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Bodypart Training 2X Per Week: Don’t Overtrain

7207-nathuge2Q: I’ve been doing your workout: Monday: chest, delts, tri’s, calves; Tuesday: legs, back, bi’s, abs; Wednesday: off; Thursday: chest, delts, tri’s, calves; Friday: legs, back, bi’s, abs. I hit different muscle heads at each workout. For example, for chest on Tuesday I hit the pec major with two exercises; then on Thursday I hit the pec minor with two exercises. I do that with the rest of the muscles throughout the week to avoid overtraining one muscle head in one week. Is that correct?

A: When I used this program, training each bodypart twice a week, I would stick with the basic exercises for all four workouts. The goal of this program is to build more mass and strength. It worked well for me when I was younger because I was able to recuperate faster and still do two heavy workouts for each muscle group per week without overtraining.

In the program you cited, I would choose exercises for both the upper and lower parts of the chest, but I didn’t separate them into pec major and pec minor. It’s hard to isolate those muscles, and my objective was to train the whole muscle by using mostly compound moves.

What I did do, however, was to change the exercises each week so the muscles did not get too used to doing the same thing. It might be as simple as doing an exercise with a barbell instead of a dumbbell or vice versa, but that’s all it takes to keep the muscles stimulated.

Here is an example of how I might structure a workout doing the program you listed:



Barbell bench presses 4 sets

Incline dumbbell presses 3 sets

Flat-bench flyes 3 sets

Seated barbell presses 4 sets

Lateral raises 3 sets

Upright rows 3 sets

Triceps pushdowns 3 sets

Lying triceps extensions 3 sets

Dips 3 sets

Standing calf raises 3 sets

Seated calf raises 3 sets



Incline situps 2 sets

Incline knee raises 2 sets

Squats 5 sets

Hack squats 3 sets

Leg curls 4 sets

Barbell stiff-legged deadlifts 3 sets

Wide-grip chins 3 sets

Barbell rows 4 sets

Seated cable rows 3 sets

Incline curls 3 sets

Barbell curls 3 sets



Dumbbell bench presses 4 sets

Incline barbell presses 3 sets

Incline flyes 3 sets

Seated behind-the-neck presses 4 sets

Seated lateral raises 3 sets

Barbell shrugs 4 sets

Close-grip bench presses 3 sets

Seated overhead extensions 3 sets

Weighted bench dips 3 sets

Donkey calf raises 3 sets

Leg press calf raises 3 sets



Hanging knee raises 2 sets

Crunches on bench 2 sets

Front squats 4 sets

Leg presses 4 sets

Dumbbell leg curls 3 sets

Dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts 3 sets

Wide-grip lat pulldowns 3 sets

T-bar rows 4 sets

Deadlifts 3 sets

Seated dumbbell curls 3 sets

Preacher curls 2 sets


Editor’s note: John Hansen has won the Mr. Natural Olympia and is a three-time Natural Mr. Universe winner. Check out his Web site at for more information about how you can be a part of his exciting, new Natural Olympia Fitness getaway. Send questions or comments to [email protected]. Look for John’s DVD, “Natural Bodybuilding Seminar and Competitions,” along with his book, Natural Bodybuilding, and his training DVD, “Real Muscle,” at his Web site or at Home Gym Warehouse,  IM


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