Training a body part more than once a week, yes or no? The king of the art form that is bodybuilding and 6 times Mr Olympia, Dorian Yates would almost certainly say no to this. That in itself creates a dilemma, who am I to go against arguably the best of all time? Dorian has always been an idol of mine and always will be however I have to say, I think training a muscle group once every 7 days won’t suffice for everyone. The argument could be made that they are not training hard enough, but we are dealing with ‘’every day’’ people here who after the initial ‘’beginner’s growth spurt’’ fail to go beyond their maintenance point in the gym. With that said, I do still stand by ‘’once a week training’’ in many ways yet there is certainly scope to hit a muscle group more frequently – to the tune of every 3-5 days.
Why do I say this?
There is an element of ‘’reading studies and them making sense’’ combined with real life results I have witnessed many people achieve. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t for everyone because it boils down to your ability to recover, which is related to your diet, genetics, age and work load/volume. However, for those who suffer with ‘’stubborn’’ muscle groups I do think this could be a relatively viable solution to your needs. The increased frequency, volume and inevitably stress placed upon the target muscle has the potential to break new barriers. In the same way strength training or ‘’Dorian Yates/Mike Mentzer’’ style training addresses muscle growth, with the approach of forcing adaptation via progression, training a muscle more frequently can have a similar impact.
If you believe this is something which might work with your own physique having thought about your ability to recover, here are some tips on how to get the best from ‘’twice a week’’ training.
Ideally you want at least 3 days between the two workouts, maybe you will need up to 5 depending on your rate of recovery. It is logical that you use different exercises or at least different variations of the same exercise in each workout to ensure you are hitting that muscle from all angles.
Repetition ranges are another area to focus on. In my experience using one workout as a ‘’balls to the wall’’ intense workout, potentially with lower reps and the second as a ‘’get a pump on’’ higher rep kind of workout works well.
Finally, repetition tempo is something you want to play around with. In the second workout I would highly recommend playing about with isometric contractions, 2 seconds is a good place to start and by doing so the stress you place on the muscle will be even greater – especially with more reps and more frequency.
Twice a week training isn’t for everyone but it must be said there are many who swear by it and get results, with that said I think it is certainly worth a go!