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  1. #1
    Registered User 180degreechange's Avatar
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    3 vs 5 vs 7 days a week

    Hello All,

    Assuming time is not a factor and diet is on point, what do you think is the more optimal weight training frequency? Can our body recuperate fast enough to sustain a 7 day work out? Or is a 5 or 3 day better?

    Again, assuming diet is on point.

    Also, for the splits, let's also assume:

    3 day
    D1: Back/Bis
    D2: Chest/Tri
    D3: Legs/shoulders

    5 Day:
    D1: Chest
    D2: Back
    D3: Legs
    D4: Shoulders
    D5: Arms

    7 Day:
    Similar to 5 day, but repeat after 5th day.
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    do something like an upper/lower split done 4 times a week. That way you hit every muscle 2x/week
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    Registered User 180degreechange's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oskarhul09 View Post
    do something like an upper/lower split done 4 times a week. That way you hit every muscle 2x/week
    No offense, but I do not like to work out more than 1 major muscle a day. I like to keep my gym sessions under an hour and really beat the crap out of the muscle i'm working on that day.
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    Registered User oskarhul09's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 180degreechange View Post
    No offense, but I do not like to work out more than 1 major muscle a day. I like to keep my gym sessions under an hour and really beat the crap out of the muscle i'm working on that day.
    why? You dont need to beat the crap out of every muscle with a bro split, and an upper/lower split only takes about an hour.
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    Registered User 180degreechange's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oskarhul09 View Post
    why? You dont need to beat the crap out of every muscle with a bro split, and an upper/lower split only takes about an hour.
    Besides time, energy level is not as high with 2nd, 3rd, etc muscle worked on that day. Although i could switch up the order in which they are worked every session, i still prefer single day split.

    Let's get back on subject and not discuss splits, it's all personal preference.
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    Originally Posted by 180degreechange View Post
    Besides time, energy level is not as high with 2nd, 3rd, etc muscle worked on that day. Although i could switch up the order in which they are worked every session, i still prefer single day split.

    Let's get back on subject and not discuss splits, it's all personal preference.
    well u did ask wuts an optimal training frequency...

    If you persist on doing a 1x/week split then do w/e u like, its not like you are going to overtrain while giving each muscle like 100+ hours of rest.
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    Registered User 180degreechange's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oskarhul09 View Post
    well u did ask wuts an optimal training frequency...

    If you persist on doing a 1x/week split then do w/e u like, its not like you are going to overtrain while giving each muscle like 100+ hours of rest.
    Perhaps not overtrain a particular muscle. But unfortunately, our body does not work as individual muscles. They're all connected via a system.

    I guess my question should be revised then. Can the body sustain a 7 day workout without being overly stressed? Or is there any downsides to working out 7 days a week.
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    Shredding for Summer '15 mh22's Avatar
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    Been doing 5x for the longest time. just started 3x this week. Will check back in this thread a few weeks from now to let u know which i like better
    "If you keep that mentality up then you will never suceed. If you stop worrying so much about cheating then you will make progress. Focus on getting dickskin shredded. If you focus so much on the negative (binging/cheating) then thats where all your mentality will go. Do the opposite which is put all your focus on getting shredded and YOU will. I fuking guarantee you will."-cq
    Week 1 - 199.6lbs // Week 2 - // Week 3 - // Week 4 - // Week 5 - // Week 6 -
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    Shredding for Summer '15 mh22's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 180degreechange View Post
    Perhaps not overtrain a particular muscle. But unfortunately, our body does not work as individual muscles. They're all connected via a system.

