54 PM
For the guys saying their best gains were on 3-4 squat days per week, my question is; "for how long"? Powerlifting is a 'for the long haul' sport. Except for competition peaks my biggest goal is will I be squating, benching, and deadlifting more in a year, two years or 3 years from now. Not can I squat more in 4 weeks than I do now and then have to back way off and probably lose all or most of it while I get over being overtrained. Go to my training log and you'll see that I've trained each part once per week for years, 3 days (total days) per week for quite a while now too. My results have been quite good since committing to this several years ago. The growth cycle I pointed out earlier takes days to complete, not hours. Break it and you will suffer sooner than later. If you respect that law of physiology and work with it, you will make much better long term progress. Over a couple of years your gains graph will look like a steady gradually rising line instead of a jagged up and down display of ups and downs that may only end up where they started. Even many of the most mammoth bodybuilders respect this cycle, and although training 6 days per week; do a six day six bodypart split hammering the part once per week.

Next important factor: When you're younger and no where near your eventual strength potential, you can make some gains doing almost anything. Not to offend anyone but if you are early on and squatting say 300-400 lbs. max you are putting far less stress on your CNS, bones and connective tissue than when you are squatting 800-900-1000 Lbs. and closer to your maximum eventual potential. Bottom line, as you get stronger and stronger; the 'cycle' becomes longer and longer. This explains why some top level powerlifters have had to switch to a 9-10 day frequency for squats and/or dead to keep making progress. These are physiological principals that are the same for all human, with only slight variances in frequency given differences in genetic strengths and weaknesses. If your in this for the long haul (years and years / 40 for me), you can't defy them for long without them slapping you back to the ground.

As for the question about variety and max, sub max work. I do anything I'm doing for that muscle group on that training day (few exceptions over the years). The basic funtion of the muscle is pretty constant. Most exercise variances are for mental boredom. If you become bored with it you don't put as much into it. Some people bore easily and need a lot of variance. Some, like me; don't. I love the basics and they pretty much cover the stress over the full functional movement needed to stimulate size and strength. Many impressive physiques have been built with little more than the 'big three' (the powerlifts).

Sorry this is so long, but it's not simple and can't be fully explained in a sentence or two. Hope this sheds some light.

mastermonster
02-25-2010, 10:32 PM
master monster had one of the best posts ive seen in a long time....great input man

Thanks!

robchris
02-25-2010, 10:34 PM
Mastermonster,

Ditto... Us masters guys need more recovery. (3) days a week for me also!

I really envy you younger guys that can train so often and still make great gains.

See ya' guys in 20-years hotshot!:evillaugh:
RC

JSully
02-26-2010, 07:56 AM
youre correct... i did my 5-3-1 deadlift yesterday and i am totally beat today... im going to stick to what the 5-3-1 as it was originally intended.

youre correct... i did my 5-3-1 deadlift yesterday and i am totally beat today... im going to stick to what the 5-3-1 as it was originally intended.
Honestly, if you aren't used to training the same muscle group multiple times per week, you ARE going to feel totally beat, but you get used to it after a week and just push through it.. If you want it that bad.. or you can go back to 5/3/1..


in reality, everything works, you just have to put in the effort..

Travis Bell
02-26-2010, 08:03 AM
Well I'll add to that, everything works, but nothing works forever


I did the whole Russian bench type routine when I first started for several months. First two cycles I got some really good gains out of it, but by the time I quit it, I was shot. My bench wasn't really going anywhere after about 3 months of that.

Tom Mutaffis
02-26-2010, 09:35 AM
Would it not be better to Include the upper back training on the OHP day? Four days on the trot would be killer (and not in a good way) if kept up?

It would depend on what (if any) accessory work is being done with 5/3/1. If you are just hitting your 5/3/1 numbers and 1-2 accessory movements your workouts can be under a half hour and the intensity on that program is not outrageous so 4-5 sessions per week would not be un-manageable for most trainees.

Olympic weightlifters usually train 2-3 times per day, but their sessions are moderated in terms of volume and intensity. A lot of poeple do not realize that you can sometimes train for just 15-20 minutes and still have a productive strength session.

hairyback40k
02-26-2010, 10:02 AM
I've noticed that many lifters tend to favour workouts in terms of absolute strength (maxes) or endurance (bodybuilding) but nothing in terms of speed.

Doing really slow, grinding reps all the time beat me up quite a lot and definitely lead to injuries. Maybe it's harder on the nerves? Once I discovered speed work the bar started feeling much lighter. No more super controlled squat reps unless I'm specifically going for singles (not very often). The faster workouts make a nice change; I feel much more warmed up and invigorated afterwards.

Now, I'm not totally powerlifting oriented, but I have tried out a Westside template before and was very impressed. If I had to do less volume I'd probably do that again.

BloodandThunder
02-26-2010, 10:36 AM
Rule No. 1 ------If you have a chance to train with people who are stronger than you....always do so. Listen to anything and everything they say. Learn from it. Apply it. Get stronger to the point where you're stronger than them. Then read and listen to things other stronger people have done. Learn from these things as well. Apply these things. Then get to the point where you're struggling to put on 5 lbs on a lift.

Here's the kicker: Then figure out your own methods and what works for yourself. Every lifter is different. Every lifter has different leverages, weak points, lifestyles, recovery times, etc. All of a sudden, your plateaus will fall and you'll keep hitting PRs consistently

Then some day you can help a kid in your position now by detailing your whole process.
As mastermonster said, strength is a long haul program. If these guys are "strong" and have been "strong" for years, chances are they're doing something right.

str8flexed
02-28-2010, 10:09 AM
as with anything, training must be periodized correctly in order to work. As Travis said, nothing will work forever but that also includes even if you were getting plenty of rest. But to be quite honest, I've seen far more people UNDERtrain for fear of overtraining, than I've actually seen overtrain. I got great results from Smolov squatting 3-4x/week but obviously it was not maintainable for more than short duration of time, and i had to go easy on my other lifts. But for short, focused bursts, you can train like that and make good progress with it. It is all about timing.