View Full Version : Weight Training and alternating days-- how important is it?

March 23rd, 2009, 05:55 PM
Quick question about weight training. I have been doing weights for about 8 weeks now, usually twice per week. I swim a minimum of 4 days a week, averaging about 5 days per week and topping out at 6. I plan to swim at least 5 days this week. The past couple of weeks have been crazy, and I only got one weight session in and 4 swim practices last week. Looks like I'll have to skip weights tonight too, so the only days I will be able to get weights in this week are tomorrow and Wednesday.

I know that with weight-training you are supposed to alternate days, but I am really anxious to get back to my regular schedule. (I don't have any meets coming up, so no need to take that into consideration.)

Would it be better to: (1) do weights two days in a row, or (2) do only one weight session this week, even though the last two weeks have been fairly light weeks?

Just looking for a reality check. Most non-swimmers think my workout routine is insane, so I can't ask any of them! ;)

March 23rd, 2009, 06:09 PM
If it works for you - great. Don't do the same muscle groups day after day!

March 23rd, 2009, 08:30 PM
The answer to your question revolves around the word “results” - If your times are dropping or you’re getting more fit, then keep on doing what you’re doing. If not, you need to either rest more or work harder.

Your body will react to workouts different than someone else, so a “cookie-cutter” approach isn't something you should be looking for. You’ll need to know how your body responds to work. In other words, you’ll need to know how to tax your body and how much rest it needs to recover. If you use baseline training principals you should be able to taylor-make a training regime that you'll be happy with because it gets you results. Good Luck, Coach T.

March 23rd, 2009, 09:09 PM
Nothing wrong with doing a heavy day followed by a light day, just to get the exercise in.

If you are used to lifting only twice a week, and you are lifting heavy, that it is unlikely that you can get the same level of intensity in day after day. Now is a good of time as any to find out. If repeat your normal workout and you are exhausted on day two, then you know you are putting in close to the max you can regularly and you can be happy about that. If not, and you whip through day two like a normal workout, you need to push yourself harder in the weight room, or maybe reconsider what your goals are.

If you are fairly new to weight training, then it is possible you can just recover fast enough and be maxing out in the gym.

So, no answers from me. Do it, and you will find out your own answers :)

April 5th, 2009, 02:39 PM
Taper off weights & swimming as you get close to a big meet.

April 5th, 2009, 09:17 PM
I've always heard 48 hours rest between weight-lifting sessions using the same muscle groups whatever the amount of weight. Once a week will maintain what you have built up to - you won't get stronger, but it is enough to maintain, in my experience. I'd go with once this week, lifting heavier weights.

Here is a study supporting the idea that strength gains can be maintained with one workout a week:


April 5th, 2009, 09:38 PM
If this week is crazy, but next week you can get back into your regular schedule, then I think that you should try to at least get in one quality weights session IMHO. You will probably get more out of it and come back next week strong.