Training every other day vs everyday like the military do...

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slw0096
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Training every other day vs everyday like the military do...

Post by slw0096 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:38 am

Training every other day vs everyday..... I have my opinion & thoughts but curious as to what others think - why most programs train every other day, but military folks work every day w/ push-ups, pull/chins, running, etc.?

I recall when a friend of mine returned from boot camp / ait, his chest was far more developed than when he left. He said it was from doing lots of push-ups every day. I'm wondering if push-ups every day wouldn't develop my chest faster than benching 3 times / 2 weeks & alternating with overhead press.

Are there any exercises that can be done on off days to supplement the weight training, help with recovery, etc.?


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Post by stuward » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:34 am

Most people come back from Boot camp and other physically active courses thinner and with more endurance. If your friend came back with a larger chest it's becasue that type of training was what he needed at that time to gain that adaptation. That doesn't mean that it works for everyone.

That's not to say that everyday training doesn't work. It clearly does. I do it myself. When you discipline yourself to workout everyday, it removed a need to dip into your will power reserves. You do it because there is no choice. It's easier to get into that mindset if it's an every day thing. Some things you can do everyday. One thing you can't is work super intense so that you can't stand up the next day. The thing with military training is that it's usually intense from a metabolic, endurance point of view but moderate in it's CNS involvemement. You see push ups every day but you don't see a lot of max effort bench pressing. Lots of weight load marches and running but not a lot of heavy squats and deadlifts.

I'm a bad example as I have poor chest development, not because I don't try, I think it's the way I'm designed. However, I include a Crossfit warmup every day which includes squats, chin ups, push ups, sit ups and back extentions. Then I do one exercise per day after that. The first thre days are squats, bench and deadlifts, then the next 2 are optional. I did C&J today (day 4). I take the weekends off. I've only been following this routine for a couple of months but it seems to work for the fitness componenets I want. Size isn't one of the important ones to me.

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Post by TimD » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:04 am

I think the main reason MOST programs advise every other day is because they're based on a heavy overload, designed for strength and growth, and it has built in off or non lifting days to allow for recuperation. That seems to be the mold since almost forever. All that said,it's really based on volume and intensity, and the recuperation required. While wrestling in colleg, we had no problems doing partner squats, handstand pushups, rope climbs and a ton of pushups every day. But it was a once through round, maybe two round. In the army, in basic, it was a ton of running w/full gear, and every time you pissed off the Drill Sergeant, itwas a ton of pushups or bear crawls. But lets be realistic.Eventhe college bodyweight/ partner thingwasn't the same intensity as say a Rippetoe SS workout, so different lengths of recuperation are needed.
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Post by gtjl2007 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:27 pm

I think Rippetoe's SS is more of a CNS intensive routine better for fast twitch dominant people. Military style training is more centered around endurance and conditioning. From personal experience, maximizing strength and maximizing endurance is damn near impossible to accomplish at the same time. Right now I'm focusing on getting my strength up with a 5x5 program similar to SS and doing 2 sessions of HIIT a week to minimize muscle loss which would be counterproductive towards my strength goals. Doing something like SS or 5x5 I think its better to undertrain than overtrain because even if I undertrain I still end up making progress even though it is slower progress. If I overtrain and try to lift heavy more than 3x a week, I notice that I end up sore as hell and unable to recover. My strength increases stall, and I get hungry as hell and end up binge eating at some buffet and gaining body fat.

My endurance isn't great right now, but once I'm satisfied with my strength my plan is to do more volume/metabolic lifting and run 3-4x a week.

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Post by slw0096 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:54 pm

gtjl2007 wrote:Right now I'm focusing on getting my strength up with a 5x5 program similar to SS and doing 2 sessions of HIIT a week to minimize muscle loss which would be counterproductive towards my strength goals.
How is doing HIIT 2/wk working out for you with the strength training? I'm doing a modified 3x5 version.
gtjl2007 wrote:My endurance isn't great right now, but once I'm satisfied with my strength my plan is to do more volume/metabolic lifting and run 3-4x a week. G
At what point will you break from strength training and go into hpertrophy/endurance?


