Tag archive

high frequency training for strength

High Frequency Training for Bigger Arms in Six Weeks

Lifting Tempo, Fat Gripz Review

Key Points:

  • Total body High Frequency Training gets you the fastest results in the shortest time. 


  • After years of training results become harder to come by– to see rapid results you need a focused approach.


  • All the volume in the world doesn’t mean jack-shit if you don’t apply tension to the muscles—pursue strength and total body movement.


  • Decrease training on non-focus muscles to maximize recovery of your arms.
  • Don’t specialize too long unless you’re interested in being weak, puny, and un-athletic.

I overheard a conversation the other day that went along the lines of “I don’t care if I build big arms, I just want to be “functional.”



What the hell does that even mean?

Functional of a training program is determined by your goals.

If being jacked is the goal then a massive set of pythons is as functional as it gets.

high frequency training

Say goodbye to your toothpick arms, it’s time to build thick guns that are both show and go.

There are tons of “specialization” programs around, but most share a common flaw–they abandon high-performance training.

Even worse, most trainees specialize before they’re strong enough to benefit; neglect major exercises like squats and deadlifts for 12lb cheat curls, setting themselves up for perpetual disappointment and no more muscle to show for their efforts.

As a result, overzealous lifters with poorly constructed programs never actually get stronger and thus, never get bigger. By neglecting performance they leave huge gaps in training, ignore strength, and never build a foundation to build muscle.
Then, these same dudes focus on specialized programs too long, leaving them weak, puny, and un-athletic.

You’re better than that. 

If you put in the work, you’ll have your cake and eat it too–a body that performs and looks like an athletic bad-ass.

high frequency training

Once the foundation is built short-window specialization adds the finishing touches to build big arms. That’s accomplished with this plan–a total body routine with focused isolation work to pound your arms into growth.

Why Specialization?

Let me know if this sounds familiar: After years of training, rapid gains become difficult to come by.

You’re pissed, impatient, and want results yesterday.

You keep getting stronger, but the journey only yields a few measly of muscle… if you’re lucky.

Over time, this builds a great physique, but when you’re short on patience you need a different approach.

This is where specialization comes in; instead of throwing a set of hammer curls at the end of your routine use a short, intensive approach to shock the body into growth.

This method has been popularized by Christian Thibaudeau and my man John Romaniello and tested by thousands: Periods of six to eight weeks of focused destruction bring up lagging body parts faster than the “slow and steady” approach.

How Specialization Works

You’re “strong like bull” from your squats, pull-ups, presses, and deadlifts. Hell, you’ll even develop some hops, speed, and athleticism outside of the gym.

This is great, but solely training for sport and strength leaves gaps in your “show” muscles.

You want to look good and play good; it’s time you get both with focused assistance work to stimulate hypertrophy.

  • Training volume decreases in non-specialized muscles.
  • Continue to train strength and movement to prevent drops in strength and athleticism.
  • Increase in training volume to target muscles for focused growth for set period of time (6-8 weeks).
  • Decrease in training volume after the specialization to allow of super compensation and full recovery.

The body only has a select reserve of recovery resources—you can’t specialize in your arms and train for a marathon, it won’t work.

By targeting exercises that and increasing volume on exercises that emphasize the arms while reducing volume in other exercises you’ll target recovery resources to the area most in need—your arms.

Training Splits

All the volume in the world doesn’t mean jack-shit if you don’t surpass the bodies minimal essential strain (MES), induce an anabolic response and apply tension to force your muscles to grow. 

Nothing accomplishes these tasks better than total body movements.

I’m talkin’ squats, hinges, sprints, presses, pulls, lunges, and carries. These exercises make up the brunt of well-designed weight training programs, specialized or not.

Design Your Workout with the Following Components

Movement Training

Everyone’s an athlete, and athletes move. Spend some time doing low volume sprints, hill sprints, stairs, and/or change of direction work after your dynamic warm-up or with 10 minutes of conditioning twice per week.

