Better Train Once a Week than NEVER – Once a Week First Aid Regimen


Okay, so I understand that you have a hectic stressful job, and when you go home you also need to do some chores, and you even hardly have enough time for sleep (which you are already getting less of). And therefore you are saying that you don’t have enough time to go to the gym (except if you have a gym at home) so now what?

Disclaimer: The following would only be a “first aid” regimen. Training once a week cannot in any way get you optimum results.
The first tendency of a “busy” person even if he sincerely loves lifting is to take a pass on the present week, predicting that he would have more time to train on the following week. 
But the only problem is:

That free time never seems to come around

And that is applicable 90% of the time, so our lifter would end up taking a pass literally each and EVERY week. The result is that he gets caught up in his “normal”, stagnant lifestyle then eventually forgets that the gym exists.
By this time our lifter’s heart would have changed from hardcore to cubicle drone and his physique would get worse and worse every coming week. And before his love and dedication for iron gets reignited it would either be too late for him to fulfill his dream physique or he would have already lost a significant amount of the gains that he has worked hard for when he was active. What a waste indeed.
What you need to do the next time that you become so “busy” that you tell yourself

“Nah I will just get back to my normal split next week”

For God sakes, no! A more viable plan would be to just do a once a week training (if you really cannot afford at least 3 or even 2 times a week).  That way you might not be able to stimulate the body for optimum gains but one advantage of doing things once a week for a while is that you will obviously giving your body a better time (more than enough time) to recover and some of you who have been literally training lie 5 times a week for a while, you will indeed find yourself growing more training once a week and that increased growth effect should last for about a month or two.

Dips are great chest exercises to include during the once a week “first aid” protocol:

 evan centopani dips
With once per week training I suggest you always start up with either hi-rep squat or some heavy deadlifts.  You can apply the 20 rep squat protocol here since you need to hit several bodyparts in one day.

After the squats/deadlifts you can proceed to hit your major priority muscle groups applying high intensity techniques such as drop sets and rest pauses so that you will be able to stimulate enough growth and micro trauma for the shortest amount of time possible since you cannot afford to stay on one exercise for too long because you will be hitting several muscle groups on the same day.
You can choose 3 muscle groups to hit after the squat/deads. Large muscle groups are your best bet especially back since targeting them would also hit smaller assisting muscle groups. For that same reason you should stay away from machines for this since we need to milk as much stimulus as we can it is therefore a great idea to do purely high-CNS involvement exercises if you will train only once per week.
Here’s an example:

Squats – 1 set 20 reps (use the weight that you can only do for 10-12 reps) use rest pause till you complete 20 reps
T-bar rows – 1 warm up set then 1 working set:  Drop set up to 5 drops start with weight you can do for 6-8 reps
Superset: flyes and bench press as pre-exhaust 2 sets, 8-12 reps – let it burn!
Shrugs – 3 sets 6-8 reps

There you go, that should do it for the day. Then the next week you do another session but you can use other exercises and/or intensity techniques for a change. You may want to do deads on the alternate session. You can do 20 reps with heavy deads. Don’t count how many sets you can do just try to complete a total of 20 reps, which will surely get you fired up!

And for God sakes, please try to go back to your usual split ASAP! And if you ever get the chance to squeeze in another training session, hopefully a second and a third one on the same week, then for the love of God please do so! Eat your eggs, people!

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