    I guess my question should be revised then. Can the body sustain a 7 day workout without being overly stressed? Or is there any downsides to working out 7 days a week.
    Dont really see how 7x can benefit anyone. Its better to have a rest day then an extra workout day
    "If you keep that mentality up then you will never suceed. If you stop worrying so much about cheating then you will make progress. Focus on getting dickskin shredded. If you focus so much on the negative (binging/cheating) then thats where all your mentality will go. Do the opposite which is put all your focus on getting shredded and YOU will. I fuking guarantee you will."-cq
    Week 1 - 199.6lbs // Week 2 - // Week 3 - // Week 4 - // Week 5 - // Week 6 -
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  10. #10
    Registered User ironman622's Avatar
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    I wouldn't go as far as to say which is actually better even CONSIDERING diet is on point because I do believe that a switch in your routine will have to be made EVENTUALLY even while (considering time is not a factor) because I believe that muscles do adapt and need a change every now and then. As far as the 3day split vs a 7day workout also one must take note while the muscle at first lets assume (recover and repair the same rate) that in a week to week your growth will be equal starting out so considering those factors it sounds like they would benefit the person the same. But something that is overlooked is the "Central Nervous System" if that needs recovery your going to stall on your lifts regardless because then you need to take some time off or de-load. So going from a 3day split to a 7days routine it now appears that (while time is not a factor) the central nervous system would tire out faster I would think on a 7day routine than it would a 3day split. So that being said I would go with saying a routine which meets the middle of those give both quality time to muscle recovery and Central Nervous System recovery would yield better results. Such as doing Day 1:chest/shoulders/tris, then Day 2 back/bi's then Day three legs/abs, Day 4 off Day 5 repeat this giving you about 4 days off then hitting the muscle again. So you give your muscles 4days to recover and also have 2 days off for your CNS to recover in between. Or any muscle groups you so choose along this order seems to be what I would assume to be optimal for both the muscles and CNS to recovery to get good steady results. Just my opinion, some may agree some may disagree but OP simply asked for an opinion so don't get but hurt were simply sharing opinions.
    You can eat clean, train hard, take all the steroids you want but I guarantee you your results will always depend upon TIME. In this sport you have to be willing to put in TIME PERIOD.
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  11. #11
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    I think either 3 or 5 days would be best.
    (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
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  12. #12
    Registered User 180degreechange's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironman622 View Post
    I wouldn't go as far as to say which is actually better even CONSIDERING diet is on point because I do believe that a switch in your routine will have to be made EVENTUALLY even while (considering time is not a factor) because I believe that muscles do adapt and need a change every now and then. As far as the 3day split vs a 7day workout also one must take note while the muscle at first lets assume (recover and repair the same rate) that in a week to week your growth will be equal starting out so considering those factors it sounds like they would benefit the person the same. But something that is overlooked is the "Central Nervous System" if that needs recovery your going to stall on your lifts regardless because then you need to take some time off or de-load. So going from a 3day split to a 7days routine it now appears that (while time is not a factor) the central nervous system would tire out faster I would think on a 7day routine than it would a 3day split. So that being said I would go with saying a routine which meets the middle of those give both quality time to muscle recovery and Central Nervous System recovery would yield better results. Such as doing Day 1:chest/shoulders/tris, then Day 2 back/bi's then Day three legs/abs, Day 4 off Day 5 repeat this giving you about 4 days off then hitting the muscle again. So you give your muscles 4days to recover and also have 2 days off for your CNS to recover in between. Or any muscle groups you so choose along this order seems to be what I would assume to be optimal for both the muscles and CNS to recovery to get good steady results. Just my opinion, some may agree some may disagree but OP simply asked for an opinion so don't get but hurt were simply sharing opinions.
    This is a great reply. Thank you.

    What's your opinion on 4 consecutive days on and 3 consecutive days off, versus M W Th Sat with days off in between. Any difference ?
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  13. #13
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    I do that same 7 day split. Has been working for me
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    Depends on your goals... good luck getting big and strong on a 5 day split "killing each muscle". In the mean time I'll be adding 15 pounds to my squat, 10 pounds to my overhead press, 10 pounds to my row and 5 pounds to my bench each week, while building solid upper and lower body muscle mass.

