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Thread: 4 Day Program

  1. #1
    Wannabebig New Member
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    4 Day Program

    Has anyone been able to run the 4 day A-B-A-B program without running into recovery issues?

    I'm at the end of my 4th cycle, and despite my best intentions (and lots of training log deciphering) I have been unable to make it to week 4 without feeling like I had hit a wall.

    I'm trying to get leaner / increase strength at my current body weight, so I usually run at a slight deficit on off days while staying satiated on working days.

    This feeling never runs from one cycle to the next, but it always comes like clockwork by the last workout of the 3rd week or the 1st workout of the 4th week. It seems to affect my upper body more than my lower, which gets more "natural" active recovery (softball, walking etc).

    Is it inevitable that I need to switch to the 3 day split on HCT-12 or find a new routine? Diet, sleep, stress etc are not areas that are open to change - they're already better than most and to nitpick any more would be counter-productive, mentally.

    Besides that, I've been really loving HCT-12. I'd prefer to get in the gym 4 days a week, but I guess I could always add in some more cardio/conditioning work if I dial down.

    24/6'0"/220

  2. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Ask yourself what's more important; working out 4 days a week "or" making progress?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Ask yourself what's more important; working out 4 days a week "or" making progress?
    Good post!

    Reggie, you've proved to yourself that 4 days the way you are currently training is too much for you.
    With higher frequency training you need to pay more attention to fatigue (you say your diet and rest is on point so we'll take you at your word).

    You (and I mean you, others in similar or different programs/circumstances might find it beneficial) should not be hitting failure on any of the exercises. You shouldn't be grinding any reps out, bar wobbling, slow reps are out. Even your heaviest should feel smooth and piston like. Is this how you are performing reps currently?

  4. #4
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    Would be impossibile for me to run that program 4 days a week....Its hard enough for me to run 5/3/1 four days a week with a different movement for each day.....The only time I would really run a movement more than once a week is if it was vastly behind my other exercises and I was working to bring it up to par or if I was a beginner doing starting strength.

    Not sure how advanced you are, but as the years go by and as you gain more experience, you realize that slow and steady wins the race for sure.
    Last edited by mchicia1; 09-29-2010 at 09:33 AM.

  5. #5
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    Getting leaner and stronger are also somewhat opposing goals. If you really want to do the 4 day program, you'll need to eat more to have better recovery. If you want to keep doing what you currently are (a recomp - or so it seems), then I'd say definitely drop down to 3 days per week.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzinator View Post
    Getting leaner and stronger are also somewhat opposing goals. If you really want to do the 4 day program, you'll need to eat more to have better recovery. If you want to keep doing what you currently are (a recomp - or so it seems), then I'd say definitely drop down to 3 days per week.
    I agree with this. When I was cutting trying to do the 4 day program was too exhausting and I found myself dropping the last day a lot because I just didn't have it in me. It's pretty apparent your body isn't getting enough rest due to the lower intake of calories/nutrients so ease back.

  7. #7
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Yeah... I figured I was going to have to switch down to 3 days a week. At least now I can get back into some intervals. Finishing my deload week tomorrow and off I go.

    I was also really curious to see who has had success with the 4 day (that is not a competitor). I've been reading these forums for a while and it seems like everyone who has tried has had to dial it back.

  8. #8
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    Be careful with adding intervals back in. Intervals are taxing in a similar way to weightlifting, so replacing one day of lifting with a hard interval day won't help recovery in any way, and takes away the lifting, which is a better growth stimulus. All in all, probably not a great idea.

  9. #9
    Crikey, its a 30 foot ape! Kong's Avatar
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    I'm on my second cycle using the four day program and will definitely be switching back to the 3 day. Having slight shoulder issues and don't feel anywhere near as fresh and focused each session.
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  10. #10
    Wannabebig New Member
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    The way I run, I'm always up on the very front of my feet putting the emphasis on my calves (which has been amazing for their development).

    I've found that if I overdo it, I'll lose progress in calves but my quads/hams still feel good to lift. I'm pretty happy with my calves as is, so the cardio benefit is worth it for me. Really helps my speed/conditioning when I get to play rec sports.

    On the three day, I run twice a week (Sunday and Thursday) if I'm not playing a game that week. If my calves feel tired, one of those two days I turn into a 6.0mph 2-3 mile jog. For intervals, I stick to between 15-30 minutes and 2-3 miles depending on how I feel. It's been working pretty good for me.

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