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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
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must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
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HIT Twice a Week is So Much to Me
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fox

I dont know if you remember me but I posted my log here for a short time ( http://www.drdarden.com/...ic.do?id=588912 ).

Well, my routine was done twice a week, where I did squat on day 1 and deadlift on day 2, plus a handful exercises.

However I feel as my recovery ability is not so fine, even on my 26 years old =(

I am afraid in give a try on even more abbreviated and infrequent workout, something like a Heavy Duty consolidated routine.

Maybe a Beyond Brawn framework 1 routine once a week...

Please, give me a light my friends.

Carlos
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overfiftylifter

With very poor recovery, I would reduce the applied intensity to a level where you establish some base level set point and gradually increase your applied level over time. Think of yourself as a athlete who has to run a marathon. You start off at shorter distances and gradually increase your stamina/distance.

Finish your set or sets several reps from failure and then perhaps the following month finish each set one rep from failure. Then advance to failure training. If you make progress, depending on your goals, with less than failure training, stay that course.
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crazeeJZ

fox wrote:
I dont know if you remember me but I posted my log here for a short time ( http://www.drdarden.com/...ic.do?id=588912 ).

Well, my routine was done twice a week, where I did squat on day 1 and deadlift on day 2, plus a handful exercises.

However I feel as my recovery ability is not so fine, even on my 26 years old =(

I am afraid in give a try on even more abbreviated and infrequent workout, something like a Heavy Duty consolidated routine.

Maybe a Beyond Brawn framework 1 routine once a week...

Please, give me a light my friends.

Carlos


Failure is probably too much for you if you're having recovery issues. Just push yourself to do as many complete reps as possible, stopping before going to that final failure rep. You will still make progress because you will still be pushing yourself to improve. You don't have to necessarily reduce frequency yet going to almost failure.

Did you go back to the squat? I see you were doing the leg press for a while. Because of your recovery issues, if you went back to the squat, don't do the deadlift, and vice versa. Try eliminating one exercise from each workout that you were doing. You can continue trying to work out twice a week with:

A
Flat bench, or dips
Bent-over db rows
Calf raises

B
Shoulder press
Chins, or curls
Squats

This will be a little less fatigue from not going to failure and a little less exercise than you were doing before.

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tompuderbaugh

For those with less than optimal recovery ability (and also very strong, advanced trainers), there is nothing wrong with doing full body workouts -- Three times in two weeks.

It looks like....

Monday, Friday,
Wednesday.

Monday, Friday,
Wednesday.

This extra recovery/rebuilding time can make all the difference.

Give it a try and I think you will be VERY pleased with your progress.

Good training to all.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

tompuderbaugh wrote:
For those with less than optimal recovery ability (and also very strong, advanced trainers), there is nothing wrong with doing full body workouts -- Three times in two weeks.

It looks like....

Monday, Friday,
Wednesday.

Monday, Friday,
Wednesday.

This extra recovery/rebuilding time can make all the difference...


I'll vouch for this workout frequency. It's done wonders for me over the last 9 or 10 months.

No need to go down all the way to consolidated routines in one fell swoop. Do it in stages and see how you fair at each stage.

Please refresh my memory as to how many exercise you have been doing in each session?

Off the top, I'd say start with Tom's frequency reduction recommendation AND only take 1-2 exercises per workout to failure (TF).

The rest can stop 1-2 reps shy of failure (not to failure or NTF).

Scott
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Here's what I saw from your last thread:


Training 27/05/2011 #19

>Abs - 1X20
>Deadlift - 1X20 84Kg
>Light Pullover - 1X20 only bar
>Dips - 1X7 BW
>Seated cable rows - 1X12 9 plates
>Chest press - 1X11 44Kg
>Curl - 1X11 27Kg
>Static hold until grip failure


Scott: Too Volume and Compound Movemnets for one workout. Plus redundancies don't help --- Dips and Chest Press in same workout is a wasted effort.

Today I did a mistake, instead add 4Kg to bar on deadlift I added 14Kg , however I manage 20 reps but of course was very hard. I already had did this before. I wish that my low back stay fine next days...Carlos

Good observation. Move-up in smaller increments.

