Can You Build Muscle With Only 2 Workouts Per Week?

What’s up, guys? Sean Nalewanyj at I’ve got a question from a subscriber here
today basically saying that they’re working fifty hours week, they’re combining that with
family responsibilities, they’re also doing Jujitsu two or three days a week, things are
really busy and stressful, they want to know if it’s possible to build with only two
workouts per week. They’re not necessarily trying to get as big
and as strong as possible but just want to know if you can still make good progress this
way. So, can you build muscle by working out twice
per week? Before I jump into the video, do make sure
to click that subscribe button below to stay up to date and also hit the little bell button
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new content available so you don’t miss out on any future videos if you do enjoy this
content. So, the short and simple answer here is: Yes,
you absolutely can build muscle effectively even if you’re only working out twice per
week as long as things are properly structured and properly executed. Is working out twice per week going to be
a hundred percent optimal for building the very best physique in the shortest time? No, probably not. But keep in mind that there’s a very big difference
between something being optimal versus being effective, meaning that just because a particular
style of training isn’t the absolute best way to go about it that doesn’t mean that
you can’t still make significant progress that way. Any workout plan that trains each muscle group
directly at least once per week with enough volume and enough intensity and that allows
progressive overload overtime is going to produce consistent gains as long as you stick
with it. I mean, actually back in my earlier bodybuilding
days, in phases where I was following a very low volume-high intensity approach, I’d
sometimes only be in the gym literally once every three to four days. And even though I was only averaging two workouts
per week I was still making consistent progress from such kind of session. Now, could I have made faster progress on
a higher frequency plan? Yeah, probably. But the point here is just that low frequency
training still does work. Hitting each muscle group only once per week
was actually a pretty standard bodybuilding guideline back in previous years and this
can definitely be done effectively even on a two days per week workout plan. Now, that said, this shouldn’t be used as
an excuse to train less often if you truly do have a time and energy available for three
weekly workouts, because three to four workouts, depending on the person, will probably be
ideal in terms of maximizing your results. You don’t need to spend hours and hours
in the gym each time to get in a solid workout. Sixty to seventy-five minutes, give or take,
is all you’re going to need. So the first thing I’d recommend doing before
going any further is to really examine your weekly schedule to see where you might be
able to fit in that one extra training session or two. Because when you really break it all down
piece by piece, you’ll usually find that you do have plenty of opportunities for it. Now, if you truly don’t, or if bodybuilding
just isn’t your primary focus in life but you still want to improve your physique and
get stronger, a really good twice per week training approach is to just do two full body
workouts. You don’t need a huge variety of different
exercises. You don’t need to worry about targeting
each muscle from every possible angle. Just stick with the basics and center your
workouts around the big compound exercises that train your largest muscle groups and
then focus on making consistent strength gains on those lifts overtime. The core movements that you’re going to want
to hone in on would be a squatting movement; a barbell squat or some other squatting variation;
hip hinge movement, something like Romanian deadlift or even just a standard deadlift. You’re going to want a horizontal press for
the chest, a vertical press for the shoulders, a vertical pull for the lats and a horizontal
pull for the mid-back. And I’ll put a little video summary down
below on the description box which you can check out and I’ll have all that listed
below. You don’t need to do every single one of
these exercises in both workouts but what you can do is just split them up into two. So maybe a squat, a bench press and a row
in workout A, and then a deadlift, an overhead press and a pull up in workout B. And then
after you compound lifts are done, you can include two or three isolation movements to
hit your smaller muscle groups like the biceps, triceps, side and your delts, calfs and abs. And the two options for a twice per week workout
plan would be an upper-lower split, which is pretty self explanatory. Or you can also do a push-pull split where
the pushing movements go on one day. That would be a squat, a bench press and an
overhead press, and then a deadlift, pull-up and a row on the other day. Any of these approaches will ultimately be
effective. You can give each one a try and just see which
one you prefer. Another thing to keep in mind here is that
since the overall workload is going to be lower in comparison to training three days
or more per week, your margin for errors are also smaller as well. Meaning you need to really make sure you’re
making the very most of each workout by training with enough overall intensity and by using
a proper technique on all of your sets. You don’t necessarily have to train to failure
on every set, though that is an option if you’re going a bit lower volume. But you should be coming pretty close in any
case. At least one rep short of failure, I would
say. And also just like with any other training
plan, you want to make sure to write down what you’re doing in terms of exercises. How much weight you lifted for each one, and
how many reps you did and then strive for continual improvement overtime. It’s just really important that you really
dial things in in terms of the structure and execution if you want to maximize your results
with only two days in the gym per week. But as long as you’re making continual strength
gains overtime and you’re combining it with a good diet, then you’ll know you’re on the
right track and you will see consistent muscle gains as well. And the last point I’d make on the topic
of diet is that since you won’t be training as often throughout the week you’ll probably
want to bring your calories down slightly as well because you’re going to be less active
overall and because protein synthesis won’t be elevated to the same degree as it would
be if you were training three or four days out of the week. So if you’re only training twice per week
but you’re continuing to eat in a larger surplus then your chances of fat gain are going to
increase. So, just as some really rough guideline if
you’ve reduced your total training volume by thirty percent then you can reduce the
size of your calorie surplus by about the same amount. So bottom-line, yes, we know from the research
that a higher frequency per muscle group is generally going to be a better approach for
most trainees who want to fully maximize their gains but, again, that doesn’t mean that
training twice per week won’t still produce significant progress. And it doesn’t mean that hitting each muscle
once a week is ineffective. Plenty of people have built great physiques
that way. And if you are living a very stressful life,
physically, mentally, or both, and you have a lot of other things going on during the
week then you’re probably going to be better off to reduce your training volume and frequency
temporarily because you have to keep in mind that a slightly sub-optimal workout routine
that you can actually stick to is still going to be a lot better than a workout routine
that is optimal but that you can’t sustain. So, thanks for watching, guys. If you do want to get my exact recommended
full body and upper-lower routines. The exact days in the gym, the exercises,
sets and reps schemes that’s all included in my Body Transformation Blueprint. Which you can access by clicking up here or
by visiting, the link is also in the description box. If you found this content helpful then make
sure you give the video a like, leave a comment and subscribe to stay up to date. You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram
if you aren’t already, the links for that are also below. And the official website is over at Thanks for watching, guys. I’ll see you in the next video.

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