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6 SETS ONCE A WEEK.. OR 3 SETS TWICE A WEEK..?

LATS

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we talk about workout frequency a bit here.. and we know how counter productive over training can be.. but something scot abel (a great trainer himself) said years ago is interesting..

abel said that the total work set for, say pecs, does not matter if it is 6 sets once a week or 3 sets twice a week.. basically he is saying that if you perform 6 total sets for chest you can do them once a week or spread out twice a week and the results will basically be the same based on the total workload for the week..

i can see the point.. but would nt it be more productive to do the workout more often (as long as you can recup) as this would creat a more anabolic enviroment in the muscle it self.. i have always believed that the enviroment created is the basis for growth.. once we lose the anabolic stimulus we will start to digress..

or is it better to overload that muscle with al 6 sets once a week and let the 6 days of recup give us the growth we seek.. or would the added sets in one day be detrimental to the joints and spreading out the workload be safer on the connective tissue..hhhhmmmm...:banghead: discuss class..
 

tkav1980

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we talk about workout frequency a bit here.. and we know how counter productive over training can be.. but something scot abel (a great trainer himself) said years ago is interesting..

abel said that the total work set for, say pecs, does not matter if it is 6 sets once a week or 3 sets twice a week.. basically he is saying that if you perform 6 total sets for chest you can do them once a week or spread out twice a week and the results will basically be the same based on the total workload for the week..

i can see the point.. but would nt it be more productive to do the workout more often (as long as you can recup) as this would creat a more anabolic enviroment in the muscle it self.. i have always believed that the enviroment created is the basis for growth.. once we lose the anabolic stimulus we will start to digress..

or is it better to overload that muscle with al 6 sets once a week and let the 6 days of recup give us the growth we seek.. or would the added sets in one day be detrimental to the joints and spreading out the workload be safer on the connective tissue..hhhhmmmm...:banghead: discuss class..
i would tend to think 3 set twice a week. because the way muscle grows begins with an immuneological response, cascading down thru other mechanisms, triggering growth. all you need to do is enough work to illicit this response, simultaneously not frying CNS or doing so much damage that the repair process takes a full week. therefore allowing twice the number of growth phases in the same timeframe. total work doesnt really mean that much, as long as progressive overload is achieved, and recovery is kept minimal enough to allow re-training without overtraining, frequency balances with volume.
 

animal eater

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I am more of a fan of training a body part with intensity but not too much volume. So if you could blast the muscle with three sets and then train it 3 or 4 days later then that would be my recomendation. Hit it, rest it and hit it again when ready.
 

LATS

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EXACTLY.. my point being that the stimulus more often would be "better".. but can most people actually recup to hit a muscle more than once a week.. i used to.. but as i get older and the job more physical (same boat as a lot of people) it gets harder to recup from even that..
i am not inclined to buy that the stimulus would be the same for both examples..
 

JonnyO

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Was Abel talking about doing 6 sets or just throwing out a number as an example? I've worked with him before and he had me doing a lot more than 6 sets for chest I'll tell you that, lol.

But if your going for 6 sets a week I would do that 2x a week myself. 6 sets doesnt really seem like much to me though unless your doing something high intensity or DC.
 

tkav1980

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EXACTLY.. my point being that the stimulus more often would be "better".. but can most people actually recup to hit a muscle more than once a week.. i used to.. but as i get older and the job more physical (same boat as a lot of people) it gets harder to recup from even that..
i am not inclined to buy that the stimulus would be the same for both examples..
In my response I mentioned that the. Immune system is the beginning if a process. One step is hormonal. More hormones I.e. test means a more powerful response in the recovery process. im. Typing on my phone. Sorry for the short response.
 

LATS

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6 SETS IS JUST A EXAMPLE.. bel does much more volume then that lol.. TKAV i agree with you 100%.. i dont think the response would be the same.. hit it and hit it again.. keep the cycles going.. but many disagree..
 

Ehren

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Recovery

Some heavy hitters here, but since I'm dealing with this very thing atm, I'll weigh in: I need long breaks between hitting the whole body again. 2x a week is too much unless I really train light.

I can't recover from high intensity training more than once every 2 weeks as the weights get heavier, my work schedule gets worse, and I get older.

So I do one week "heavy" and the next week "light" with 3 or 4 days off in between.

Same number of sets per workout, but about double the reps on the light weeks. So the stimulus is there for the muscles, but not hammering the CNS. The light workouts aren't easy, they are more painful actually. They just don't stress the joints and nerves, but the muscles better. I actually feel like I look better after the light weeks, like the whole muscle has been trained and not just the connective tissue.

I train Wed, Friday, Sat, then off again till Wed, repeat, trying to increase the weights or reps with the same weight on each "heavy" week. This also really helps clear the Sub Q water I seem to collect from constant training. After 3 days off, I feel really ready to go again, like Ive recovered fully.

It's been working great.
 
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dragonfire101

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As many times a week your body can recover before training the same part another day. It may be 1, 2 or 3 , but the more chances to train, the more possibility for growth as long as you recover by next workout and make progress.

Its been talked about. Same principal a DC Training.

If I don't train each muscle twice a week, they get week and soft looking.

