Q: Because of my work schedule, I can only train once a week, on Wednesdays. Can I make any gains with once-a-week training, or is it a lost cause??
A: It’s tough to make gains working out only once a week, but if you stress the muscles enough and you’re consistent, you should gradually see some results.
You’ll have to use full-body workouts and full-range POF training, which will take some time and energy, but with stoked motivation that shouldn’t be a problem. You’re only training once a week, so you should be raring to hit the gym every Wednesday with a vengeance…
To get the most out of every set, we recommend you emphasize the negative strokes. The negative—like lowering the bar on a curl, bench press, or squat—causes the most muscle microtrauma, and by slowing down that aspect of the rep, you’ll force the need for more recovery…
So for standard work sets, we recommend one second on the positive and three seconds on the negative. Use a semi-explosive drive out of the turnaround of each rep—like at the bottom of a bench press…
We also highly recommend you use negative-accentuated sets as your second warmup, but go to failure. For NA you take a lighter weight than you use for a work set and do one second on the positive and six seconds on the negative till failure—which should occur at around rep 7.
So if you’re doing bench presses, try this…
Set 1: Do a light set at normal speed, 10 reps (three seconds down, one second up—last rep is easy)
Set 2: Increase the weight and do one NA set to exhaustion, 7 reps (six seconds down, one second up)
Set 3: Add weight again and do one heavy work set to muscular exhaustion, around 9 reps (three seconds down, one second up; on some key exercises you can do two heavy work sets)
Use that progression for every BIG exercise, and you should increase your muscle size.
For more on NA training, how it works and other ways to use it, see The X-centric Mass Workout e-book.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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