Workout 4 Days vs 5 Days a Week

This is something I’m struggling with for my workouts. If you’ve been following my workout blog posts, you know that I went from high volume training to high intensity training (which the latter consists of less training volume). With the more intense workouts, less sets yet training to failure each set, I’m finding myself a bit pooped later in the week.

Jason’s High Intensity Workout Schedule

I want to include my current high intensity workout schedule. You’ll see that it’s a 5 day a week program. I ha started this program hitting everything within 4 days and repeating, taking weekends off. I did this by coupling arms with chest and back. I recently started training arms on their own day. Here’s my current workout schedule:

♦ Monday: Back

♦ Tuesday: Chest

♦ Wednesday: Legs

♦ Thursday: Shoulders/Traps

♦ Friday: Arms

This seems like a good plan on paper. The problem is by the time I get to Thursday, I’m pretty beat. Part of that could be that I’m hitting a major body part every day for those first three days. Another could be the fact that it’s super intense training for three days in a row. It’s probably a mixture of both. Remember, this high intensity workout program has me training to failure. Complete muscle failure.

Funny thing is I’ve never had this problem, not that I can remember anyway. I am a approaching 41 so my body could very well be telling me to back off a little. I’m not one of those that makes excuses based on age. But you also have to have an intelligent approach as well.

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4 Day vs 5 Day Workout Plan

I’m faced with my ‘just push through it’ attitude versus the idea of taking an extra rest day during the week. I have a tough time with this because I love training on the weekdays. As of now, I have a regular day-job so I don’t feel right that day if I don’t train.

So my proposed plan may be to take Thursdays off. This means I would couple arms with chest, back, or shoulders. This also means two of my workouts would be a little longer. The thing I like about training only one body part is you can really hone in and focus more on that particular muscle. You also have the energy to a little more volume. So here’s my proposed high intensity workout plan:

Proposed 4-Day Workout

♦ Monday: Back & Traps

♦ Tuesday: Chest & Biceps

♦ Wednesday: Legs

♦ Thursday: Calves/Abs

♦ Friday: Shoulders & Triceps

As you can see I would still train on Thursdays but nothing heavy. Just a little calves and abs. This would seemingly allow my body to recoup. Sometimes less is more.

I’m typically doing cardio everyday after my weight training workouts. I walk on the treadmill on a slight incline at a moderate pace for 30 minutes or so. I use the recumbent bike on leg day.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my current workout as well as my proposed workout plan, which I plan to start next week. I do love this high intensity workout program I’m on. My muscles feel big and full, and I can tell a difference in the size and shape. I’m also holding less body fat (I haven’t changed my diet at all). Let’s see if backing off a day helps!

Train with Passion,


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About the Author Jason Stallworth


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