Training at the gym.
This is often a dark spot for many people who are just getting started with it or fairly intermediate but do not have much information about exercise programming.
They end up picking up a program that either keeps them in the gym for way too long or too many days. The #nodaysoff hype is at its peak when it comes to getting started but sooner or later, you burn out.
Your body is sore all the time, you are annoyed all the time or you end giving up on your workout plan altogether or do a few exercises for the sake of it.
"I had a client who was working with an online coach before joining me and was doing too much volume.
That amount of work needed him to be in the gym for 2.5 hours straight for 6 days in a week. This approach is not only foolish but not doable for a majority of the population.
Forget about the fact that it is fairly useless."
It is good that people seek out for the 'best' training plan for themselves but the best plan is the one you can stick to consistently in the long run.
Science-wise, a 'good' workout plan should fulfill the following criteria:
1. A frequency of 2x a week.
2. Focuses on progressive overload.
3. Accumulates volume by adding sets, load, and/or reps over time.
In this piece, I am listing down a workout which works well with many intermediate level trainees with a busy lifestyle. It includes a commitment of three training sessions a week.
I, personally love doing this as I am not a fan of doing 5-6 workouts in a week especially when I am on a cut and dropping body fat. And it helps me stay consistent.
How does it work?
In this type of training split, you train your major muscle groups in every workout, i.e. your chest, back, legs with some full body work or fluff work aka bis and tris.
I like to change the order of the first muscle group I workout so that I am hitting it fresh and with full intensity at least once a week.
This is what it looks like:
Image © - Fitstream
A rest day between two sessions is ideal. It is also a good idea to do a 10-min treadmill walk before your session and a couple of warm-up sets using a lighter load for the exercises.
The reason I enjoy this all the more when eating at a caloric deficit is the enjoyability. Training does not feel like a chore (which it usually does during a cut) and I enjoy going to the gym and look forward to it. Additionally, the poor recovery on a caloric deficit is also taken care of by training this way.
Plus, you get the added benefit of elevated MPS which occurs by training larger muscle groups and here, you take maximum benefit by training the entire body.
Your day's energy expenditure is also raised as you are doing less volume but working more of your musculature.
For the beginners, this program may be beneficial as it focuses on doing compounds more regularly and you makes you learn it. This simple thing done over time will make you progress much better than following any insanity volume training you might be doing.
Let's discuss a few bang-on benefits and a few limitations of this training style.
1. Higher frequency, thus more elevation of MPS being compounded over time.
2. Lower day commitment per week.
3. Better management of 'out of gym' activities.
4. More athletic and functional style of training. Seriously, when is the time in your life you are only going to curl your bicep for some practical usage?
5. Less taxing on the joints as lower volume per session.
1. Bodybuilders in the off-season need to do specific muscle focused workouts to bring up lagging parts, tough to do using such a split.
2. Requires more focus during the session and you cannot half effort it.
3. Might not give you a pump.
4. The #nodaysoff squad might disown you.
I hope this article benefits those of you who are short on time and looking to build a good physique.