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Thread: 2-on, 1-off Training Cycle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    22

    Default 2-on, 1-off Training Cycle

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    Just wanted to share a programming modification that at 53 years old has been working very well for my often energy-challenged, sleep-deprived self over the past 2-3 years. After running a typical NLP up to the point that some extra recovery time is needed, I’ve found the following 6-day scheme (leveraging much of what I’ve learned from you folks here) to be very manageable for quite some time:

    Day 1: Squat
    Day 2: Bench, Weighted Chins (3 x 5-8)
    Day 3: OFF
    Day 4: Light Squat, Deadlift
    Day 5: Press, Volume Chins (3 x AMRAP, 5 min. between sets)
    Day 6: OFF

    Implied is that I rarely train Power Cleans anymore and that heavy squats are much more palatable for me if I can give them their own day.

    I realize that this is very similar to some of the week-long (7-day) programming cycles laid out for older lifters in BBRx, but as I hadn’t seen this specific layout mentioned in the forums or elsewhere, thought it might be something slightly new to try for anyone in a similar boat. With some advanced novice or early intermediate adjustments like rep progressions and back-off sets (when appropriate), I have yet to exhaust this approach before the inevitable setback has me working my way back up again.

    On the positive side, this approach does offer a bit faster progression (~14%) than the 7-day cycle while still allowing for significant recovery time for any given lift, and there’s always the fallback position to a legitimate 7-day cycle in case a workout is missed. On the negative side, 2/3 of your days are training days and some “life flexibility” is required to train on different days each week.

    I’d be curious to know if anyone else here has tried a similar approach (I’d imagine so) or if you do going forward, how it works out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    82

    Default

    As long as you can recover I guess it is OK. Seems Crossfitty to me… why 2 on 1 off?

    I took Nick’s advice and moved my 4-day split into 3-days, which has enabled me (along with micro plates) to keep going

    55 years old so I feel like I can relate

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2023
    Posts
    493

    Default

    This doesn't have enough pressing volume: pressing once and benching once is probably not going to be enough. Most people find they need to add press and bench volume, not subtract it.

    You also probably need to pull from the floor twice a week. If you really don't, go for it, but from what I have seen guys who replace the power clean with "nothing" usually run into pulling volume problems, chins notwithstanding.

    The extra...2/3 of a day of training a week doesn't seem like it makes up for this. Why not just take the full weekend off? Are you really worried three days, instead of two, is going to detrain you enough to matter more than the extra day of rest? It seems like a strange decision, especially since you say you are looking to increase recovery.

    I'm just not exactly sure what this does that a 4x a week upper lower split doesn't. Seems like it has numerous downsides relative to that and few upsides over it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Thanks for taking the time to read, guys.

    I did not anticipate the constructive criticism as I was simply offering up an effective approach that I though others might consider, but I appreciate the challenges and will try to address the concerns here for posterity’s sake.

    Firstly, I apologize if somehow it wasn’t clear that the impetus behind adopting the approach here was to provide more recovery time and manageable training sessions for a 50-something lifter upon outstripping a basic NLP schedule, along the lines of the examples detailed in BBRx. Specifically, this would be most similar to the “4-Day Novice Type 3 with Light Squats” model with decreased deadlift and pressing frequency more in line with the Intermediate Masters programming examples, and chins effectively replacing power cleans. Personally I will typically make a few adjustments in transitioning, first separating heavy squats by 3-4 days, then adding a light squat day, micro-loading presses, etc. and eventually compressing it all into a 6-day cycle to make more efficient progress as long as it remains possible. I have yet to run into a hard stall on the presses, but if/when I do I will certainly consider if somehow some extra volume there could be manageable and helpful. I have no idea what this scheme has in common with CrossFit, but I can assure that any resemblance is purely coincidental!

    As mentioned, I typically resort to this schedule to enable sufficient recovery and while taking the two-day weekend off (a third off-day per week) would certainly facilitate that, it would also effectively decrease the volume of (per unit time) of all lifts as well as the rate of progress unnecessarily (at least, for me). When a training day is inevitably missed, I am usually able to keep things moving along, providing empirical evidence that a similar 7-day cycle would also probably work during much of this period. I have yet to experience the “downsides” Maybach refers to but then again, my goal is to, on one of these cycles, progress far enough to actually see and feel any such programming limitations. At that point, I would certainly think about a purposeful 7-day cycle, including a 4-day upper/lower split as suggested.

    Hoping for a few more weeks of uninterrupted progress as I’m nearing some PRs for the first time in a while, including the learnings that are sure to come along with getting stronger!

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