The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Thread: Two day routine

  1. #1
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    Two day routine

    Is it feasible to build muscle with a 2 day per week routine? And keep fat gains low? I have my diet sorted due to calorie/macro counting over the last couple years.

    I have almost always been on 3 day routines but just find myself sore all the time, plus I'm lazy and would love to skip working out Fri/Sat/Sun.

    I wrote up this routine, what do you think:

    3x5 Row
    1x5 Deadlift
    1x20 Squat
    1x20 Shrugs
    Abs (1x20 Weighted Crunches, 3x5 Barbell Rollout)
    10x10 Bicep Curls

    3x5 Bench
    3x12 Incline Flies
    3x5 OHP
    4x12 Laterals (2x Side, 2x Bent Over)
    3x12 Chin
    Calve Raises (1x20 then 3x5)
    10x10 Skull Crushers

    Rest periods are 2min between heavy 3x5 sets and 1min between lighter sets of 12/10

    Note the 10x10 arm movements are because I want to give German Volume Training a try.. Will probably end up changing this to 3x5 & 1x20 or 3x12 afterwards.

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  3. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    The best routine is the one you stick with...hint...hint

    It is my opinion that if you want to do a two day a week routine, then both should be "Full Body."

    Example:

    Squats
    S.L.D.L.
    Bench
    Rows
    Heel Raise

    Deadlift
    OH Press
    Chin-ups
    Abdominals
    Grip
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  4. #3
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    If you're lazy and don't wanna squat twice per week, you can try:

    Workout 1

    Squat 3x5
    Bench 2x5
    Row 3x5
    Curl 3x12

    Workout 2

    Deadlift 1-2x5
    OHP 3x5
    Chin 3xF
    Skullcrushers 3x12

    I also like getting my pressing done on one day:

    Squat 3x5
    Bench 2x5
    OHP 2x5
    BB curls 2x12

    Deadlift 1-2x5
    Chin 3xF
    Row 3x5
    Skullcrushers 2x12

    I find that getting my heavy pressing on one day, then zapping them with higher reps on another puts size on the arms quickly. That seems to be one of your goals. Same thing with curling: the chins are your heavy bicep work and the next session is higher rep curls.

    But, really, you'd be better served sticking with squat, deadlift, bench or dips, OHP and chins and rows. Some people will say rowing's unnecessary. I'm one of those people, but I threw it in there anyways.

    IMO.
    Last edited by IronRanger; 06-16-2011 at 05:01 PM.

  5. #4
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    Thanks for your replies guys. The thing is, my traps/calves/abs have only ever grown doing heavy work with HCT-12 - but that only lasts about 6 weeks before my gains stop. Would there be a 2 day routine that involves isolation for these muscles as well as all the heavy compounds? Also definately need direct bi/tri work as I have no muscle there but back/legs etc are all far bigger (relatively). Also I feel I need some incline work on my chest as well as flat, as I have always done flat bench only and haven't seen much chest development until adding an incline. For shoulders, I have always only done OHP only so am thinking I need to do another movement so it doesn't fall behind (like chest)

    I would do a full body twice a week, but wouldn't that effect the purpose of doing a 2 day routine for recovery? My current 3 day routine works everything once a week except my lower back and abs get a bit more due to the compounds, and my shoulders/tris get a bit more since I have chest and shoulders on different days.

  6. #5
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronRanger View Post
    If you're lazy and don't wanna squat twice per week, you can try:

    Workout 1

    Squat 3x5
    Bench 2x5
    Row 3x5
    Curl 3x12

    Workout 2

    Deadlift 1-2x5
    OHP 3x5
    Chin 3xF
    Skullcrushers 3x12

    I also like getting my pressing done on one day:

    Squat 3x5
    Bench 2x5
    OHP 2x5
    BB curls 2x12

    Deadlift 1-2x5
    Chin 3xF
    Row 3x5
    Skullcrushers 2x12

    I find that getting my heavy pressing on one day, then zapping them with higher reps on another puts size on the arms quickly. That seems to be one of your goals. Same thing with curling: the chins are your heavy bicep work and the next session is higher rep curls.

    But, really, you'd be better served sticking with squat, deadlift, bench or dips, OHP and chins and rows. Some people will say rowing's unnecessary. I'm one of those people, but I threw it in there anyways.

    IMO.
    I like the idea of that routine there for a variety of purposes.


