– High Frequency Training produces a greater increase in anabolic hormones and increases protein synthesis to help you build muscle.
– High Frequency Training increases the speed of motor learning, helping you learn new skills, lifts, and exercises faster.
– High Frequency Training can rapidly improve strength and accelerate muscle building in beginners and advanced trainees.
Pirates are mean.
We agree on that, right?
Now, imagine this—you’re jacked out of your mind and sailing off a beautiful coastline with tons of sexy woman, kind of like Bruce Wayne when he takes the entire Russian Ballet on his Yacht in The Dark Knight.
Soon, your boat is tracked down, sought out, and attacked by the unkempt pirates. Upon boarding, you’re immediately targeted as the alpha male and the ultimate threat to disrupting their piracy– shit.
You’re not a master ass-kicker like Bruce Wayne and are promptly at sword-point with an ultimatum– teach the scurvy-laden pirates how to get as jacked as possible in twelve weeks to attract beautiful women or they’ll kill you.
It’s a grim situation, but you have a short time to turn these pirates into jacked pieces of man-candy for the Russian Ballet.
Their training history isn’t too different from lots of other dudes—they’ve been training on bodybuilding style splits for years. They even dedicate an entire day to their arms.
Deep in your cell, you contemplate, “what is the best way to gain muscle fast?”
Do I train each muscle once per week, or would it be better to train each muscle every 1-3 days for a high-frequency training stimulus?”
Upon further analysis, it’s become clear that there are major limitations with typical, bodybuilder training splits given your short time frame. High-frequency training is the answer.
Problems with Body-Part Splits and Low-Frequency Training
Sure, high-level bodybuilders get away with tons of isolation and body part splits, but they have a huge base of training experience, strength, and volume that has accumulated for decades.
Furthermore, nearly every decision they make is based on improving their physique, a luxury most
pirates people don’t have. You must work within the confines of your lifestyle and time commitments to maximize the results of your training.
- Low-frequency training limits motor learning, as you’ll gain skill by practicing more often. Constant practice is a must to acquire any new skill—training your body is no different.
- Most guys that eat for mass don’t stimulate big muscles enough, nor train hard enough to support their insane caloric intake. As a result, get soft and pudgy, not big and jacked. High-frequency training accounts for dietary slip-ups by providing frequent spikes in protein synthesis due to more frequent muscular contractions.
High-frequency training routines are the premier choice to build size, skill, and strength.
High-Frequency Training Builds More Muscle
The more often you stimulate a physiological response to muscular contractions, the more you create an anabolic response and boost protein synthesis, allowing you build more muscle.
Here are the Key Reasons high-frequency training Is Better for Helping You Build More Muscle:
High-frequency training stimulates frequent increases in protein synthesis, testosterone, and human growth hormone
Each time you train and eclipse your bodies’ minimum essential strain (MES), you trigger an anabolic response in the body.
This means protein synthesis increases, helping you repair damaged muscle tissue. In addition, strength training creates an acute increase in testosterone and growth hormone (Craig, 1989 et al). Obviously, the more often you can stimulate an increase in anabolic hormone levels without overstressing the body, the better off you are for building muscle.
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 are a 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.
Okay, enough research. What does this actually mean?
Well, training frequently stimulates increases in anabolic hormones like human growth hormone and testosterone while increasing protein synthesis.
By frequently increasing protein synthesis and anabolic hormone levels you’ll create an environment ripe to get you jacked, saving you ass from those dirty pirates.
High Frequency Improves Strength Gains
Placing an emphasis on strength training will directly build muscle if done by beginners while advanced trainees will progressively build muscle as a byproduct of greater work capacity.
With that in mind, getting strong must be an emphasis if you’re looking to build muscle as it helps you lift more weight for more reps, increasing training volume for greater stress to your muscles.
Furthermore, 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 split into training groups that exercises one, two, or three times per week. Although there were not major differences between groups training 2-3x per week, strength was significantly increased compared to the one time per week training group (DeMichele, 1997).
Once again, a higher training frequency improved strength gains.