    When it comes down to it, training your entire body every time you lift is the ideal way to train for a natural lifter in the beginner stage. That means if you aren't squatting 315 pounds, benching 225 AND deadlifting 405, you are still a beginner. Get on SS, get big, get strong, then start doing splits if you really feel like that's the best thing (you will be wrong but still free to make your own choice).
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    Registered User 180degreechange's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rowbro View Post
    Depends on your goals... good luck getting big and strong on a 5 day split "killing each muscle". In the mean time I'll be adding 15 pounds to my squat, 10 pounds to my overhead press, 10 pounds to my row and 5 pounds to my bench each week, while building solid upper and lower body muscle mass.

    When it comes down to it, training your entire body every time you lift is the ideal way to train for a natural lifter in the beginner stage. That means if you aren't squatting 315 pounds, benching 225 AND deadlifting 405, you are still a beginner. Get on SS, get big, get strong, then start doing splits if you really feel like that's the best thing (you will be wrong but still free to make your own choice).
    Appreciate your input.

    Just for clarification, entire body every time you work out including upper and lower? or similar to my 3 day split in my original post?

    What about frequency? 3 days a week? or 5 days a week?
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    Originally Posted by 180degreechange View Post
    This is a great reply. Thank you.

    What's your opinion on 4 consecutive days on and 3 consecutive days off, versus M W Th Sat with days off in between. Any difference ?
    I wouldn't say theirs much of a difference that does give optimal time for muscles and your CNS to recover. I suppose I prefer the 3 days on 1 day off verse the other's because while I very well could be wrong their are so many studies out their between muscles and CNS recovery and they both play factors in recovery and growth I myself used a 5day split for months and made gains. But now TYPICALLY a person who's doing a 5day split vs someone hitting their muscles 2x a week is going to do more sets than the person hitting the muscles 2x a week because they figure well I hit chest hard on Monday lets say for 4sets each flat,incline,decline,3-sets fly's =15sets thinking okay I'm giving that muscle a week to recover it will be fine come next Monday. Now while this may very well be true it will be fully recovered. (And I will say I had good results with this routine.) I'm now doing the routine I mentioned above in the last post and I'm a stronger believer that all you need to do is go heavy 7-10reps use few sets so that you tear down the muscle enough to stimulate recovery (which if you lift heavy low reps, obviously the body has to grow because lifting heavy WILL tear the muscle down. So like studies go to show muscles take 72hr max about to repair that's 3 days, then you have the people say no it's not long enough I did it and it didn't work, well then as stated before about the CNS if your body is worn out obviously growth regardless will be slow if none at all and to stall. Now I said typically because these same people that say 2x a week is to much are the same people who were using a 5day split hitting chest for 15sets on a 2x week training program of course you won't grow your destroying your CNS. SO lets try a different approach training 2x a week going HEAVY LOW REPS, and FEW sets for that muscle group will tear it down regardless 15 sets or 8 sets going heavy to failure you will tear it down. Remember key to muscle growth isn't to completely destroy it and your CNS it's to break it down and STIMULATE growth. So now that this is all done and said muscles will take up to 72 hr max to repair then they are no longer stimulated to grow the MOTOR UNITS in the MUSCLE CELLS are done your not going to repair or grow anymore muscle. The central nervous system however will have time to recover, remember the CNS takes more time to fully recover the harder you hit it. SO now we come to the conclusion which do "I THINK WILL YIELD BETTER RESULTS" based on the information given if it takes 3days to recover and my routine is 3days on 1 day off, on that 4'th day my muscles are done being STIMULATED the MOTOR UNITS are DONE after 72hrs. So now day 4 my off day is a complete de load from the strain on the CNS, while day 2 and 3 are still recovering day 1 is done and my CNS can recovery day 4 because I'm not placing any NEW stress on it today. Then day 5 were ready to go again on our Chest,shoulders, triceps routine it's now been 96+hrs so the MUSCLES are recovered and ready to go again to the best of their ability. SO the difference to focus this answer to your question OP and I'm sorry this is so long and detailed but I wanted to go through the steps so my "opinion" according to study's is that if you train 5days a week or 4 consecutive days on and 3 consecutive days off you would still be only hitting the muscle once a week, so Overall since I believe the study is true and putting all the information together if you train twice a week 3days on 1 day off HEAVY enough to break it down few few sets on that 1 muscle target in 72 hr's your ready to go again for MORE growth and STIMULATE the muscle 2x a week as apposed to hitting it 1x a week in ANY ORDER. Because if this holds to be true you hinder your gains only hitting it 1x a week instead of 2x a week which is for quickest steady results. A example of this would be instead of doing 12-15sets for chest only hitting it 2x a week just do like half the sets but go HEAVY and low reps to stimulate the growth is all you need. An example of mine is Day 1 chest=7sets, shoulders 7 sets triceps 4sets. the total sets is about the same as a 5day split routine but spread over 3 muscle groups stimulating enough to trigger growth and then 4days later repeat. Now double those and you have ABOUT what the typical person does on a 5day split to 1 muscle group, but the difference is your just working the muscle enough to grow then go on to the next muscle group, not to completely destroy the muscle after a # of sets it's not going to matter all you need to do is go heavy enough stimulate growth,recover and hit is 4days later. .......okay my rant and OPINION has officially come to an end. This here's one STRONG OPINION lol,should have just wrote a damn article. My bad.
    EDIT :*Just read through it a second time and fixed a few errors good to go now.
    Last edited by ironman622; 03-21-2012 at 10:50 PM.
    You can eat clean, train hard, take all the steroids you want but I guarantee you your results will always depend upon TIME. In this sport you have to be willing to put in TIME PERIOD.
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  17. #17
    2 tickets to the gun show Rowbro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 180degreechange View Post
    Appreciate your input.