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  7. #6
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    With the routine above, I have changed the order to make it work better to how exhausted I get on certain exercises, and added in two accessory exercises on each day:

    3x5 Bench
    3x5 OHP
    1x20 Squat
    3X12 Incline Flies
    1x20 & 3x5 Calves
    3x12 Curl

    3x5 Row
    3x12 Chin
    1x5 Dead
    3x5 & 1x20 traps
    3x5 & 1x20 abs
    3x12 Skull Crushers

    What do you think of this? Or am I fucking with the routine too much? Also how important were the set/rep schemes you had, as I have changed them for some exercises in the above routine

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    Thanks for your replies guys. The thing is, my traps/calves/abs have only ever grown doing heavy work with HCT-12 - but that only lasts about 6 weeks before my gains stop.
    Seriously, how much muscle can you gain in 6 weeks? I think you are overestimating the progress you make in 6 weeks and undersestimating the progress you can make if you stick to a plan for several years.
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  9. #8
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    I would do a full body twice a week, but wouldn't that effect the purpose of doing a 2 day routine for recovery?
    That is the EXACT reason you do full body workouts on a twice a week routine.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    That is the EXACT reason you do full body workouts on a twice a week routine.
    Training my muscles twice per week is a bitch for me to recover from, but after closer inspection of the routine you posted it's really only having squats and deads split one into each workout which I will be fine with.

    Regarding the 6 week thing, I was just saying that meaning mainly that I need to do heavy accessory work for traps/calves to see any growth. Lighter work never helped me there, but lately I have been trying 1x20 for traps and 3x12 on top of 3x5 for calves but it's too early to say if it is working yet but my numbers are still going up.

    Consistency isn't a problem for me, I usually change routines every 3 months-ish and diet is always dialed. Have made great progress the last couple years, after spending a year previously spinning my wheels trying to cut & bulk at the same time

  11. #10
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    You are not doing German Volume Training if you are not following the program to a tee. 10x10 for a bicep and tricep movement is worthless with that setup.

    The guys who posted above me gave some excellent suggestions of a routine for someone in your position. To be honest the ones you generated yourself are not going to give you the results you should expect from a 2x a week routine.
    Squat...Eat...Sleep...Grow...Repeat

  12. #11
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    So a 2 day a week routine with all the major compounds and the accessory lifts I mentioned isn't a good idea? Or is it the rep schemes I have changed that are the problem?

  13. #12
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    Just realised the edited routine I posted above is a push/pull split. I thought those were generally considered decent? Or is it my rep schemes that are the problem

  14. #13
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    Okay Greemah, this has been covered a billion times so I'm not going to spend a a great deal trying to answer it now. For more information I suggest reading the articles as they will be a lot more detailed.

    What you are trying to do is a routine for the genetically typical, or Hardgainer if you will. The routines that myself and others have suggested are for typical Hardgainers, while the ones you are coming up with are for Ultra-Hardgainers. The difference is "recovery."

    Using two full-body workouts per week gives all the muscles two to three days to recover between sessions. This is generally enough for most anybody with average recovery ability. Remember, the more often you can work a muscle, the more it is going to grow and get stronger. Even if you tend to be on the lower end of recovery, the only thing you'd probably have to watch is the lower back and have to switch the deads and squats to the same day so they have six days of rest between sessions. But you should still be able to train chest and back (etc.) twice a week with different lifts.

    Also, if you are worried about recovery then I'd consentrate your efforts on the lifts that are going to give you the biggest bang for the buck. Leave out the flyes and shrugs while training harder on the bench and deadlifts. If you are a Hardgainer, forget about the GVT, isolation exercises, hitting every angle, pumping the muscles, split routines, switching routines every month, and anything that takes away from progress on the biggest lifts.
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  15. #14
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Squat 3x5
    Bench 2x5
    OHP 2x5
    BB curls 2x12

    Deadlift 1-2x5
    Chin 3xF
    Row 3x5
    Skullcrushers 2x12


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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    With the routine above, I have changed the order to make it work better to how exhausted I get on certain exercises, and added in two accessory exercises on each day:

    3x5 Bench
    3x5 OHP
    1x20 Squat
    3X12 Incline Flies
    1x20 & 3x5 Calves
    3x12 Curl

    3x5 Row
    3x12 Chin
    1x5 Dead
    3x5 & 1x20 traps
    3x5 & 1x20 abs
    3x12 Skull Crushers

    What do you think of this? Or am I fucking with the routine too much? Also how important were the set/rep schemes you had, as I have changed them for some exercises in the above routine
    Deadlift and Squats first, after warming-up, of course. Your big movements are done first so that the accessory muscles needed (in other words, all) aren't too tired to reduce incidence of injury.

    I don't think you're at a place in your lifting career that 20-rep squats are appropriate. Learn the movement, build a strong beginner physique, then worry about puking your guts out.