A little bit goes a long way to not looking like a goon outside the gym.

Explosive Exercises

Explosive exercises like jumps, throws, and push-ups jump-start workouts to increase neural activation, improve explosiveness, and maximize muscle fiber recruitment for later exercises.

Compound Exercises

Compound exercises provide the backbone for your strength foundation. To emphasize greater growth in the arms my favorite lifts are as follows:

high frequency training
photocredit: http://shredforless.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/front-squat1.jpg
  • Squats: Front squats, back squats, box squats, and Goblet squats
  • Press: Floor press, pin press, push press, close grip bench press, single arm press, dumbbell bench press variations
  • Pull: Supinated bent-over row, dumbbell rows, inverted rows, neutral grip pull-ups, chin-ups, rope climbs
  • Lunge: lunges, split squats, Bulgarian split squats
  • Carry: waiter walks, farmer carries, single arm carries, overhead carries

Isolation Exercises

Face it; you have a closet bodybuilder inside of you. Feed the beast with a diet of biceps and triceps isolation. At least two exercises per workout are necessary. Emphasize, “feeling” the muscle do the work to create muscular and metabolic damage to stimulate muscle growth.


Unilateral Exercises

Unilateral exercises prevent imbalances from stalling your training, injuries from manifesting, and achieve greater activation of motor units. Greater muscular recruitment and balance will yield better gains.


Volume, Frequency, Intensity, and Progression

To get stronger, more athletic, and jacked you need to train more often. Training frequency, whether you’re an athlete training or adding mass, is one of the most important factors to getting the fastest results possible. 

Related: High Frequency Training: Your Strength Building Solution

Ideally, you’ll train arms every training session. To optimize your training for muscle growth total volume and frequency are kept high while volume during each session is kept in check. Too much volume in one workout will overshoot your recovery and trash your next workouts, don’t be too aggressive.

Varying Intensity

While you’ll be adding slabs of meat onto your humeri there’s also a major emphasis on total body strength development.

To minimize gaps in strength and hypertrophy you’ll perform sets of 1-15 reps at varying intensities. Strength movements are trained early in each workout to emphasize continual strength gains.


Progression is simple—progressive overload on your strength exercises each week of the program.

3-5 sets of 3-5 reps is plenty.

Don’t go wild on every set of the day or you’ll overshoot your recovery capabilities.

Remember, the increase in training frequency for your muscles will be plenty to stimulate growth.

Training Schedule

best training days on this program are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Or Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

This allows time for full recovery of muscles between workouts since you won’t be going berserk on lower body training.
Overall, this schedule maximizes recovery to boost muscle growth.

Get the High Frequency Training Workout

Consistently get stronger in all your lifts for the next 4-8 weeks to stretch your shirtsleeves.

Once you finish the program drop all isolation work on the arms.

All. Of. It.

Even the curls.

The goal is recovery and allowing the hard work of the last few weeks manifest into additional hypertrophy, neglecting this WILL trash your results.

If you choose eight weeks wait at least a month before starting a specialization program on the arms again. Then, re-engage a full assault on the arms for additional hypertrophy.

Final Thoughts

Once the foundation is built short-window specialization adds the finishing touches. This isn’t time to abandon a total body training style to focus on one measly body part—you can still make massive gains with some focused specialization. Train with specialization for six to eight weeks at a shot, then back things off for rapid arm growth—this is the most effective way to build big arms.

Get Your Massive Arms Program Today

High Frequency Training: Your Strength Building Solution

Expert Tips to Build Muscle, build muscle

High Frequency Training is a hotly debated topic.

Some “experts” say you should demolish every muscle once per week, blitzing the body part split. Others say focus on an upper-lower or total body split because training major movement patterns more frequently will stimulate faster gains in strength and size.

I’m with High Frequency Training. Here’s Why. 

Training Frequency the number of sessions performed per unit of time, is the most important training variable for building size, strength, and skill mastery for beginners.

