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Fitness & Health

01st May 2019

How to train if you can only get to the gym twice a week

Very few can get to the gym whenever they want, for as long as they want. If you can only train twice a week, this what your plan should look like

Alex Roberts

Very few people have enough free time to train whenever they like, for as long as they like

Work, family commitments and social lives all take a hefty chunk out of your schedule. This can make it difficult to stick to your gym schedule, but with the right training plan you can still make significant gains with just two workouts a week.

The bodybuilding world has convinced many people that they need to set their week up in the following way:

  • Monday: Chest
  • Tuesday: Back
  • Wednesday: Legs

…and so on. This certainly works for bodybuilders, but remember, these men and women are professional at the top end. It is their job to be in the gym. Success on stage is what pays their bills, hence why they move other commitments around to prioritise their training time.

Shawn Rhoden is the reigning Mr Olympia, but you may not have the time to train like a bodybuilder would (Photo by Getty Images)

The twice-a-week workout

That may be off the cards or downright unnecessary for you – so if you can only train twice a week at the gym, your plan should be informed by the following:

  • Two full-body workouts tackling each major muscle group
  • Two exercises per muscle group

You can’t afford an entire training day dedicated to chest, if you’ve only got time for two workouts per week.

Unless you’re a pro bodybuilder, you should be hitting each muscle group at least twice a week. All major muscles in the body need to be targeted in these two workouts.

Here is an example workout to try on your two training days.

  • Bench Press: 3 x 6-8
  • Weighted Dip: 3 x 10
  • Seated Row: 3 x 8-12
  • Pull-Ups: 3 x 8-12
  • Squat: 3 x 6-8
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8-10
  • Bicep Preacher Curl: 3 x 10-15
  • Tricep Extension: 3 x 10-15
  • Z-Press: 3 x 8-12
  • Shoulder Lateral Raise: 3 x 10-12
Many rugby teams use full-body workouts to maximise strength and size when it isn’t possible to spend ages in the gym (Photo by Getty Images)

Feel free to substitute similar lifts in and out. For example, if all the barbells are taken you might want to use the Dumbbell Chest Press instead. Don’t eliminate any lifts without replacing them though.

This workout may look tough, as most full body sessions only include one exercise per muscle group. But as you’re only in the gym twice a week, you’ll need the extra volume which two exercises provide.

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