    The reason for 2x5 bench and OHP are that they work the same muscle: front deltoids, so blasting them for 6 sets, when 4's plenty isn't necessary. IMO. You can finish with a 12-16 rep set of incline dumbbell press, since you seem hellbent on including them.

    2x12 for curls and skulls should be plenty. Really, I should've made it a rep range for curls and skulls: 2x10-14, something like that. It's easier to add reps first, on the little lifts, then add a small amount of weight.
    Last edited by IronRanger; 06-17-2011 at 08:57 AM.

  17. #16
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    You don't need to be advanced to do 20 rep squats. In fact, Mccallum's beginner routine has two sets of them
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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    You don't need to be advanced to do 20 rep squats. In fact, Mccallum's beginner routine has two sets of them
    Yea. I'm not a believer in them for beginners. I'm not a believer in squatting 3 times a week advancing the weights every session, a la Starting Strength, neither. That's not a blanket statement, I believe in it 'til a first stall, then moving to slower progression. To each their own, as they say.

    In the end, he'll do what he's gonna do.

    As a matter-of-fact, once my re-injury's healed, I'll probably start squatting 3x a week to build back up. Once I stall, I'll use rep progression with weekly weight progression. Something like:

    week 1
    Session 1: Squat 135lbs 3 x 5
    Session 2: Squat 135x3x6
    Session 3: Squat 135x3x7

    week 2
    Session 4: Add 5-10 poundsx3x5
    Last edited by IronRanger; 06-17-2011 at 10:09 AM.

  19. #18
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    The posted routines are good but if you say everything should be worked twice a week on 2 day routines, wouldn't something like this be better:

    Mon:
    3x5 Bench Press
    3x5 Standing Overhead Press
    1X5 Deadlift
    3x5 Barbell Row
    3x12 Bicep Curls

    Tue:
    1x20 Squat
    3x12 Incline Dumbell Bench Press
    3x12 Chinups
    3x12 Seated Dumbell Overhead Press
    3x12 Skull Crushers

    Above routine has everything worked twice a week, once heavy and once light. Sets/reps can be changed as long as it stays as heavy/light thing

  20. #19
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    It's a full-body routine with a nod towards alot of beginners' goals. The reasoning for chins being your heavy bicep movement, then 3-4 days later zapping them with a couple sets of higher reps is a concession for hypertrophy of the biceps. You have them set-up on the same day. Switch your curls and skulls around.

    The focus of my routine is strength progression. Also, I thought about it from the perspective of a self-proclaimed lazy guy. I have other programs, similar to the one you've posted. I like that you have chinups opposing deadlift day. I've found it to help my grip tremendously.

    I'd drop bench and OHP to 2x5. Also, I'd drop all the 3x12 sets to 2x12, except chins. I'd do 3xF with chins until you can progress to weighted chins.

    Also, I'd like to say again that you should do your squats and deads first, but I digress.

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronRanger View Post
    It's a full-body routine with a nod towards alot of beginners' goals. The reasoning for chins being your heavy bicep movement, then 3-4 days later zapping them with a couple sets of higher reps is a concession for hypertrophy of the biceps. You have them set-up on the same day. Switch your curls and skulls around.

    The focus of my routine is strength progression. Also, I thought about it from the perspective of a self-proclaimed lazy guy. I have other programs, similar to the one you've posted. I like that you have chinups opposing deadlift day. I've found it to help my grip tremendously.

    I'd drop bench and OHP to 2x5. Also, I'd drop all the 3x12 sets to 2x12, except chins. I'd do 3xF with chins until you can progress to weighted chins.

    Also, I'd like to say again that you should do your squats and deads first, but I digress.
    Bold 1 - from what you are saying, the way I have my curls/skulls is correct - are you sure you read the routine correctly?

    Regarding dropping number of sets - I will do this, but just so I know why is that for added recovery?

    With chinups what number of reps would be preferred? As I can do over 20 at the moment so I could add weight

    Bold 2 - How important is this? Because I once tried bench pressing after deadlift and it's a lost cause

    By the way, it may be a beginner goal (big arms) but I wouldn't really call myself a beginner - I can deadlift over 400lb 1x5 and 3x5 squat over 300lbs. It's just my arms seem very skinny compared to the rest of my body and only really look muscular if I tense them in the typical bicep showing pose.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    Is it feasible to build muscle with a 2 day per week routine? And keep fat gains low? I have my diet sorted due to calorie/macro counting over the last couple years.

