How Do I Get Stronger if I Can Only Train Twice Per Week? : A 2X Per Week Program for Strength

2 days week program strength

Early in my coaching career, I wanted everything to be perfect. I would get so frustrated if my coaching clients did not show up regularly or get incredible results. Everything had to be optimal, from timing, rest periods, volume, intensity, the list goes on and on.

But what I was not taking into consideration is that everyone does not have the same amount of time, resources, etc. and people did not always place training as their number one priority. For those of us with training on the brain all day, it seems odd. But the average person will not go out of their way to train at all, nevertheless optimally.

With that, an emphasis needs to be placed on making the training environment work for the situation they are in. One common issue I found over the years was many clients scheduled 3 sessions per week, but only made it to 2. This throws off the entire plan if your programming calls for 3 days per week. After talking to many clients, it seems that something always came up on the third day.

From there, I made it a point to work off of a 2 day per week program. We still scheduled 3 days, and if the client made it for 2, we had a program in place. If they made it 3 days, we used that day as an accessory day (extra work, prehab/corrective, etc.).

All in all, it turned out to be incredibly effective for developing strength with limited time. It can be a great solution for breaking through plateaus and sticking points, as you allow for more recovery time.


With all that said, here is the 2x per week program for strength:

2 days week program strength Follow Me on Pinterest

Week 1:

Day 1:

•Squat: 5×5

•Step-ups: 4×10

•SS Bar Goodmornings: 4×10

•Bent-Over Rows: 5×10

Day 2:

•Bench Press: 4 sets-8,6,5,4 reps

•Neutral-Grip Overhead Press: 5×8

•Pull-ups: 5×10 (or as many as possible if you can’t do 10 reps)

•DB Floor Press: 4×10

Week 2:

Day 1:

•Deadlift: 6×3

•Lunges: 4×8/leg

•RDL: 4×8

•One-Arm DB Row: 5×10

Day 2:

•Push Press: 5×5

•Close-Grip Bench Press: 4×10

•Chin-ups: 5×10 (or as many as possible if you can’t do 10 reps)

•Floor DB Tri Extension: 4×10


Feel free to add a few accessory exercises if you have the time (but don’t go crazy).




Remember, even though you want to write the BEST program possible for yourself or your clients, the key is to be real with yourself about the level of commitment there is. Because a perfect program is only perfect with perfect follow-through.  I find that the results are better when the program is written as it will be used; if not, you leave gaps in your training.

Feel free to use the program, and give me feedback on how it works for you!

If you want more done-for you programs, join us below:

What’s Worth Reading: Volume 5; Bulking, Deadlifts, and Assessments

Worth Reading; Deadlift, Overhead Press, & Bulking

Here are some things I have written lately:

Science vs. Practicality in Strength Training: Who Can You Trust?

3 Common Programming Mistakes Even Experienced Coaches Make


deadlift technique overhead press assessment Follow Me on Pinterest


As for articles I have read lately, here are some interesting ones:

Letter to Young Jim Wendler

I really enjoyed this article from T-Nation. Wendler can be very captivating in his writing. Take the following as an example:

“Read more. Write more. Train more. Keep your head down and don’t worry that your bank account is empty. Don’t worry that you don’t have a car or a computer – you can write on scrap papers found in the recycling bins in college hallways. The important thing is to write and read and train.

When you write, your thoughts become alive and take form. They become real. You know why no one writes the Great American Novel? Because they’re too scared to put pen to paper.

When you read, your mind expands. Your dreams become bigger and your words become more colorful. When you train, your body becomes taut and hard. And when you train hard, your mind must overcome the physical pain to overcome and move on.

All these things go hand in hand. Never stop creating, moving forward, and kicking ass. Discard the negative and trust your heart.”

If that doesn’t get you motivated, nothing will.

Overall, the article is a great push to get back to what really matters and focus on the basics in training and life.


Simplify Your Deadlift

Adam Pine does a great job in this one from of giving very actionable cues for the deadlift. He also makes a point that I try to focus on often; if you want to get better at the lift, do the lift. Accessories are exactly that, an accessory, not the main movement.

He also makes a good point about getting your setup perfect for every rep. Every rep is an opportunity to get your technique dialed in.

Overall, this article is loaded with actionable tips to take your deadlift to the next level.


10 Important Notes on Assessments

In this quick read by Eric Cressey, you can glean some good info on assessments. If you do not assess the people you work with (or yourself for that matter), you are missing out on opportunities to get better. But you have to understand what is within your scope, and not be afraid to refer out to a therapist.

I also like the point about assessing what you need to assess. There may be no need (or practicality) in assessing every joint in the body. Focus on the needs of your clients.


5 Exercises to Increase Your Overhead Press

Kalle Beck points out some ways to improve overhead pressing in this article. I completely agree with the point about volume in strict pressing. I think doing sets of 8-12 can make your overhead press go up quickly; especially if you have been doing a lot of low-rep work to this point.

I am also a big fan of the close-grip bench for lockout strength. Any triceps work that allows you to handle that much weight can do a lot in stabilizing the lockout in overhead presses.


This is a good video (the first in a series from EliteFTS) full of practical advice from Josh Bryant, author of Built to the Hilt. I completely agree with the point on bulking. I think it is very difficult to add mass quickly and effectively if your bulk is 100% clean. I think if you meet somewhere in the middle, it can be very effective. Just trying to get that much clean food down is not always practical.


That’s it for this version of What’s Worth Reading. It’s always important to learn as much as possible, and I will continue to take the guesswork out of it for you.


If you want to learn more join us here:

3 Common Programming Mistakes Even Experienced Coaches Make


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Science vs. Practicality in Strength Training: Who Can You Trust?


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The Lessons of a Busy Year; How to Have a Stronger, Better 2015


I will start by saying that I am a big goal-setter. However, most resolutions fail because they rarely have a plan of action behind them. I still like this time of year, as it has a way of making most people reflect on their life, goals, and how they plan to move forward to have […]

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Standing on the Backs of Giants; Recycled Ideas and Concepts


How often do you hear about the “latest, innovative training methods”? I am sure it is pretty often. There are hype marketers all throughout the industry, pushing replayed and recycled ideas as their own “new” methods. At the end of the day, there are almost no new ideas. If people are claiming to have some […]

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What’s Worth Reading – Best Strength and Fitness Articles, Videos, etc. : Week 4

Strength Fitness What's Worth Reading

Welcome to Week 4 of What’s Worth Reading! Here is what I have written lately: Overcome Adversity and Be Great   Here are the articles I have checked out this week. By Mark Watts This is a solid overview of what the displaced Strength Coach has in store after his/her career as a Collegiate Coach […]

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Overcome Adversity and Be Great

Why are there so many moderately good lifters, but few great? Even though many of the moderate level lifters may be more genetically gifted.   There are many factors at work, of course. But, a major variable is how they handle and overcome adversity. Everyone who trains to be the best will run into hard […]

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What’s Worth Reading – Best Strength and Fitness Articles, Videos, etc. : Week 3

Strength and Fitness - Worth Reading

Welcome to the 3rd Week of What’s Worth Reading. Check out what I’ve been up to below. Here are some articles I have written or been included in this week:   Here are the strength and fitness articles I have been reading this week:   Listen, if you have never read […]

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What’s Worth Reading – Best Strength and Fitness Articles, Videos, etc. : Week 2

What's Worth Reading Best Fitness and Strength articles and videos

Here is the week 2 edition of What’s Worth Reading. I have added a new article this week. Find it here:   Also, there have been a lot of good articles and videos I have seen lately, check them out below.   Articles by Eric Cressey   This is a very interesting article giving […]

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