I always liked basic exercise one day for heavy 5 x 5 method on exercises and 1 pump set at the end with a different exercises for 20 reps and later in week go little lighter for 3-4 sets, 10, 8 6 reps and a 20 rep pump set. Not doing this now or have in a very long time. I'm farting around doing whatever the guys from work do when they go , which is hit each body-part once a week over 3 days.

Monday

Chest:

*Heavy Barbell or Flat Dumbbell Press 5 x 5

*Incline Flyes 1 x 20-plus some press reps

and then without rest turn fly into a press and get as many reps as you can. Then use to just stand in doorway and stretch chest in between sets.

Friday

Chest:

*Heavy Incline or Dumbbell Press 3 x 10,8,6
*Flat Flyes 1 x 20-plus some press reps


I always thought this routine worked good and my chest was its strongest and biggest when I did this. Nothing too fancy. I pretty much did the same thing with other body-parts and did either a push pull or an upper lower routine so I train 4 days a week when I did this. Sometimes 3x week and then following week train what I hit once the prior week twice that week. This was when it was harder to recover because of sports, school and work etc.
 
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btech

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Layne Norton believes that once a week is not enough for a muscle.

Here's a thought: Performing the movement more often would also train the CNS to "learn" the movement faster and reinforce how it's performed, leading to faster strength gains. Wishful thinking?
 

tkav1980

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Some heavy hitters here, but since I'm dealing with this very thing atm, I'll weigh in: I need long breaks between hitting the whole body again. 2x a week is too much unless I really train light.

I can't recover from high intensity training more than once every 2 weeks as the weights get heavier, my work schedule gets worse, and I get older.

So I do one week "heavy" and the next week "light" with 3 or 4 days off in between.

Same number of sets per workout, but about double the reps on the light weeks. So the stimulus is there for the muscles, but not hammering the CNS. The light workouts aren't easy, they are more painful actually. They just don't stress the joints and nerves, but the muscles better. I actually feel like I look better after the light weeks, like the whole muscle has been trained and not just the connective tissue.

I train Wed, Friday, Sat, then off again till Wed, repeat, trying to increase the weights or reps with the same weight on each "heavy" week. This also really helps clear the Sub Q water I seem to collect from constant training. After 3 days off, I feel really ready to go again, like Ive recovered fully.

It's been working great.
in my opinion the "Holy Grail" is finding a BALANCE between volume and frequency, allowing a constant progression in strength. this means enough volume to illicit a growth response, not so much volume though that you cant train a muscle frequently( 2 times every 7-10 days), while still allowing progressive overload to do its job(strength increases).

details in this will include, sets, reps, exercises chosen for other muscle groups, diet manipulation, rest manipulation, and of course hormone manipulation.
 

D BO

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Although I have trained a lot of people and myself with one body part per week workouts, that in my opinion do work for some. I like using low volume and hitting the body part 2 to 3 times as often as well. I believe both workouts can give your body different looks. I also find myself going soft now days if I were to wait a whole week. I usually go hard, hitting it 2 to 3 times a week for a month and then take a week to get my mind back on track usually just using light weights and cardio, stressing stretching or just body weight movements for this week.
 

Scott21

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3 sets twice a week, DC has proved this method over and over and over again! Go to any board, and see how many people who have switched to training low volume high frequency have made made incredible changes and broke plateus. The results speak for themselves.
 

witefall

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Question.

Honest question. Why is it that Able is using the parameters of "a week" as the time frame for how many times a muscle gets worked?

The time frame of "a week" just seems a bit arbitrary. Just curious.
 

Jeremy24

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For me its best to do 3 sets twice per week high Intensity, with diffrent exercises buit keeping them compund movements. Incline, decline. But everyone recoops diffemtly. I like the twice a week too because i feel like my muscle have a fuller look when hit more frequent
 

JonnyO

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Honest question. Why is it that Able is using the parameters of "a week" as the time frame for how many times a muscle gets worked?

The time frame of "a week" just seems a bit arbitrary. Just curious.
Good question. I was thinking the same thing.

With my work schedule, my training rotation is 9 days, so I hit back, chest/shoulders, quads once in that period of 9 days, with some arms and hams twice as well as calves. I dont find any of my muscles getting soft even after 9 days.
 

thebrick

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For me…

I am opting not using the 7 day week as my timeframe per bodypart. I find if I wait a full 7 days that's its too long many times and if I try to get 2 workouts in for the same bodypart in 7 days, something has to give. So what I have been doing is training a muscle group and waiting about 5 days or so and then hitting it again. Seems to work well for me. It does require some flexibility one's schedule as the days are constantly rotating for different body parts. I also try to be more aware of how my CNS is holding up and make adjustments accordingly (rest days).
 

Flex2019

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Lately I have lowered my training volume a bit and switched to a 2-on/1-off split. This allows me to hit each bodypart every 6th day. Like thebrick's split, it requires a bit of openness in the my schedule, but it's working well.
 
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Honest question. Why is it that Able is using the parameters of "a week" as the time frame for how many times a muscle gets worked?

The time frame of "a week" just seems a bit arbitrary. Just curious.
Everything about bodybuilding is arbitrary.
 

doitright

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if recovery looks good hitting muscles as frequent as possible works best for me. Why grow once in a given amount of days if you can grow twice???? Work it-recover-work it again!
 

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