Don't let the title of this fitFLEX article fool you. It's not about hitting the gym one day a week and making great gains. If you're looking for the lazy man's bodybuilding program, this isn't it. Instead, I'm going to talk about training each bodypart once a week-hard and heavy
and with enough sets that it's slightly overtrained and needs seven days of recovery time before you hit it again with direct work.
One example of this kind of program is the Supercompensation Routine. This is a three-day split-Monday, Wednesday and Friday with each bodypart getting one direct hit and one indirect hit per week. Here's how the split looks:
Monday: Lower chest, delts, lats, brachialis, soleus, abs
Wednesday: Quads, hamstrings, calves
Friday: Upper chest, midback, upper traps, biceps, triceps, abs
If you're doing straight sets, you perform around eight per body- part-except for brachialis, soleus and abs, for which you do three to six. If you incorporate intensity techniques, such as Compound Aftershock, you do even fewer sets per bodypart. Some people will look at this split and say there's too much rest between bodypart hits. Research suggests that a muscle starts to atrophy 96 hours, or four days, after it's trained with an intense weight session. With the above split you get seven days. So the question becomes, If you train biceps on Friday and then don't train them again until the next Friday, won't they start to shrink?
If you didn't do any other exercises that involved biceps during that time, the answer is, yes, you might experience atrophy depending on your recovery ability and your intensity level. In the above split, however, you train biceps indirectly on Monday, when you work your lats with chins and your brachialis with hammer curls. You do this 12 horns after you train biceps directly. This indirect work prevents atrophy and actually improves recovery due to increased blood flow in the slightly damaged muscle-I say "damaged" because, as you'll recall, you do a few more sets in order to slightly overtrain the target bodypart. Then on Friday, 96 hours later, you blast them again with another direct attack.
Indirect work for each bodypart is strategically placed in this routine. Once you analyze it, you'll see that direct/indirect correlations occur in the following: lats/midback, lower chest/upper chest, calves/soleus, biceps/brachialis, triceps/lower chest. Other bodyparts also get indirect work. For example, you get direct triceps work on Friday and indirect triceps work when you train delts on Monday; you get direct quad and hamstring work on Wednesday and indirect quad and hamstring work on Friday, when you train traps with deadlifts.