Training On A Time Budget: 6 Days Per Week

The Perfect Training Program: 6 Days Per Week

 

We’re ramping things up another gear today, and looking at the best split if you want to train 6 days per week.

So far in this mini series, I’ve taken you through –

3 Days Per Week

4 Days Per Week

5 Days Per Week

I always say there’s no “best” approach to training, but there certainly are “better” approaches, and to a point, the more regularly you can train, the better, provided intensity is modulated correctly.

That’s why planning a 6-day split properly is vital.

 

The Benefits

It’s easy to hit every muscle twice (or even three) times a week when you’ve got 6 days at the gym, and this undoubtedly leads to more total volume and faster muscle size and strength gains.

Plus, if you do miss a day, it’s not the end of the world.

Workouts are a bit shorter too, so it’s easier to get all your work in, and most sessions can be done in 45 to 60 minutes.

  

The Downsides

I’m not sure it’s possible for most people to over-train, but you can definitely over-reach, get beat up and start feeling sore from training too much.

That’s why I wouldn’t jump straight in from only training 2 or 3 days per week to 6 – work yourself up to this routine by slowly adding an extra session each week over the course of a couple of months.

 

The Premise

We could go for 3 upper and 3 lower sessions here. (Or even a body part bro-style split, but you know that’s not really my thing!)

My preferred option, however, is a 3-way push, pull, legs routine, where you do each session twice, one more in the strength rep range and one for higher rep hypertrophy.

 

The Routine

Workout A – Legs Strength:

  • Back squats – 4-6 sets of 3-5 reps with 75-85% of 1 rep max.
  • Reverse barbell lunges with front foot elevated – 3 sets of 6-8 reps per leg at RPE 8.
  • Leg Press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps at RPE 9. (Add bands if you wish.)
  • Stiff-Legged deadlifts – 4 sets of 5-6 reps at RPE 8.
  • Calf raises – 4 sets of 6-8 reps at RPE 9.

 

Workout B – Push Strength:

  • Bench press – 4-6 sets of 3-5 reps with 75-85% of 1 rep max.
  • Standing military press – 4 sets of 4-6 reps at RPE 8.
  • Incline, flat, or decline dumbbell presses – 4 sets of 6-8 at RPE 9.
  • Flyes – 4 sets of 6-8 reps at RPE 9.
  • Close-grip bench press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps at RPE 9.

 

Workout C – Pull Strength:

  • Deadlifts – 4-6 sets of 3-5 reps with 75-85% of 1 rep max.
  • Weighted chin-ups – 4 sets of 4-6 reps at RPE 9.
  • Barbell Rows – 4 sets of 6-8 reps at RPE 8.
  • Barbell or dumbbell shrugs – 3 sets of 6-8 reps at RPE 9.
  • EZ Bar Curls – 4 sets of 6-8 reps at RPE 9.

 

Workout D – Legs Hyper:

  • Front squats or safety bar squats – 3 sets of 8-12 reps at RPE 9.
  • Leg Extensions superset with leg curls – 5 sets of 12-15 reps each at RPE 9, with a 20-30% drop set on the final superset.
  • Cable pull-throughs – 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
  • Machine hack squats – 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
  • Calf raises – 5 sets of 12-15 reps.

 

Workout E – Push Hyper: 

  • Incline Barbell press – 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  • Dips – 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
  • Seated dumbbell presses – 4 sets of 10-12 reps.
  • Lateral raises superset with cable crossovers – 4 sets of 12-15 reps each, with a 20-30% drop set on the final superset.
  • Overhead rope extensions – 4 sets of 10-12 reps.
  • Lying EZ bar skull-crushers – 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

 

Workout F – Pull Hyper:

  • Speed deadlifts – 6 sets of 2 reps with 50-60% 1 rep max.
  • Chin-ups – 4 sets of max reps.
  • Dumbbell rows – 3 sets of 10-12 reps per side.
  • Face pulls superset with rear delt flyes – 3 sets of 12-15 reps on each, with a 20-30% drop set on the final superset.
  • Cable rope hammer curls – 4 sets of 10-12 reps.
  • Seated dumbbell curls – 4 sets of 15-20 reps.

 

Notes:

Be sensible with how “hard” you work.

You want to push yourself, but there’s no need to go to failure on anything here, except those supersets in the hyper workouts, where the goal is technical failure – the point at which you can’t do another rep with good form.

The rest of the time, leaving a rep or two spare is perfectly fine. Remember, with the increased frequency and volume, you don’t need to beat your muscles to within an inch of their life – you just need frequent stimulus.

Obviously there’s only space for one rest day here, so take that wherever you need.

You might feel a little sore to begin with, but don’t worry – that’ll dissipate in time.

 

Progressions:

Keep things simple.

Aim to get heavier on your main lifts in the strength sessions, and add a little weight here and there everywhere else.

Play the long game – with a plan like this, you won’t always get stronger every workout, but over time, your lifts should go up.

 

The Wrap Up

6 days a week of training is seriously tough, so only commit to it if you know you can stick with the program.

It does make certain aspects easier, as sessions are shorter, and a crappy workout here and there where you don’t feel 100% isn’t the end of the world.

But if you enjoy training though, a 6-day per week template is a great way to make your gym time ultra productive, get in a large amount of volume, and see serious gains in size and strength.

Given the frequency with which you’ll be frequenting the gym, make sure you plan your training sessions, and progressions out, to the best of your ability. Simply going balls-to-the-wall every single day is a surefire way to run yourself into the ground in a matter of weeks when you’re training 6 days per week.

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