05/31/11 05:45 AM
Training 31/05/2011 #20

>Leg press - 1X25 160Kg
>Bench - 2X6 56Kg
>Pulldown - 1X9 58Kg
>MP - 2X6 41Kg


1. Try the Mon-Fri-Wed schedule.

AND/OR

2. Cut down on the number of exercises in each session:

A
>Abs - 1X20
>Deadlift - 1X15
>Dips - 2x6
>Curl - 1X11


B
>Calves
>Bench or Chest Press - 2X6 56Kg
>Seated cable rows - 1X12 9 plates
>Static hold until grip failure


C
>Leg press - 1X25 160Kg
>Light Pullover - 1X20 only bar
>Pulldown - 1X9 58Kg
>MP - 2X6 41Kg

No more than 5-6 exercises per workout (less if you do multiple sets). No more than 3 compounds in a given workout.
__________________________________

There is a chance if you cut back the Volume, that the reduction in Frequency may not be needed.

You may want to cut one or the other and hold tight for 4-8 weeks and see what happens. One of those steps may be enough.
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HeavyHitter32

Good advice in this thread.

You have to look at this as a situation where the overall training stress is too much for you in a given time frame or schedule.

So, you have to look at ways to reduce it...several possibilities has been mentioned.
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fox

My sincere thanks to all of you.

I really like to train with full effort in all my workouts, in fact I am having progress, for example:

Before this training cycle ( 03-28-2011 )

->deadlift
- 1X10 70kg
->mp
-1X10 25kg
->pulldown
-1X10 30Kg
->bench
-1X10 30Kg

Now

->deadlift
- 1X10 94kg
->mp
-1X6 43kg
->pulldown
-1X5 68Kg
->bench
-1X9 50Kg

These are my main lifts that I more adapt myself. Squat continues hurting my knees, the leg press machine of my gym is unsafe. So, I think that my routine would be with this 4 exercises.

I think that I come progressing but I feel tired almost every time, if I could maximize my recovery maybe my progress would be even better.

I really apreciated tompuderbaugh?s advice where I would train 3 times on 2 weeks.

Carlos
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Tony Williams

overfiftylifter wrote:
With very poor recovery, I would reduce the applied intensity to a level where you establish some base level set point and gradually increase your applied level over time. Think of yourself as a athlete who has to run a marathon. You start off at shorter distances and gradually increase your stamina/distance.

Finish your set or sets several reps from failure and then perhaps the following month finish each set one rep from failure. Then advance to failure training. If you make progress, depending on your goals, with less than failure training, stay that course.


However, this has always puzzled me.

How do you stop one rep short of failure if you have not gone to failure.

In other words, if you have not gone to failure, how do you know which rep is exactly one rep short of failure.

To me, it is like advising a person who wants to run a mile to run it at 90 percent of his best. Well, how would you know what 90 percent of his best time is if you had never run ... your best?

To me, it is impossible. Now, you could make an educated guess ... but ...

Tony
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overfiftylifter

Tony, it is a guess, but a educated guess. After a few training sessions, if you pay attention to how your body is reacting to a load, you should become aware of when you are near the point of momentary muscular failure. Some stop if they are using a slower cadence 4/4 etc., when they cannot maintain the cadence and others stop who utilize faster cadence when the rep speed slows. There are many shades between the two.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

overfiftylifter wrote:
Tony, it is a guess, but a educated guess. After a few training sessions, if you pay attention to how your body is reacting to a load, you should become aware of when you are near the point of momentary muscular failure...


Not "educated" to me, but more intuitive. I KNOW when I'm a rep shy of failure. After this long, training in this fashion, I just do.

Let me qualify that is a rep shy of failure under reasonable circimstances and motivation.

If faced with AJ's hyperbolic 'gun-to-the-head' scenario, I might could squeeze a few more out, but under normal circumstances AND based on recent performance (i.e. the last time I did that exercise), I know right where "TF" is.

Scott
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hdlifter

You have numerous options at your disposal...an upper/lower split is one option that comes to mind. Due to the drain, legs often need a day all to themselves. Also, due to the extreme stress and drain deadlifts induce, they don't need to be done weekly. I find if I rest 21 days I come back far stronger.

Here's a John Christy style split that I return too from time to time. It's well balanced with a minimal amount of exercises (the sets how he stated).

