Can you build muscle using only one workout per week? Absolutely. Can you build strength using one workout per week? Absolutely.
Is it optimal? Probably not. I would be a fool to proclaim otherwise.
Related - Build Your Own Muscle Building Workout
Still, a consistent effort applied over time will always yield results. Anyone that denies this reality is... Well, I'll let you decide.
But. But. I want optimal results. Then find a way to lift more than once per week. Easy solution.
Some of us can't workout more than once a week. Life gets in the way. We are traveling for work, heading out to vacation, or ramming out overtime to rack up some spare cash.
Whatever the case, occasionally we need a once-a-week solution. This is it.
One Day Muscle Building Workout
This workout features two distinct workouts. Alternate between workout A and workout B as follows:
- Week 1 - Workout A
- Week 2 - Workout B
Two sets. For exercises that feature two sets, add weight when the second set feels manageable. What does this mean? When you feel like you may have been able to perform one or more additional reps on the second set, you're ready to add weight.
Dumbbell Rows. Perform 20 reps with a given weight. When it feels manageable move on to heavier dumbbells.
Squats. This can either be a 15 or 20 rep set, whichever you prefer. Start with a reasonable weight and add five pounds to the bar when it makes sense.
Push-Ups. If you can easily perform more 30 reps per set, simply challenge yourself to knock out as many reps as possible in a minute's time. remember to use good form. Don't beat up your body by keeping your torso loose and your reps sloppy.
Machine Chest Press. You can also perform dumbbell bench presses or a similar variation here.
Machine Shoulder Press. You can also perform any overhead dumbbell press variation.
Deadlift. Start with a reasonable weight. Add five pounds to the bar when the 10-rep set feels manageable.
Dips. You can also insert cable triceps extensions here. If dips become too easy, add weight or try to perform as many reps as possible during a one-minute period.
Power Shrugs. These follow deadlifts. You can either keep the same weight on the bar or bump it down slightly. Using straps, deadlift the weight up and power shrug for as many reps as possible.
Reverse Grip Lat Pull Down. Focus on getting a good biceps contraction during each rep. Thinking about pulling with the biceps.
Workout A - Week 1
|Full Body Workout|
|Seated Overhead Barbell Press||2||10|
|Machine Chest Press||2||10|
|Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts||1||15|
|Lat Pull Down||2||10|
Workout B - Week 2
|Full Body Workout|
|Seated Cable Rows||2||10|
|Machine Shoulder Press||2||10|
|Reverse Grip Lat Pull Downs||2||15|
|Ab Wheel Rollout||1||Max|