For those looking to gain muscle and strength frequent training is the premier and logical choice for the fastest gains. Unfortunately, most people still follow bodybuilding body-part split routines popularized in every fitness magazine over the last three decades. These routines aren’t ideal for anyone except high-level bodybuilders.

Get Your 12 Week HFT Mass Program Today

Consider the Following:

If you’re learning a new language is it best to study for five hours one day per week, or 45 minutes seven days per week?

Would you be stronger performing squats in 52 workouts per year or 104?

I would go with 45 minutes per day, seven days per week and 104 workouts without a doubt.

But Why?

Consistent exposure to stimuli is vital for learning new things and movement patterns.

The Research on High Frequency Training

In 2000 the study Comparison of 1 Day and 3 Days Per Week of Equal-Volume Resistance Training in Experienced Subjects 25 experienced participants were randomly separated into training groups. Group one performed one day per week of strength training with three sets to failure, with rep ranges moving from three to ten reps per set.

Group two performed workouts three days per week with one set to failure per day, while working in the same rep ranges. Volume was kept the exact same, yet group two had greater increases in both lean body mass and improved one-rep max strength. With total volume held constant, spreading the training frequency to three doses per week produced superior results in both strength and muscular hypertrophy.

high frequency training

In a 1997 study titled Isometric torso rotation strength: effect of training frequency on its development 33 men and 25 women were tested for rotational strength before and after 12 weeks of training. Groups were split into training groups that exercises one, two, or three times per week.

Although there were not major differences between groups training two or three times per week, strength was significantly increased compared to the one time per week training group. Once again, a higher frequency than one time per week was shown to improve strength gains.

In a 2010 study titled Anabolic processes in human skeletal muscle: restoring the identities of growth Hormone and Testosterone it was found that repeated phases of net protein balance, which can be generated in response to repeated bouts of resistance exercise and protein ingestion, underpins muscle hypertrophy.

This shows that frequent exposure to training increases protein synthesis at the cellular level, leading to greater amounts of muscle growth.

High Frequency Training for Hypertrophy and Strength

Full body workouts are the premier and logical choice for beginners. The more muscle you stimulate frequently the more muscle and strength you’ll build, with three or four workouts per week being plenty.

high frequency training

To set up your own full-body workout start with a dynamic warm-up to activate muscles, lubricate joints, and prepare the body for activity.

Before hitting the weights start with some box jumps or medicine ball slams to fire up the central nervous system to lift more weight. Two or three sets of three to five reps should be plenty.

Pick an upper body push, an upper body pull and a compound lower body exercise.

This includes squats, lunges, deadlifts, bench presses, push-ups, chin-ups, rows, cleans, overhead presses, and glute bridges.

Stick with four or five sets of two to eight reps with one or two minutes of rest between sets. Multi-joint exercises should be practiced with a high training frequency and technically mastered for both safety and results.

Plan ten minutes (yes, only ten) at the end of your workout of free time to do things you want to do, whether it’s abs, biceps curls, or somersaults across the floor.

Have fun and enjoy yourself. I highly recommend a qualified coach to get you off on the right foot.

Upper/ Lower Splits

If you’ve been training for a solid year while making significant strength gains you can get more creative.

I recommend intermediates move to an upper-lower split, with halves of the body being hit at least 48 hours apart. Pick two presses and two or three pulling exercises performed in alternative sets on upper body days. Always train strength first and add weight to the bar, but feel free to add in some higher rep work to build those “pretty bumps.

According to The Mechanisms of Hypertrophy and Their Application to Resistance Training.” Chasing the pump is alright, as the accumulation of metabolites from exercise requires the use of anaerobic glycolysis resulting in the buildup of lactate, hydrogen ions, and other metabolites.

high frequency training

This metabolic stress leads to greater muscle fiber damage, furthering the need for tissue repair and nutrient shuttling to the source of damage.

Lower body workouts should be at least 48 hours apart as well, with 72 being ideal for maximum recovery.