Then, in 2000 a study titled “Comparison of 1 Day and 3 Days Per Week of Equal-Volume Resistance Training in Experienced Subjects” took 25 experienced participants and randomly separated them 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 the exact same, yet group two (high-frequency training group) had greater increases in both lean body mass and improved one-rep max strength.
With total volume held constant, spreading the training to three doses per week produced superior results in both strength and muscular hypertrophy.
High Frequency Increases Motor Learning
Once again, remember your predicament: Angry pirates will kill you if you don’t help them build muscle in the fastest way possible.
If you have a novice pirate with poor technique on the squat, are you only going to do it once per week?
No, of course not.
For learning a new movement, lift, or athletic skill the more frequently you practice it, the quicker it’s learned. As it pertains to lifting, learning new movements increases competency in the gym, allowing you to make faster gains in strength while building your work capacity for hypertrophy.
For novice lifters who are stronger than their technique allows, high-frequency training gives them frequent practice to hone their skills and improve faster.
Important Considerations for High-Frequency Training
Of course, there are many things we must consider with training frequency and setting up a program.
Haphazardly exercising daily or multiple times per day is a first class ticket to overtraining, wrecking your body, staying puny, and getting your head cut off by pirates.
That in mind, the following considerations are essential to productive high-frequency training.
Defining High-Frequency Training
High-frequency training is a relative term, so for all intensive purposes, high-frequency training is more often than you currently train. In most cases, this comes out to 2-3 times per week for each muscle group with a variety of stimuli and rep ranges.
Keep intra-workout volume low to promote recovery
If you’re training major muscle groups frequently then destroying them early in the week hinders your ability to train later in the week.
Keep a moderate intra-workout volume to promote recovery and maximize growth. You’ll end up with a higher weekly volume without crippling soreness for better recovery and better muscle growth.
Use Mini-Circuits to Stimulate Muscle Building
I routinely recommend mini-bodyweight circuits to busy clients and those looking to improve body composition for the same reason—you always have 5-10 minutes to get better.
No excuses, you will find time if your goal is important.
In the case of high-frequency training, mini-workouts to stimulate muscles will induce bouts of protein synthesis and increases in anabolic hormones to get you jacked.
Use this brief circuit, all you need is a doorframe chin-up bar or a mini-band. Hit this workout 2-3x/ week on non-training days or 8-12 hours apart from a typical training session.
1a. Chin Up 3-4×5 or band pull-aparts 4×15
1b. Push-Up 3-4x-15-20
1c. Bodyweight Squats 3-4×15
Vary Neural Demands to Preserve the Nervous System
You can’t train hard, heavy, and explosive every single day. That means if you go all out with heavy, neurally demanding training it should be followed by lighter weight and less explosive work.
On example here is the extensive, intensive type training split to balance the nervous system and prevent overtraining.
In other words, one day is spent working with more explosive exercises and higher overall training loads and another day with submaximal weights and higher training volumes.
Build Muscle Fast with High-Frequency Training
A typical week of training would be outlined by optimizing recovery while still pushing volume and frequency to stimulate huge gains in lean muscle mass.
High-frequency training is the answer
Without a doubt, you’ll see faster and better results with high-frequency training. With recovery and nutrition the same as a body-part split, high-frequency training yields better results in less time, especially in drug-free natural lifters.
Strength and performance are highly neural in nature; being able to practice these movements frequently improves neuromuscular coordination faster.
Since you’re training more frequently, you’ll increase work capacity throughout your entire body, allowing you to train harder and longer in the future.
Plus, you’ll stimulate anabolic hormones and protein synthesis more often to build more muscle than training with less frequent, body part splits.
It’s time to drop the body-part split act and get serious about building muscle. High-frequency training is the answer.
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
MacDougall JD, Gibala MJ, Tarnopolsky MA, MacDonald JR, Interisano SA, Yarasheski KE. The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise. Can J Appl Physiol. 1995 Dec;20(4):480-6
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
Phillips SM, Tipton KD, Aarsland A, Wolf SE, Wolfe RR. Mixed muscle protein synthesis and breakdown after resistance exercise in humans. Am J Physiol. 1997 Jul;273(1 Pt 1):E99-107
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