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Post by gtjl2007 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:49 pm

I can only do strength training 2x a week so I bust my ass in the gym when I go. I work a 4 day 40 hr work week and so I get sometimes 5 or less hours of sleep thanks to the ridiculous hours and the ridiculous traffic in my area. I usually go Tuesday and Friday. I do HIIT on the weekends. The training is going good, my squat is approaching the 1.5 BW mark and deadlift around the 2x BW mark. Bench is around 1.2. I do 5x5 Bench, 5x5 squats, and 1x5 deads with some accessory exercises tossed in. I shoot for new PRs every week. My bodyfat has gone down a few points because I'm eating a few hundred less calories than maintenance. With the reduced sleep and calories, strength training 2x a week isn't getting stronger a whole lot faster since I'm undertraining, but at least it is giving me progress because I'm not overtraining with the lack of a very good recovery environment. I'm the type of guy whose strength responds better to intensity over volume anyways because I'm very fast twitch dominant.

I want to do endurance more once my schedule lightens up at work and I am happy with my strength on the big 3 lifts. I am not too interested in hypertrophy anymore since I already reached my target weight (~170) and I'm just trying to maintain this weight why recomping my body to have the same weight but less bodyfat.

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:29 am

This brought a couple articles to mind.

A US Army soldier and competitive powerlifter posted an article over on Elite FTS about Army fitness training.
http://www.elitefts.com/documents/army_ ... aining.htm

That'll give you some idea of what they mean when they say they train pushups, pullups, and running every day. It's bodyweight endurance more than strength building.

But T-Muscle had two articles that basically hit the idea of bodyweight training for muscle gain.

Chad Waterbury wrote this one.
http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_arti ... _real_fast

Basically, you do 50 pullups and 100 pushups a day, six days a week, however you want to fit them in. It seems similar to me to Pavel T's "Grease the Groove" approach where you do sub-maximal sets of bodyweight exercises interspersed throughout the day in order to build up the ability to crank out reps. This article suggests it for size, though.

And Clay Hight had an article on using high-volume daily pushups to build up a bodybuilder's chest
http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_arti ... st_8_weeks

I can't speak to the efficacy of these programs, but your question brought them all to mind. I thought you'd probably be interested in reading the articles if you hadn't seen them yet.

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Post by frogbyte » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:47 am

Very interesting articles... but if you're doing pullups throughout the day, and can only do a few at a time, are you also warming up before each go? And if so, by doing what? :-/

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:49 am

frogbyte wrote:Very interesting articles... but if you're doing pullups throughout the day, and can only do a few at a time, are you also warming up before each go? And if so, by doing what? :-/
The few times I've done that, I didn't warm up at all. I suppose you could do a quick few shoulder mobility drills, but if you're trying to knock off 50 in groups of 2-5 at a time, that'll add up. I'm not sure you really need it. I mean, I warm up before I do step-ups, but not before I climb stairs carrying a box.

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Post by TimD » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:57 am

The idea of GTG is to use submaximal weight, and NOT to push to the limit. I.E, if you can do 5 pullps all out,do groups of 2 or 3. Jus let the volume add up throughout the day. With that, warmups shouldn't be necessary, except for maybe like Peter said, shoulder mobility.
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Post by frogbyte » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:35 pm

I tried this with pull-ups for 4 days, starting on a upper body pull day and ending on an upper body pull day. I was only able to do about 10-15 per day (I was happy to find I was able to do even 1, which I couldn't a few months ago). On the second upper body pull day I had a quite good workout - was expected to maybe be spent. Could be something to this...

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Post by frogbyte » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:18 pm

I took a break from these for 3 days because my elbows started getting really sore, then started up again. I've been doing about 50 push-ups and about 15 pull-ups spread over the day, and continuing with other training otherwise. Still too early to be statistically certain, but so far my normal workout gains have been a little above average, despite the extra work.


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