Possibly stupid question about weightlifting

(PJ) #1

Alright. So sometime late last night I fell into the world of Lyle McDonald and have now read massive materials on his website (waiting for the back of my brain to organize that info).

Long ago (years) I had this idea, which has returned now that I am starting very tentatively (not consistently or heavily yet) weight training again. It’s one of those things so obvious that there must be a reason why nobody does this and everyone but me is smart enough to know why already. :roll_eyes:

So volume under load… intensity (actual load)… muscle damage… recovery… skipping over the details, let’s just assume these are the most fundamental elements for a moment.

Why would it not be reasonable to do your workout say, early in the day, on body part X;

and then, like 4-8 hours later, do whatever you can again? Yes I know you would likely have less max power, and I know you would likely have less endurance, having exhausted the muscle earlier. But you would have had a ton of ‘between set recovery’.

And yes I get then the muscle is yet-more stressed and you’ll likely have to wait a bit longer for the overall recovery period (I mean in terms of days). But the goal is to get the muscle about as stressed as it can be without losing form or suffering injury right? And it would be all on the same day…

So why isn’t this a thing? I’ve read through tons of formal workout approaches online (and some books) and I haven’t seen this. So I conclude there’s a great reason and I just don’t know it yet.


(Robert C) #2

It is too inconvenient for most people to go to the gym 2 times a day for body part X (travel time, gym time, shower time, return travel time - 2 times a day is a bit much). Morning legs and afternoon arms (or some other full body split) is worth it to be able skip the next day completely (like for travel or something). A body part split may be worth it daily for people on “gear” that can recover very quickly.

Also, muscles grow overnight. Sending the signal to adapt to a more moderate load 2 times in a day won’t help nearly as much as sending a single stronger signal (after which it should probably feel too difficult to try to send another signal the same day).

(charlie3) #3

It’s easy to overcomplicate things. Personal trainers want it that way so you are dependent on them and pay them money so they can hang out in the gym all day. May be large volumes of lifting are possible for people who take drugs. I’m not one of those. I lift 6 sets of 10 exercises spread over a week, 2 hours total. So typically 2 or three whole body sessions but the same number of sets and exercises total. I don’t want to gain as fast as possible, instead gain for as long as possible.


You COULD, but the results wouldn’t be what you think they would. Studies (and real life proof) have shown hitting the muscles multiple times a week make them respond better but they do need their recovery as well. You’re really not gonna speed up your progress from multiple times a day vs multiple days in a week. Plus, as somebody that (for now) is trying for 2x in the gym a day… huge pain in the ass! That’s not the norm for me but 4-5x a week and a cardio day or two is.

(PJ) #5

Yeah, I see that. My living room is a good gym, and I have more time than I used to (that might change) so that part isn’t an issue for me.

Thanks very much.


(PJ) #6

I see. Thanks! :slight_smile:

(Robert C) #7

You wanted…

but you got…

[quote=“RightNOW, post:6, topic:94312”]
I see. Thanks! [/quote]

The second [/quote] has to be at the beginning of the line for the quoting box to work.

(PJ) #8

Thanks. Moving too fast and didn’t notice. :wink:

(Erin Macfarland ) #9

@charlie3 I am a CPT and I resent that comment! :joy::joy::joy:I work very differently than most trainers in that I want to teach people how to fish so to speak…rather than fish for them. I like to help people understand how the body works and the ways in which imbalances can be corrected and how to build functional strength. I hate the gym, I hate machines, I hate gimmicks. I’m straight forward, I don’t want people being dependent on me and want them to feel empowered to go out and enjoy a good quality of life based on what I teach them. I like to think I’m an exception to the stereotype!! :smiley:

(charlie3) #10

I apoligize for upseting you. My casual advice is that if it’s a medical issue or serious training for competition coaching may be indicated. After that I lean towards self learning and use the money for better food. My eperience is the most important variable is the ability to self assess training status. How much work should I do in the current session so I’m optimally ready for the next session. That’s about paying attention to the body instead of an external voice. So I trained today, I wasn’t as strong as the last session, not sure why but I didn’t fight it. I’ll be more caeful to be very ready to train next session. It took me some years to learn to listen to my body and be patient with it’s ups and downs. I need quiet focus to make it work.

(PJ) #11

Sounds reasonable to me.

Have you heart of heart rate variability (HRV)? I find that interesting, allegedly it can clue one into a day when maybe things should be taken a little easier than others.

(charlie3) #12

I’ve even tried HRV and found it to be a pain in the behind to do every day at the same timee and the results didn’t seem to predict very well. So I go back to my motto, I don’t gain a fast as possible. I gain for as long as possible. That helps avoid impatience, overuse, over trainging, injury, etc.

(traci simpson) #13

I’m with you on that one as I was a CPT for over 10 years.

(Erin Macfarland ) #14

@charlie3 you didn’t upset me at all!! I was only making a little joke :wink:

(Justin Jordan) #15

Two a days that way weren’t too uncommon in 70’s style bodybuilding routines.

Aside from the pain in the butt factor, there’s not a lot to be gained - basically you get 90% + plus back with a five minute rest, and you’ve gotten all you’re going to get back a few minutes after that. So twice the same day kind of falls into a medium category that doesn’t seem to help much.