    Just for clarification, entire body every time you work out including upper and lower? or similar to my 3 day split in my original post?

    What about frequency? 3 days a week? or 5 days a week?
    Yes, upper and lower. In general the only exercise I do for my lower body is squatting; actually heavy squats to parallel will build your entire back and traps as well as your legs, making you look thicker. In addition, squats build GREAT abs.

    What I do is very similar to the Starting Strength program. You really don't have to do it that way if you don't want to, but I recommend you do something like 3 sets of 5, 4x5 or 5x5 (3x5 is the best) for all your compound movements. Anyway here is my program, I have made incredible gains in size and strength all over my body:

    Monday (A):

    Squat:
    135x5
    185x5
    250x5
    250x5
    250x5

    Standing Overhead Press:
    105x5
    120x5
    150x5
    150x5
    150x5

    Bent over row
    135x5
    155x5
    185x5
    185x5
    185x5

    Wednesday (B):
    Squat:
    135x5, 185x5, 255x5, 255x5, 255x5

    bench:
    135x5
    155x5
    185x5
    185x5
    185x5

    dumbell curls (on an inclined bench, about 60º up):
    40x8, 40x8, 40x8

    ez bar preacher curls (i dont always do these)

    Friday:
    repeat A

    ~So Mon, Wed, Fri, ABA. Then the next week M W F = B A B. Get it?

    So whatever lift you are training, as soon as you can get all the sets, all the reps, add 2.5 pounds to each side.

    You can deadlift on Wednesdays, only do 1 working set, 4 warmups (example 135x5, 165x5, 195x5, 225x5, 275x5). Add a 5 pound plate to each side every time you deadlift.

    Eat a lot, sleep a lot, you will gain mass and strength like no other program. Add in wahtever assistance work you need, so if you wanna do some extra triceps for 3x8 go ahead. I don't recommend doing too much extra shoulder work. Light lateral raises 2x12 are fine if you must. Take a joint support supplement. And get big!!
    500+ Just say rep back

    LEARN PROPER SQUAT TECHNIQUE!
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    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=123812871

