Q: I don’t always have time to go to the gym three times a week. That means I can’t always get in three full-body workouts, which I’ve heard is the best for muscle mass. Should I just do two full-body workouts with the big, basics, like squats, bench, etc. on weeks I can’t make it three times? Do you guys have an ebook with a 2-times-a-week program like that? I want to look like a bodybuilder, but time is hard to come by for me right now.
A: Three full-body workouts a week is the old-school standard for mass, but hitting each muscle only twice a week may be even better for many bodybuilders. According to Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., one of the elite hypertrophy researchers…
We have several papers on the topic all showing no benefits to training muscle groups more than twice/week in resistance-trained men. The evidence is mounting that twice per week appears to be a sweet spot for training a muscle group provided volume is equated, at least from a hypertrophy standpoint.
From our latest ebooks, you’ve probably seen Schoenfeld’s 3 max-hypertrophy requirements, which, coincidentally, coincide with our three Positions of Flexion for each muscle…
1) Mechanical tension (with heavier training) = POF midrange moves: squats, bench presses, etc.
2) Metabolic stress (by blocking blood flow [during sufficient tension time] for cell swelling) = POF contracted moves: leg extensions, machine flyes, etc.
3) Muscle damage (via microtears in the fibers) = POF stretch moves: sissy squats, DB flyes, etc.
The Pure-Positions STX Workout in Chapter 4 of our Stretch Overload ebook has three full-body workouts a week, each using one of the above for every muscle. So for shoulders…
Workout 1: DB upright rows (midrange = mechanical tension)
Workout 2: Incline one-arm laterals (stretch = muscle damage)
Workout 3: Seated laterals (contracted = metabolic stress)
The best way to attack your problem is with that Pure-Positions program, simply following the sequence of workouts. If you make it to the gym three days one week, you will cover all of the 3 max-hypertrophy requirements in a seven-day span…
If you only make it two, the missing hypertrophy requirement will be your first workout the following week, so you’ll get all 3 hypertrophy requirements in a 10-day span. It’s an elegant, simple mass-building solution.
Say you start out with three workouts your first week, but manage only two the following few weeks. You’d start with the Pure-Positions program as listed, then just continue following the sequence whenever you make it to the gym. Your workouts might look like this…
The “bodybuilder look” is within reach. In fact, you will be surprised at the amount of mass you can build with that strategy, covering ALL of the hypertrophy requirements on a consistent basis, even if they are spaced out over a 10-day period.
It’s the ultimate 2-times-a-week mass rotation for max-hypertrophy creation.
NEW: The Freak-Physique Stretch-Overload Workout contains new mass-building research and workouts supercharged with anabolic stretch, including Pure-Positions STX, 3D Power Pyramid (full POF workouts), Double-X Overload and T/NT (traumatic/non-traumatic). For a limited time, you can add it to your mass-building library, a $19 value, for ONLY $9 HERE.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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