WO1
Bench Press 3x5-8
Chinup 2x5-8
Calf Raise 1x5-8

WO2
Squat 2x5-8
BB Press 2x5-8
BB Curl 2x5-8

Of course other exercises could be substituted or rotated, as long as they involve the basics. I alternate calf raises with deadlifts every 3 weeks. Using 3-5 reps as my rep range.
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SanDiego

Training twice per week on an abbreviated routine is wiping you out?!

Improve your work capacity / conditioning. At 26 years of age, you should have a TON of energy left over.
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crazeeJZ

hdlifter wrote:
You have numerous options at your disposal...an upper/lower split is one option that comes to mind. Due to the drain, legs often need a day all to themselves. Also, due to the extreme stress and drain deadlifts induce, they don't need to be done weekly. I find if I rest 21 days I come back far stronger.

Here's a John Christy style split that I return too from time to time. It's well balanced with a minimal amount of exercises (the sets how he stated).

WO1
Bench Press 3x5-8
Chinup 2x5-8
Calf Raise 1x5-8

WO2
Squat 2x5-8
BB Press 2x5-8
BB Curl 2x5-8

Of course other exercises could be substituted or rotated, as long as they involve the basics. I alternate calf raises with deadlifts every 3 weeks. Using 3-5 reps as my rep range.


I like it. Looks almost identical to the routine I posted near the beginning. I'm not too familiar with John Christy, but it looks like he knows what he's talking about, haha.

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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

I third the motion. About 6 sets, with 1-2 of them being for legs is what I've been doing for nearly a year now. Works like a charm.

Fox,
Long story short, you need to find a second leg exercise besides DLs that will work for you. This way, you can break your exercises into two good groups for alternating workouts.

Calf Raises, Zercher Squats, Leg Ext, Chalice Squats --- there's some other productive and safe leg exercise you can find in that gym.

Alternating between 2-3 good and varied workouts is the best way to avoid stagnation.

Scott
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

SanDiego wrote:
Training twice per week on an abbreviated routine is wiping you out?!

Improve your work capacity / conditioning. At 26 years of age, you should have a TON of energy left over.


That may be a bit harshly put, but I would tend to agree to a point.

If we're talking about a workout of this volume:

05/31/11 05:45 AM
Training 31/05/2011 #20
>Leg press - 1X25 160Kg
>Bench - 2X6 56Kg
>Pulldown - 1X9 58Kg
>MP - 2X6 41Kg


I see no problems with maintaining a 2/wk frequency, though perhaps I'd make one of those exercises an Iso movement and not a Compound.

With this workout:

Training 27/05/2011 #19
>Abs - 1X20
>Deadlift - 1X20 84Kg
>Light Pullover - 1X20 only bar
>Dips - 1X7 BW
>Seated cable rows - 1X12 9 plates
>Chest press - 1X11 44Kg
>Curl - 1X11 27Kg
>Static hold until grip failure


I'd say it's a bit much volume-wise AND number of compound movements to thrive on 2/wk.
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SanDiego

It wasn't meant to be harsh, but what I was trying to get across is that if a 2x per week routine is wiping out someone in their twenties, they should be looking elsewhere for a solution: diet, sleep, and overall conditioning.

At 26 years old, it really shouldn't be that hard to get 2 quality workouts per week.
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HeavyHitter32

SanDiego wrote:
It wasn't meant to be harsh, but what I was trying to get across is that if a 2x per week routine is wiping out someone in their twenties, they should be looking elsewhere for a solution: diet, sleep, and overall conditioning.

At 26 years old, it really shouldn't be that hard to get 2 quality workouts per week.


If one is really training to positive failure (not faking it), two sessions per week with too many sets and big movements can certainly fry one's CNS. I've been there myself before on Dr. Darden's older routines when I was around 20.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

SanDiego wrote:
It wasn't meant to be harsh, but what I was trying to get across is that if a 2x per week routine is wiping out someone in their twenties, they should be looking elsewhere for a solution: diet, sleep, and overall conditioning.

At 26 years old, it really shouldn't be that hard to get 2 quality workouts per week.


