Lifting twice a week vs thrice a week

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Home Triathlon Forum Triathlon Discussions Lifting twice a week vs thrice a week

This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of MarkyV MarkyV 9 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #11997

    Hey folks, I started training about 2 weeks ago. My background is cross country/track in high school, which turned into just recreational lifting in college (3-5 times a week, no cardio).

    My cardio shape is obviously not tremendous, but it’s getting better.

    For my first two weeks, I was following a plan that has me either cycling, running, or swimming 5 days a week. Within that mix, I threw in 3 days of lifting; spread out of course.

    I’m getting a bit busier in terms of my work/school and was thinking of knocking it down to 2 lifting days a week (45-60 minute sessions).

    Can I still make any gains with 2 days a week or will I lose muscle? Or will it be enough to simply maintain?

    Thanks for your time

    Profile photo of stewarba

    IMO, there is so many different ways to answer that depending on your goals. If you are trying to add muscle mass, then 2 days a week probably isn’t going to be significant enough to do that or at least notice any real gains. Of course that probably depends on the quality/type of lifting you’re doing. If you are just trying to throw in some weight training to augment your Tri training, I would say that you will be perfectly fine with 2 days a week (that’s what I do). If the latter is the case, I would recommend upping the reps and lowering the weight.

    Profile photo of Tamara

    +1 that there’s a million different answers. Will you lose muscle mass if you decrease the amount of time spent lifting and increase the amount of time you spend on cardio activities? Most likely.

    But will you be focusing on functional muscle capability and building strength and flexibility in those muscles and joints that you use most for this sport as opposed to building for just aesthetic reasons? Yes. There are a number of resources for the types of weight lifting exercises to do that supplement tri training.

    Profile photo of OzTriGuy

    If its for triathlon speed you only need to lift 1-2 times per week max. If you are lifting for looks, more is advisable.

    Profile photo of jbird2131

    Like others have said, it really depends on what your doing in the gym. During the season I only lift twice a week. One day I emphasize arms/back and the other is chest/core. But I do pull-ups, chin-ups, and other body weight exercises almost every day. If you have time time to lift three times a week and still get in solid S/B/R that’s awesome.

    Can you make gains on lifting twice a week? Yes, but you would have to come up with a specific lifting regimen that incorporates complete muscle movements. (no machines) Im no physio, but that is my two cents. Personally, I’d rather bag the third lift and get some more pool time in.

    Profile photo of jess1

    Its really gonna come down to what your parents gave ya(genes). I can def make gains on 2x a week but my friend would have give up running to get any bigger. Jbird’s on the spot with lifting with freeweights (bench, military, squat, etc). Incorporate a pushup, pullup, etc plan too.

    And don’t discount swimming! It’s pretty good for keeping strength. All in all though, you may have to reimagine what you consider an acceptable amount of strength while triathlon training.

    Profile photo of MarkyV

    You say you have a time constrained schedule, yes? Then why waste those workout hours in the gym when you could be improving your aerobic capacity elsewhere.

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