I'm an amateur weight lifter. For the past few years have doing a 3 day split workouts. Squat/Deadlift/BenchPress + support. I recently got introduced to the concept of supercompensation and seems to me like a biological effect that should be considered in a effective workout.

Does a 3 day split workout set take advantage of Supercompensation? Each muscle group is being trained only once a week. Should one squat/deadlift/bench 3 times a week?

Thanks for your input.

  • How much do you squat/deadlift/bench? Are you a powerlifter?
    – user4644
    Dec 27 '12 at 21:03
  • I'm at 1.5xBW bench, 1.5xBWSquat, 2xBW Deadlift. I weight 210 pounds. I do train for power over mass. I don't think I'm a power lifter!
    – fsaint
    Dec 27 '12 at 21:15

You may have actually used an inefficient training program to train through the phase where squatting (or doing another exercise) heavy three times a week would work well for you. But, you're not necessarily past that phase yet, and I'd bet you have a little bit of time left where 3x per week will be doable. Try it out! There are some simple, widely used full body workouts out there (Starting Strength, for example).

The recovery/supercompensation graph gets stretched out as you move from novice (where it's just 2 days long) to intermediate (where it is 4-7 days long), so your program will need to change as you progress.

If you dont get the recovery you need after a single day of rest, look at weekly periodizations like the Texas Method.

  • Thanks @Kate! The stretching of the curve explains why splits and supercompensation are not a contradiction. I will try squats 3xweek. Exciting experiment! Can't wait. Thanks.
    – fsaint
    Dec 28 '12 at 3:46
  • Awesome :) You could try a pre-made program, but at the least, I'd start with 3 sets of 5 reps at about 90% of your 1RM, and add 5lbs per workout. If you're still in the demographic that can make single days of rest work for you, you should be able to do this. Be cautious about doing other leg work on these days too. That could end up being too much volume to allow recovery with a single day of rest. Just one other non-squat lift, like deadlift, would be okay, and that maybe only every 2nd workout. Then tweak it from there :)
    – user4644
    Dec 28 '12 at 4:58
  • I will do a pre-made program. I'm looking into a few. You mentioned Starting Strength. Other programs that would fit the bill are the 5x5 and 5/3/1 in their full body versions. I'll do my research. Thanks again!
    – fsaint
    Dec 28 '12 at 5:15
  • Yup, those are all good!
    – user4644
    Dec 28 '12 at 5:19

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