HeavyHitter32 wrote:
If one is really training to positive failure (not faking it), two sessions per week with too many sets and big movements can certainly fry one's CNS. I've been there myself before on Dr. Darden's older routines when I was around 20.


Great points both.

Sleep and Diet should definitely be reviewed and improved where possible.

Age 26 may be considered too early to start moving towards reduced training frequency. He should experiment with finding the volume he can withstand at 2/wk.

EDIT:
Fox: Don't forget that hard 'n' heavy 2/wk workouts will put you at or near 'the boderline' of overtraining to be the most productive. This approach will require you to take a 7 to 10 days off now and again (every 8-12 weeks).
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fox

simon-hecubus wrote:
SanDiego wrote:
It wasn't meant to be harsh, but what I was trying to get across is that if a 2x per week routine is wiping out someone in their twenties, they should be looking elsewhere for a solution: diet, sleep, and overall conditioning.

At 26 years old, it really shouldn't be that hard to get 2 quality workouts per week.


HeavyHitter32 wrote:
If one is really training to positive failure (not faking it), two sessions per week with too many sets and big movements can certainly fry one's CNS. I've been there myself before on Dr. Darden's older routines when I was around 20.

Great points both.

Sleep and Diet should definitely be reviewed and improved where possible.

Age 26 may be considered too early to start moving towards reduced training frequency. He should experiment with finding the volume he can withstand at 2/wk.

Fox: Don't forget that hard 'n' heavy 2/wk workouts should be "toeing the line" of overtraining to be the most productive. This approach will require you to take a 7 to 10 days off now and again.


What about one "Heavy" workout and other light with 80% of weights for same reps?

Carlos
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

fox wrote:
What about one "Heavy" workout and other light with 80% of weights for same reps?

Carlos


80% weights would be a waste of time, unless you did higher reps with them.

* Two different workouts.

* Each a mixture of Compound and Iso movements

* No more than 2-3 compounds per workout.

* Option: Only go to failure on 1/2 the exercises each workout. Just remember that if you are progressing each week, even the NTF exercise shall eventually become TF.

* When you fail to make improvements on at least 1/2 your exercises EVERY workout, then it's time for a break.
(do NOT make this decision on the basis of one workout, but wait until you stagnate for 3 or so workouts in a row)
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hdlifter

A friend of mine spoke to Arthur early 2k and reported back what he told him...

Arthur Jones told McGuff and Terry Carter, maybe 2 years ago, that if he were to do it all over again (referring to training), he would train once per week and only train to positive failure every other week. He would shy back 1 or 2 reps to failure on the other weekly workout. So, in essence, Jones would train to failure on 2 workouts per month. On the other 2 monthly workouts, he would shy back 1 or 2 reps.
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crazeeJZ

hdlifter wrote:
A friend of mine spoke to Arthur early 2k and reported back what he told him...

Arthur Jones told McGuff and Terry Carter, maybe 2 years ago, that if he were to do it all over again (referring to training), he would train once per week and only train to positive failure every other week. He would shy back 1 or 2 reps to failure on the other weekly workout. So, in essence, Jones would train to failure on 2 workouts per month. On the other 2 monthly workouts, he would shy back 1 or 2 reps.


Cycling failure, or "intensity". Sounds good.

The purists are going to prefer to be in denial about this comment from AJ.

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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

hdlifter wrote:
...Arthur Jones told McGuff and Terry Carter, maybe 2 years ago, that if he were to do it all over again (referring to training), he would train once per week and only train to positive failure every other week. He would shy back 1 or 2 reps to failure on the other weekly workout...


While that may be a valid endgame, I still think that one must get there via a very gradual reduction in frequency and intensity.

It's certainly a scheme for which you should give some serious thought...


...if you're in your 50s or 60s. But not in your 20s. Take advantage of that "T" power while it's still poppin!
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fox

hdlifter wrote:
A friend of mine spoke to Arthur early 2k and reported back what he told him...

Arthur Jones told McGuff and Terry Carter, maybe 2 years ago, that if he were to do it all over again (referring to training), he would train once per week and only train to positive failure every other week. He would shy back 1 or 2 reps to failure on the other weekly workout. So, in essence, Jones would train to failure on 2 workouts per month. On the other 2 monthly workouts, he would shy back 1 or 2 reps.


And you, what you think about it?
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