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Training a muscle twice a week

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by dolabella, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. dolabella

    dolabella Active Member

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    Hello everyone!
    I've been working out for 3 years now, but since the beggining, I only had 1 year of real intense training.
    I'm 19 years old and I started working out when I was 16.
    Before creating this thread, I've searched and analyzed lots of training routines for bulking and bulking principles. According to every article I've read up to now, I should work out a muscle only once a week, and that's what I'm currently doing.

    After 2 months of training, my results were pretty fine actually, but I noticed that I was getting better gains when I was working out a muscle twice a week. My arms used to be harder and used to look more pumped, and so was my entire body. Maybe it looked better because of the constant blood flow due to more frequent work outs, and the actual mass gains were lower. I just don't know.

    That's my doubt. Should I really stick to my current routine? Working out a muscle once a week always gives better results on bulking for everyone in any age? Is there a chance that my old routine can give me better gains?

    Thank you for helping and replying :-)
     
  2. cajunman

    cajunman Well-Known Member

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    Working a muscle only once a week is myth. Read some different articles.
     
  3. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

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    I´ve read in order for the muscle to recover from the previous workout, you need to wait 7 days to full recovery, if you hit the muscle sooner, the training would not be so effective.
     
  4. dolabella

    dolabella Active Member

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    Thank you both for replying.

    Cajunman, can't agree with you. If it was a myth, why do many people in this forum and even John Stone work out a muscle group only once a week? Maybe this kind of routine is not that effective (have arms growing 1cm+ per month) for everyone, but I really refuse to say it is a myth. May not work like a myracle for me or for you, but it surely works for some people.

    Ark, so have I. But I've also read about 72hours or even 48hours. So, how can we say wich one is true? In my case, I'm about to conclude working out a muscle twice a week gives me better gains, and that's why I created this thread, to ask for your opinion and experience about it. Because maybe I am wrong and maybe my idea that working out a muscle group only once a week is not that great for me is just a false impression. Can you understand?
     
  5. Mauidude

    Mauidude Active Member

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    As with many other facets of weightlifting there are as many opinions as there are weightlifters out there. Like I've stated before, there isn't a "one size fits all" method out there. Each of us have to figure out what works and what doesn't.

    For instance, here is Mike Mentzer's routine. As you may know Mentzer was one of the most successful bodybuilders, as well as one of the more controversial ones. In 1978 he was the first Mr. Universe winner to get a perfect score.

    Workout 1
    Pec Deck 6 to 10 reps
    With no rest do Incline Press 2 to 4 reps

    Close Grip (Palm Up) Lat Pulldowns 6 to 10 reps

    Deadlift 5 to 8 reps.

    Rest at least 3 days.

    Workout 2
    Leg Extension 8 to 15 reps
    With no rest do Leg Press 8 to 15 reps

    Calf Raise 12 to 20 reps

    Rest at least 3 days.

    Workout 3
    Dumbell Laterals 6 to 10 reps

    Rear Laterals 6 to 10 reps.

    Barbell Curls 6 to 10 reps.

    Tricep Pressdowns 6 to 10 reps.
    With no reps do Dips 3 to 5 reps.

    Rest at least 3 days.

    Workout 4
    Leg Extentions 8 to 15 reps
    With no rest do Squat 8 to 15 reps.

    Calf Raise 12 to 20 reps.

    Rest at least 3 day.

    Go back to Workout 1, etc.

    Some points of importance are:

    * Slow controlled reps.

    * Only one set to failure, per exercise.

    Mentzer's point was that muscle just needed stimulation to gain strength and size. To him, weightlifting wasn't an endurance contest, it was all about muscle stimulation. Once the muscle was properly stimulated, it needed rest and proper nutrition in order for it to grow.

    On the other hand there are guys like Arnold Schwarzenneger who successfully utilized longer, more frequent workouts.

    What I've learned is that the body will eventually adapt to any routine, which is why you need to vary your workouts. So in dolabella's case, he is experiencing real gains from working the same muscle group twice a week. That is probably because this is something different from what his body was used to. That's fine and if it works, then do it. What you will probably learn though is that it won't work all the time. Eventually your body will adapt to what you are doing and you will need to change it up again.

    The short answer is, find what works, get your benefit from it, then change it up to keep you body guessing. At least that is one man's humble opinion.
     
