I was going to put this up on FB and I figured I'd post it here as well.
On one of the forums I like visiting, there was a thread made by a young kid who's confused about his goals but is insistent that he wants to get strong: but he has a condition: he must train 7 days a week.
A whole bunch of well-meaning forum regulars posted about how he could do a 3 on 1 off type layout with:
Day 1 = DL Heavy
Day 2 = Bench Light
Day 3 = Squat Heavy
Day 4 = Off
Day 5 = DL Light
Day 6 = Bench Heavy
Day 7 = Squat Light
Day 8 = Off
So the gist of the matter is: everybody was intent on catering to the fine print: "I must train 7 days a week"
What is wrong with this picture?
The goal is confusing. What is the main goal? To train 7 days a week or to get Strong? Circular reference time? Is it true that:
You must train 7 days a week to get strong
You must get strong by training 7 days a week
Is this correct? No.
What people should have said (and I did speak up about this) is that if the goal is to get strong then things must be arranged accordingly. I went ahead and even plotted a little scenario for the kid. I'll quote myself:
Always start small.
Ask yourself: what are your goals?
To get strong
Okay so what is your favorite lift? ALL Powerlifters choose ONE lift they push more than the others. Geared users always bank on Squats because that is their money-maker. But for RAW lifters, most people opt for Deadlifts but there is no blanket rule here.
Assume you want to push Squats and Bench the most.
That means the most minimal exercises you need are: Squats and Bench.
Squats require hip movements. So throw in one posterior chain movement. Throw in one vertical pulling movement one row movement and one unilateral leg movement. Plus add in Deadlifts.
Now you have:
3. PC exercise
4. Vertical Pulling
7. Unilateral Leg Exercise
I still stand by my statement of strength guys not needing more than 4 days of serious training per week (even less than 4 is OK)
Now assume you want to do one more squat variation - that is fine. So you have 8 exercises now. Over 4 days.
Day 1 = Squats and Unilateral Leg Exercise
Day 2 = Deadlifts and Pull-ups
Day 3 = Rows and Bench
Day 4 = Squat Variation and PC exercise
You still end up short on the pressing work but that is the point: you start SMALL and then you add things as you go along…every 6 weeks or so you make a few small changes like throwing in some overhead work or tricep work, etc.
Naturally, I got a lot of positive responses from people viewing the thread and previous people who had commented…but hey: the kid wants to train 7 days a week so he's going to "give it a shot" and "listen to his body". And this is good. I'm not making fun of him.
One of the things Eric has taught me is that to learn something new or to try something different you MUST take a risk. And a risk means it can go either way. And that's the chance you HAVE to take.
At the same time…you don't HAVE to burn your fingers just to prove to yourself that fire can burn lol…
I just felt like sharing this little experience.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."