Training Frequency

Training Frequency

You often hear about profes­sional bodybuilders who train twice a day on what is called a double-split routine. While this regimen may work for some, it most likely won't work for you. Present evi­dence indicates that it's not neces­sarily more productive to train more than once a day. While ultra-endurance athletes such as runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes

often must train twice a day in order to accommodate their rather large volume of training, this is gen­erally not required for power or strength athletes. Remember that too many training sessions—in whatever combinationwill in­crease the risk of chronic fatigue.

One major reason that body­builders shouldn't train too fre­quently is that unlike endurance training, where athletes mix "easy," or less-intense, workouts with

"hard," or more-intense, ones, weight training must generally be high intensity for it to be effective. This means that the body requires a longer time between sessions for complete recovery.

Fat-free Weight Gain

Most people find it easy to gain weight. Unfortunately, most weight gain comes in the form of fat. Ath­letes who want to gain weight are looking to increase their lean muscle 

mass while gaining as little fat as possible. 


While people who have family histories of heart disease or other major illness are not encouraged to put on weight, especially bodyfat weight, you can increase lean mus­cle by following several guidelines for fat-free weight gain.


In order to put on weight, you must take in more calories than you bum up. To gain one pound of mus­cle, you need to eat about 2,500 extra calories. The best way to ac­complish this is to spread the ex­cess over several days during each week for a reasonable weight gain of one to two pounds per week. This way your daily intake doesn't exceed your energy expenditure by more than 1,000 to 1,500 calories.


Don't change your diet drasti­cally from what you normally eat, however. Although you're increas­ing the quantity, stick with foods that are low in fat.


To ensure that the excess calories will primarily go toward building muscle, you should undertake a vig­orous training program during this high-calorie period. Don't make the mistake that many athletes make and reduce your activity in order to put on weight. This practice only re­sults in increasing your fat stores, not your lean muscle tissue.


On- and Off-season


Many athletes follow a weight-training program during the off-sea­son to increase their strength and power. Research has shown that both power and endurance athletes benefit from this kind of regimen. By training with weights in the off­season, they enhance performance and reduce fatigue during the corn­petitive season. The optimum type of training for this purpose is isokinetic, although free weights and most machines, which is what these athletes generally use, involve isotonic resistance. 


Whether you should train with weights during your competitive season depends on your level of strength and the importance of strength as a limiting factor in your sport. If you're losing strength or need to gain strength during the sea­son, you should work out with weights at least twice a week; how­ever, if you've already attained your desired strength level through your off-season program, then you'll only need one workout per week for strength maintenance. Just before major competitions or while tapering to reach a peak is the time to abstain completely.


Don't Forget to
Warm Down

Many bodybuilders ride a station­ary bike for 10 minutes or do light sets of an exercise as a warmup be­fore training. The benefits of a proper warmup are well docu­mented. A proper warm-down, how­ever, may be just as important.  If you are low on testosterone you can also pick some supplements up here


Perhaps the single most signifi­cant effect of a warm-down, or cool-down, as it's also called, is the removal of lactic acid from the mus­cles and the blood. Without a warm-down lactic acid removal can take twice as long. Rapid removal of lac­tic acid may help reduce subse­quent soreness and stiffness. A warm-down involves light move­ment and/or stretching, which helps keep the lactic acid and blood from pooling in any given region.