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Should Intermediate Lifters Exercise 4+ Times a Week?

darreneatschickendarreneatschicken Member Posts: 650 Member Member Posts: 650 Member
Let's say that you've been running a beginner's workout routine for quite some time now and have made some good gains.

Should you continue to do full body workouts 3x a week or should you switch to a program that requires you to workout at least 4x a week?
edited May 2


  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,266 Member Member Posts: 10,266 Member
    What I've read is that beginners make the most strength gains lifting 3x per week, them "optimal" shifts to 2 days. Once you move past the beginner's fast and easy gains stage, you need to do more to progress and you need more recovery to get the most out of them.

    I'm some guy on the internet, so take it for what it's worth.
  • wiigelecwiigelec Member Posts: 481 Member Member Posts: 481 Member
    If you’re still making progress I wouldn’t see any reason to change things.

    Also, frequency isn’t the only variable to be manipulated. There are also exercise selection, volume, and intensity.

    As for three vs. four days, I would say what fits your schedule better: less frequent longer session, or more frequent shorter sessions.

    If you are looking at full body vs split, consider what you respond better to. I’ve found I currently respond better to full body than split, for example. You’ll only figure this out by trying and measuring your results (ie E1RM).
    edited May 2
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,818 Member Member Posts: 8,818 Member
    Nothing wrong with 3-7 days a week depending on your schedule.

    Do you "need" 4 days per week? More than likely not yet especially if you came off a LP type program.

    What programming are you coming off of that is 3 a week?

  • zebasschickzebasschick Member Posts: 375 Member Member Posts: 375 Member
    years ago, when i starting lifting, i had better gains with 3 workouts per week rather than 4, but that is going to vary from person to person. still, i think recovery time and lots of protein when starting out is a good thing.
  • tsazanitsazani Member Posts: 696 Member Member Posts: 696 Member
    I use what's called the 80:20 MAF method.

    On Mon & Thur 10 min warmup on treadmill and row machine. 15 min resistance (lower body and abs). 10 min yoga. 10 min swimming.

    On Tue & Fri same thing except resistance is upper body.

    Wed, Sat, and Sun rest.
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