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  18. #18
    Registered User 180degreechange's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironman622 View Post
    I wouldn't say theirs much of a difference that does give optimal time for muscles and your CNS to recover. I suppose I prefer the 3 days on 1 day off verse the other's because while I very well could be wrong their are so many studies out their between muscles and CNS recovery and they both play factors in recovery and growth I myself used a 5day split for months and made gains. But now TYPICALLY a person who's doing a 5day split vs someone hitting their muscles 2x a week is going to do more sets than the person hitting the muscles 2x a week because they figure well I hit chest hard on Monday lets say for 4sets each flat,incline,decline,3-sets fly's =15sets thinking okay I'm giving that muscle a week to recover it will be fine come next Monday. Now while this may very well be true it will be fully recovered. (And I will say I had good results with this routine.) I'm now doing the routine I mentioned above in the last post and I'm a stronger believer that all you need to do is go heavy 7-10reps use few sets so that you tear down the muscle enough to stimulate recovery (which if you lift heavy low reps, obviously the body has to grow because lifting heavy WILL tear the muscle down. So like studies go to show muscles take 72hr max about to repair that's 3 days, then you have the people say no it's not long enough I did it and it didn't work, well then as stated before about the CNS if your body is worn out obviously growth regardless will be slow if none at all and to stall. Now I said typically because these same people that say 2x a week is to much are the same people who were using a 5day split hitting chest for 15sets on a 2x week training program of course you won't grow your destroying your CNS. SO lets try a different approach training 2x a week going HEAVY LOW REPS, and FEW sets for that muscle group will tear it down regardless 15 sets or 8 sets going heavy to failure you will tear it down. Remember key to muscle growth isn't to completely destroy it and your CNS it's to break it down and STIMULATE growth. So now that this is all done and said muscles will take up to 72 hr max to repair then they are no longer stimulated to grow the MOTOR UNITS in the MUSCLE CELLS are done your not going to repair or grow anymore muscle. The central nervous system however will have time to recover, remember the CNS takes more time to fully recover the harder you hit it. SO now we come to the conclusion which do "I THINK WILL YIELD BETTER RESULTS" based on the information given if it takes 3days to recover and my routine is 3days on 1 day off, on that 4'th day my muscles are done being STIMULATED the MOTOR UNITS are DONE after 72hrs. So now day 4 my off day is a complete de load from the strain on the CNS, while day 2 and 3 are still recovering day 1 is done and my CNS can recovery day 4 because I'm not placing any NEW stress on it today. Then day 5 were ready to go again on our Chest,shoulders, triceps routine it's now been 96+hrs so the MUSCLES are recovered and ready to go again to the best of their ability. SO the difference to focus this answer to your question OP and I'm sorry this is so long and detailed but I wanted to go through the steps so my "opinion" according to study's is that if you train 5days a week or 4 consecutive days on and 3 consecutive days off you would still be only hitting the muscle once a week, so Overall since I believe the study is true and putting all the information together if you train twice a week 3days on 1 day off HEAVY enough to break it down few few sets on that 1 muscle target in 72 hr's your ready to go again for MORE growth and STIMULATE the muscle 2x a week as apposed to hitting it 1x a week in ANY ORDER. Because if this holds to be true you hinder your gains only hitting it 1x a week instead of 2x a week which is for quickest steady results. A example of this would be instead of doing 12-15sets for chest only hitting it 2x a week just do like half the sets but go HEAVY and low reps to stimulate the growth is all you need. An example of mine is Day 1 chest=7sets, shoulders 7 sets triceps 4sets. the total sets is about the same as a 5day split routine but spread over 3 muscle groups stimulating enough to trigger growth and then 4days later repeat. Now double those and you have ABOUT what the typical person does on a 5day split to 1 muscle group, but the difference is your just working the muscle enough to grow then go on to the next muscle group, not to completely destroy the muscle after a # of sets it's not going to matter all you need to do is go heavy enough stimulate growth,recover and hit is 4days later. .......okay my rant and OPINION has officially come to an end. This here's one STRONG OPINION lol,should have just wrote a damn article. My bad.
    EDIT :*Just read through it a second time and fixed a few errors good to go now.
    Again, another excellent well thought out post. It is much appreciated. It makes perfect sense and I will adapt your system. Thanks again for taking the time to write such details.
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  19. #19
    Strong just got Stronger 7399martyn's Avatar
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    I train heavy, full body, low volume, everyday, trying PRs very regularly.
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