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Updated on March 25, 2012

Train One Rest One

There is a training idea which may be the most beneficial exercise schedule ever devised for the hard-gaining bodybuilder. Most bodybuilders are not members of the genetic elite; and therefore, should make allowances for this in their training methods. There are only a few men who can train everyday, 3-4 hours at a time, 15-20 sets per body part and still make fantastic gains. Most of us try to duplicate these routines of the "genetic champions" in order to arrive at the same results. We fail to realize that there are many roads that lead to our goal. Instead, we end up tearing ourselves down or limit our growth potential because our physiological make-up is not as efficient as the "Arnolds" of this world.

So what to do? Go with your own body's natural physiological blueprint and capitalize on it. Train in harmony with your body type and make gains you've never made before. In the past you have cut yourself short on recovery and recuperation (the time at which your muscle is actually growing). Have you ever noticed that you are stronger at the beginning of the week that at the end? Do you really look forward to Friday's workout as much as you did Monday's? Maybe there's a reason and that reason could be you are rested from the two day weekend. Why not make every workout seem like the first workout of the week? Why not spend fewer days training and more days building muscle? Does this type of a program sound too good to be true? All it takes is some creative thinking and the desire to improve. It requires breaking out of the usual mould and applying some sensible bodybuilding principles. What training program can I train less often, train harder, and still grow more than I ever have before?

The "Every-Other-Day Split"

1. The Every-Other-Day Split allows you 48 hours between each workout. Enough time to rebuild your energy levels.
2. The Every-Other-Day Split allows you 72 hours between training the same muscle group. Enough time for the muscle fibers to recover and build new tissue.
3. The Every-Other-Day Split allows you to begin each workout rested and ready, both physiologically and psychologically. It prevents training burnout.

The Ultimate

Taken to the limit you can actually train harder and recover more. (You can have your cake and eat it too!) Here's how:
On a 4-day split ( body split upper/lower or push/pull) each body part is trained 8 times during a month. Each body part is worked for about 9-12 sets per muscle group, which adds up to a total of 72-96 sets per body part per month. You have had a total of 12 days to recuperate.

On the Every-Other-Day Split you will train each body part 7 times during the month. Each body part can be worked 12-15 sets per muscle group because your energy level will not be depleted from the previous day's workout. This adds up to a total of 84-105 sets per body part for the month. You will have a total of 14 days to recuperate.
You may not want to increase the number of sets but you can see it is possible to workout fewer days per month, work harder, and still rest a greater number of days each month. It is almost too good to be true.

All training programs have some disadvantages and this program is no different; however, its disadvantage is only in how we perceive it. On the Every-Other-Day Split you will be required to train two Sundays out of the month. Is that a problem? If it is, then this split has a minor flaw. If it is not a problem, the Every-Other-Day Split is the perfect training schedule for the hard gainer who wants to maximize his potential. By training less often you can train harder, by resting more often you can grow more!


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