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Too Many, Not Enough Or Just Enough?

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro

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People who are new to weight training always ask a really good question - how many days a week are enough to get the results you seek? That obviously can only be answered by the individual him or herself, but there are some basic 'rules' that need too be adhered to regardless of the response. Anything less than three days a week is really not enough to gauge the results, so you'll have to find time to work out at least that many times at the minimum. If you are on a good program, the entire body can be trained once a week in those three days. It may not be optimal, but life its busy and you can only do what you are able to do... if you try even a little hard.

You may have to rearrange your schedule to get to the gym and forego some hobbies for the good of the big picture. If you say that you can't find time to work out, but are in a darts league and play poker with the boys every week, then you're not trying enough and serious. Three, four or five days a week in the gym with a sensible diet will work for you, but you have to want it and make a commitment.

As far as how to split up the body parts, here's an example of a basic five-day routine that will hit the entire body and give you a good split with cardio involved:

DAY 1

Biceps/Triceps– Some may argue against training both arm parts on the same day, but it will all make sense when you read the rest of the schedule. Performing 12 sets for each is sufficient and you can switch each week with which one you start with.

DAY 2

Legs – Quads and hamstrings done the same day, starting with the quads, of course. Squats should be the first movement done and you should try to do at least 12-15 sets combined. This is also important because you are giving your arms a day off from lifting when they would be the secondary muscles worked during the rest of the body parts.

DAY 3

Chest – Everyone does chest on Mondays, right? So why wait around the benches while the entire gym does the same? By mid-week, the flat and incline should be wide open. Hit this body part hard when you’re more than warmed up for the week instead of doing it after two rest days.

DAY 4

Back – This goes right along with the switching on and off for the push/pull muscles. You will have nothing holding you back from blasting those lats, one of the larger muscles that need a good pounding and multiple sets, 12 being the least.

DAY 5

Shoulders/Traps – Some like to do traps on back day, which you can do but the workout can stretch a bit long then. Deltoid moves should be done first, then traps. Heavier exercises such as front and behind presses need to be performed first, then you can hit the dumbbells for lateral raises, etc.

ABS – One of the most annoying muscles to respond to training should be hit nearly every day. Do one exercise for four sets at least four times a week and make sure to switch them around each time. Hanging leg raises and rope crunches do work if you do them properly.

FOREARMS – Should be done with arms, chest and shoulders. They are a small muscle group, so keep it to four sets per day and a variety of exercises.

CALVES – Hit them often to bring out the diamond shape in your calves. You can do them all five days with the same system as forearms as far as the amount of sets, etc. . Calves are perhaps the weakest body part even up to the pro level in bodybuilding, so they will not grow unless worked.

CARDIO – Three times per week is a good start. The days can be any you choose, but leg day should be avoided. It’s personal preference when to do it, but after the weights is our recommendation.
 
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FitKim-banned

FitKim-banned

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Great information. Love your articles!
 
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Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro

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Great information. Love your articles!
Thx so much, Kim. If you have any subject matter in mind that you'd like me to cover, please feel free to post it.
 
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