    I have almost always been on 3 day routines but just find myself sore all the time, plus I'm lazy and would love to skip working out Fri/Sat/Sun.
    Are you working out just to stay healthy or what? If so, if you dread weight training that much, maybe it's time to find a new hobby that can keep you relatively healthy.

    IMO, I wouldn't go under 3 days a week. I've never seen anyone train only 2x a week and get solid results in terms of muscle gain and proven it with photos.

    3-4 days a week is where it's at for muscle imo.

  23. #22
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    Mon:
    3x5 Bench Press
    3x5 Standing Overhead Press
    1X5 Deadlift
    3x5 Barbell Row
    3x12 Bicep Curls

    Tue:
    1x20 Squat
    3x12 Incline Dumbell Bench Press
    3x12 Chinups
    3x12 Seated Dumbell Overhead Press
    3x12 Skull Crushers

    Yup, read it wrong.

    I wouldn't really call myself a beginner
    Plenty of people think this about themselves.

    Regarding dropping number of sets - I will do this, but just so I know why is that for added recovery?
    My thinking is this: why add more sets than you need to grow? If, after a few months without results, add a set or, rethink your calorie requirements and other facets of recovery. There are plenty of options to make it more complicated than it needs to be.

    With chinups what number of reps would be preferred? As I can do over 20 at the moment so I could add weight
    This is a mixed bag, and highly individual in my experience. I respond to light/heavy with chins too. I do my 3x5 weighted chins one day, then 3-4 days later hit them with high rep negatives. if I can do more than 20 negatives, I add weight.

    Some people chin 3 times a week, referring to it as the upper body squat. Others, once a week. Yet others, Jim Wendler comes to mind, just blast away 'til he hits 100 chins as an accessory movement.

    IMO, I'd add weight and see what happens.

    I once tried bench pressing after deadlift and it's a lost cause
    I don't like fatiguing any muscles prior to a full body movement like squats or deads.

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevelle2291 View Post
    Are you working out just to stay healthy or what? If so, if you dread weight training that much, maybe it's time to find a new hobby that can keep you relatively healthy.

    IMO, I wouldn't go under 3 days a week. I've never seen anyone train only 2x a week and get solid results in terms of muscle gain and proven it with photos.

    3-4 days a week is where it's at for muscle imo.
    Nope doing it for bodybuilding. Yeah that's what I was afraid of - does anyone have any evidence of 2 day per week workouts being good for bodybuilding?

    I was thinking though, at the moment I do a 3 days split which works out each bodypart once per week (though tris/legs/abs get a bit more due to overlap) - so if I switched to a routine like above, that would surely be better for bodybuilding considering everything is trained specifically twice a week?

    Edit: oh and I don't dread it, I just get the nervous shits etc when I have to squat and deadlift coz it's such damn hard work! and I'd love to keep weekends free so I feel more free on saturday night instead of worrying about being completely fresh for my sunday workout
    Last edited by greemah; 06-19-2011 at 06:20 PM.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronRanger View Post
    My thinking is this: why add more sets than you need to grow? If, after a few months without results, add a set or, rethink your calorie requirements and other facets of recovery. There are plenty of options to make it more complicated than it needs to be.
    Ok will do

    Quote Originally Posted by IronRanger View Post
    This is a mixed bag, and highly individual in my experience. I respond to light/heavy with chins too. I do my 3x5 weighted chins one day, then 3-4 days later hit them with high rep negatives. if I can do more than 20 negatives, I add weight.

    Some people chin 3 times a week, referring to it as the upper body squat. Others, once a week. Yet others, Jim Wendler comes to mind, just blast away 'til he hits 100 chins as an accessory movement.

    IMO, I'd add weight and see what happens.
    Do you think I should replace 3x5 rows with 3x5 weighted chins, and keep the 3x12 chins (weighted still to make sure I keep down to 12 reps per set)

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    By the way, it may be a beginner goal (big arms) but I wouldn't really call myself a beginner - I can deadlift over 400lb 1x5 and 3x5 squat over 300lbs. It's just my arms seem very skinny compared to the rest of my body and only really look muscular if I tense them in the typical bicep showing pose.
    Everyone wants big arms, it's not just a beginner goal lol.

    Those are good numbers. This is IMO, but I never saw any arm growth until I added in isolation movements, namely skullcrushers, dumbbell curls, ez bar curls, close-grip bench, etc. In fact, the only thing that did grow on me when i was using low rep ranges and a strength-based program was my ass, upper back, and hams.

    I never got any growth out of rows, chins, etc.

    Why not do a nice 3-day push/pull/legs? Plenty of recovery and a solid split with plenty of time for a little isolation. I love that split tbh.

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