Just like the upper body workouts train strength first and add weight to the bar, but feel free to add in some higher rep work to stimulate the metabolic environment to promote further muscle growth.

Here’s a sample lower body day: 1×10/each

  • Walking knee hug
  • Cradle walk
  • Straight leg march
  • Dynamic quad stretch
  • Forward lunge
  • Reverse lunge w/reach
  • Spiderman’s
  • Sub-Scap Push-Ups
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Box Jump 3×3

Weight Room:

1.Front Squat 5×5

2a.Romanian Deadlift 4×8

2b. Side plank 4×30 seconds

3a. Bulgarian Split Squat 3×12-15

3b. Hanging leg raises 3×10-15

4. Free time/ intervals/ Pretty bumps

*Note: If you’re a competitive athlete this isn’t a program for you. You’ll need more specialization and movement included early in the session. Many athletes succeed with total body programs because they place a premium on recovery. 

 Routines that train movements or muscles only one time per week are not optimal for high-performance strength development, especially for beginners. I recommend training each movement pattern at least twice per week for the best gains in strength, muscle, and performance.

High Frequency Training for Athletes and Skill Mastery

 “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” –Vince Lombardi

For learning a new movement or athletic skill the more frequently you practice the quicker it’s learned, eventually leading to unconscious competence—being able to perform a skill correctly without conscious thought.

Training skills to the point muscle memory is imperative for athlete success and transfer from the weight room. Practicing solid body position and movements like triple-extension to perfection will reinforce movement in the field of play.

athletes, sports performance, high frequency training


These same principles apply to anyone learning a new skill or movement. The more frequently you practice perfect technique the faster the learning process and subsequent gains.

Movement skill development must be grooved correctly until it becomes automatic and follows the following continuum: (Landow, 2013)
Unconscious Incompetence: Athlete looks clueless, unable to comprehend what is needed.

Conscious Incompetence: Athlete understands what’s needed, unable to produce it.

Conscious Incompetence:  Athlete can reproduce with much needed concentration, but not in series.

Unconscious Competence: Automatic near perfection execution without thought.

Training for athletic gains is a process that can’t be served due justice in this post, but matching movement patterns to movements required in sport is a key step. (No, this doesn’t mean throwing 12lb baseballs.) For more in-depth sports performance specialization read this & this.

It’s a Wrap ( In Dr. Dre Voice)

The process of perfecting a skill, whether it’s shooting free throws or lifting technique, takes much practice. Total body and upper-lower training splits provide higher frequency training to maximize strength and muscle-building gains with compound lifts.  

Put the leg extensions and seven variations of biceps curls on the back-burner and get back to what’s essential: high-frequency training with big movements, your strength building solution. 

Get Your 12 Week HFT Mass Program Today


McLester, J., Bishop, E., & Guilliams, M. (2000). Comparison of 1 day and 3 days per week of equal-volume resistance training in experienced subjects. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 14(3). Retrieved from http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2000/08000/Comparison_of_1_Day_and_3_Days_Per_Week_of.6.aspx

DeMichele, P. L., Pollock, M. L., Graves, J. E., Foster, D. N., Carpenter, D., Garzarella, L., Brechue, W., & Fulton, M. (1997). Isometric torso rotation strength: effect of training frequency on its development. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 78(1), 64-69. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9014960

Landow, L. (2013, August). In Loren Landow (Chair). Train to win. Steadman Hawkins Sports Performance Train to win performance mentorship, Denver, Colorado.

Phillips, S., & West, D. (2010). Anabolic processes in human skeletal muscle: restoring the identities of growth hormone and testosterone. Physican and Sportsmedicine, 38(3), 97-104. doi: 10.3810/psm.2010.10.1814

Schoenfeld, Brad. “The Mechanisms of Hypertrophy and Their Application to Resistance Training.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 24.10 (2010): 2857. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.

photo credit: planetc1 via photopin cc

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

Go to Top