  6. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    Lifting 1x a week is a technique used by advanced lifters when lifting 2x a week is not enough to make the gains. Not everyone does this and that's not to say that it won't work, as long as you lift progressively you'll see gains. Newbies tend to be able to workout BP 3x a week and recover, Intermediates 2x and recover, and Advanced 1x.
     
  7. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    This is true in some cases. However, a multiyear progression for a weightlifter will actually increase training frequency, as the lifter's work tolerance and need for specialization increases. Accordingly, his volume per session will likely decrease and the intensity will increase.

    Consequently, a better formulation of the difference between a beginning and advanced trainee is that an advanced trainee simply gets more out of the same amount of work and so parameters such as intensity, volume, and frequency must change to handle his increasingly adapted and proficient state.

    What this means for the OP is that his progression and management of loading parameters is more important than whether he starts out lifting a muscle group 1x, 2x, or even 3x per week. Moreover, as others have pointed out, it is not the case that one must work a muscle group only 1x per week and it is the case that the time needed for recovery is proportional to the combined frequency and magnitude of stimulation. In other words, more stimulation, more recovery; less stimulation, less recovery.

    As for muscle mass, for an amateur, it's simply calories, sufficient volume, and progressive overload. The specifics don't matter so much.
     
    #7 chicanerous, Mar 18, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  8. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    That's what I meant to say but you just write so much more elegantly than me :D
     
  9. cajunman

    cajunman Well-Known Member

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    The idea that you "should only work a muscle once a week" or the idea that you must wait until a muscle is fully recovered before you train it again is a myth, yes.

    You can work a muscle as frequently as you need to. You can work a muscle before all the microtrauma has healed. If you make progress once a week, and you like that schedule, then stick with it. If you want to go to 2, 3, or more times a week, you can do that too. All you need to do is manage your overall weekly volume and intensity and you can train however you please.
     
  10. Snarfblatt

    Snarfblatt Active Member

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  11. dolabella

    dolabella Active Member

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    Mauidude, Nowhereman and Chicanerous, thank you so much!
    Those are the answers for my question. Now I can really understand the idea behind it and be able to come up with my own lifting routine.

    I spent this time sticking to the principles of 1x each muscle and it was not giving me the results I expected, so I had to create this thread. And, thanks to you guys, I must now find the routine wich fits best for me and for my goals.

    And Cajunman, now I understand what you mean. Thank you for explaining.
    Now, Snarfblat, I have heard about this book on some other forums. Unfortunatelly, I am not from US and I couldn't find it around here. Thanks anyway.
     
  12. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    I train full body same muscles 2-3 times a week. Works for me.
     
  13. Cardio-Freak

    Cardio-Freak Active Member

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    I'm afraid that the articles you read were incorrect and written by a very stupid person. It differs from body to body how long time it takes for a muscle to recover. The number's I've heard are 48-72 hours. After 3 days, the muscle is 100% recovered no matter how hard you trained (unless any injury).
     
  14. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

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    I don´t think this is true, since sometimes my biceps are in pain and sore 2 days after training, this means muscle is not healed yet.
     
  15. angell

    angell Active Member

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    It took 5 days for me to recover from my last leg day, maybe it's just my body that's extra slow:whistle:
     
  16. cajunman

    cajunman Well-Known Member

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    Don't have time to find study, damage to muscle tissue has been shown to still be present several days following training - and in the case of runners, I think it was weeks...regardless, this is all irrelevant, as it has NEVER been demonstrated that a muscle has to be 100% recovered before it can be trained again.
     
  17. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

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  18. caraway

    caraway Active Member

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  19. Denzalo

    Denzalo Active Member

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    Too many variables to get a straight answer. Personally, I just read up on the different routines and try out ones that make sense to me. I know I don't want to spend a whole lot of time on the gym on complicated routines so that narrows the list some.

    I've read that it takes only 48 hours for the muscles to recover enough on a HST routine (hypertrophy specific training). This is a full body routine that is sort of complex but doable. It's 3x a week but uses 1-2 sets per exercise to keep the overall volume per week about the same. It's an 8-10 week routine that has you start in high rep range then you end at the low rep range with heavy reps. It gets easier as you go and you don't go to failure. The key is to use the rep max weights at the beginning of the routine and stick with that the rest of the way. As you get stronger the routine will seem easier but the changing of the reps and weights every 2 weeks will provide the change up needed to prevent plateau.

    Anyway, there's more than 1 way to lift and you need to try them and milk it until you gain no more. :)
     

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