Any Disadvantage In Spreading A Workout Over The Day?

Coach,

Is there any particular disadvantage in spreading a regular 30-60 min workout over the entire day, a set here and there?

I happened to notice some HIT guys doing this previously. I also had to apply a similar solution way back when I worked as a paramedic. It was more like a mental training of sorts, not sure if it was any beneficial at all from an anabolic perspective.

What is your opinion on this strategy?

The answer is, as always, “it depends”.

I’m normally a fan of segmenting a workout, but it applies mostly to “normal/traditional” protocols with a lot more volume than a HIT workout. The main benefit of segmenting a workout is that you reduce the negative impact of central and peripheral fatigue, allowing you a greater average quality on your sets.

This is widely done in weightlifting circles. But it is mostly (for them) a tool to accumulate more volume in their day.

With HIT-type training I don’t see any significant benefit since the workouts are already super low in volume (and fairly low in frequency) so that fatigue isn’t really a limiting factor.

One could argue that HIT trainees have a poor work capacity because of the low volume they typically do, which might make them fatigued more rapidly during a workout. So maybe it might be good for them, but I still don’t see it.

I also believe that you need a certain stimulus threshold during a training bout to trigger the growth pathways (mostly mTOR and PI3/Akt pathways), so splitting an already low volume per muscle into several bouts might prevent you from achieving the required level of physical stress during a bout to trigger growth, making the whole day pretty worthless.

One way I can see this as being acceptable is if someone uses a traditional HIT workout which typically use only one set per exercise BUT on a high number of exercises (8-12 in a session). In that case, it could work, but don’t split the volume for a specific muscle into several bouts… A better approach would be something like Lower body exercises AM and upper body exercises PM… or legs AM, Push early PM, Pull late PM.

But keep in mind that I’m not a HIT guy, so these are mostly theoretical ideas.

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I had the same type of question. Say there is a gym by my house that has a chest press machine I like, I stop there at 8am and do hard sets on it for 20-30 minutes. Then go to work. At noon, I go to another gym and finish my chest/tricep workout. Any disadvantage to that? Sometimes I’ll even do something else in the evening. The only downside I know of is that fatigue has set in over the down hours and I am not starting the routines fresh.

You’d have to get at least 4-5 good sets in the morning to make it worth it, otherwise you risk the workout not having a sufficient stimulus.

And you’d probably be better off doing more hypertrophy work for the rest of the chest workout (triceps can be whatever)

Got it, I think.

This morning…
HS iso wide chest 90 x 15, 180 x 13, 270 x 10, 360 x 2, 320 x 5, 5, 4, 5, 4, 270 x 4.

At lunch, it will be less weight and burnouts.

That looks fine, although I’m personally not a fan of “burnouts”

If you’re doing the same movements or muscle groups, it sure seems like you’re wasting time warming up twice. It makes more sense to do the upper body pressing in one session and the legs in another.