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Thread: Frequency

  1. #1
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    Frequency

    I have seen a lot of routines that only hit each muscle group once a week. The routine is for 3 days a week, but each muscle group is only hit once during the week. that seems like it is not enough to build muscle. I have set up a routine that results in 2 full body workouts each week. Any thoughts on which is better and why?

  2. #2
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    Hey buddy

    I know gym instructors who absolutely batter one muscle group each day/session and others who work a balanced programme.

    I wouldn't say there is a right or wrong way, more a case of different things work for different people.

    I tried training one muscle group per week and didn't like it but that's not to say it doesn't work well for the next person.

    Trial and error my friend, monitor your results and change up if you are not getting a return on your investment of time.

    Full upper body workouts 3 times a week seem to work best for me.

  3. #3
    3x's a Senior Biggsamus's Avatar
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    I've found that working out in a 4 day cycle with 3 straight and one day of rest works for me.
    Day 1= Arms and chest
    Day 2 = Back and legs
    Day 3 = Shoulders and abs

    This allows each major muscle group to be well worked out and then rest before the next time it gets hit again.
    But as Jasonhannen said it really comes down to trial and error, you'll need to find the routine that works best for you.

  4. #4
    Moderator OptikaNET's Avatar
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    You need to remember that the growth happens during the rest stage not during the exercise stage. If you train the muscles hard too frequently they do not have chance to recover and they may actually get smaller as catabolism sets in. You also run a greater risk of serious injury. Sometimes less really is more!

    The ideal training frequency depends on your physiology, muscle fibre types and ratios, genetics, diet and lifestyle, so it's hard to give specific advice and there are always exceptions...

    In general routines fall broadly into two camps; whole body routines and splits. Whole body routines will work all the major muscle groups on any particular day and be repeated frequently but each day will only work each muscle group less hard than a split would.

    In splits you work one muscle group per day as hard as you can then give it a long rest to fully recover and grow before working it again. In splits working the same muscle group too often is a mistake that could cost you progress. Nor should you train similar groups too close together (don't train back and shoulders on adjacent days, for example; train them on the same day or leave 48 hours between them). Having said that, a 'week' is an arbitrary number based on the calendar and may not be the optimal time to leave...

    Personally I do a five way split (chest, back, arms, legs, shoulders) with two days rest (although I could do cardio or core on those days if I wanted to).

    You also need to realise that muscle groups may be recruited to support or balance the body even when its not the group you ate working that day. It's impossible to do a back workout without also hitting biceps, for example, many chest exercises also hit triceps. Whole body is engaged when doing squats etc.

    So even on a split you are, in effect, working each muscle group more than once.

    Finally, the anabolic factors and hormones released as a response to exercise circulate in the blood to all body parts so exercising the legs will still cause chest growth, for example.

    So find a routine that feels optimal to you, discuss it with staff/users at the gym, make sure you are not over-training (which can be very detrimental) and, so long as you are keeping to a regular schedule of exercise, I wouldn't worry to much about the frequency unless you are actually planning to be a competitive bodybuilder!

    Kind Regards
    Dave

  5. #5
    Experienced Member bigbeardiver's Avatar
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    I've been concerned about this as well. I wish I could remember the resource but it elluded to if you do Chest on Monday's by Thursday your chest would be ready for another round of break down and rebuild. I believe it is based on individual. I wasn't feeling my workout on muscles for up to three days. So work chest Monday, i would not be feeling it until Wednesday at the earliest. Now that I've made changes I'm feeling it the day after .... I equate the feeling to recovery which may be inaccurate. But now that I'm feeling it sooner and feeling recovered sooner I think I could hit each muscle group more than once a week. I have a personal trainer 1 day a week who makes sure I get a full body workout, that in addition to my routine hits everything twice now.

  6. #6
    I Am JEFIT Legend Deviation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwatt01 View Post
    I have seen a lot of routines that only hit each muscle group once a week. The routine is for 3 days a week, but each muscle group is only hit once during the week. that seems like it is not enough to build muscle. I have set up a routine that results in 2 full body workouts each week. Any thoughts on which is better and why?
    Not sure what you mean by the last portion, but the smart(er) method is to make compound lifts primary. You'll hit multiple muscle groups each day. Couple them with some assistance work that hits your weak spots and you'll be golden. Then again if you have hours to spend in the gym, just cram as many random exercises in as you can and hope for the best.
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  7. #7
    Moderator OptikaNET's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I think what Deviation meant to say (but didn't because he's a wombat) is that when you "cram as many random exercises in as you can" in your "hours to spend in the gym", make sure you don't overtrain. Current advice seems to be that you should keep your training to 45 minutes or so. Two things to consider; one, the longer you train, the more likely you are to trigger catabolism which will start breaking down the muscle you have worked so hard to build. Two, if you can still lift the weights after your 45 minutes then you probably weren't training as hard as you could have been in those 45 minutes!!!

    Kind Regards
    Dave

  8. #8
    Experienced Member 1dewayne's Avatar
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    45 minutes to a hour is about the max of any of my workouts depending on body part with 48 to 72 hours between same body part .. If you try the two a day ( at least 4 hours between workouts ) try 72 hours If You still have sometime in the tank I would
    Suggest your intesinity needs to be uped .After a hour most of the building go to endurance not size . ( Just what has worked for me.) Each persons body responds differently , keep a close eye on your progress or degrees .

  9. #9
    I Am JEFIT Legend Deviation's Avatar
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    I was speaking less about over-training and more about training with a purpose. So many people just cobble a bunch of exercises together and spend 2+ hours in the gym. Then they wonder why things aren't progressing past a certain point.

    I don't know what your routine looks like wwatt10. You need to share it out for anyone to suggest anything.
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  10. #10
    It very much depends on how intensely you hit the weights, how much volume you use and how advanced you are.

    When I started out I trained my whole body 3 times per week, then as I moved on 2 times per week. I now train body parts once every 8 days but train at very high intensity and I still get stronger, in fact when I have reduced to 6 or 7 day rotations in the past I have found that I overtrained so went back to 8 days.

    If you are not consistently improving then there is something not right, how a routine is structured and your application to said routine is absolutely critical, that goes for rest days too.

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