A number of resistance training program variables can be manipulated to maximize our potential for building muscle!
For example, increasing the number of sets, reps, weight lifted, or intensity etc
One variable of primary interest when it comes to building muscle is training frequency.
𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫
1.) the number of resistance training sessions performed in a given period of time
2.) the number of times a specific muscle group is trained over a given period of time.
Today’s post provides you some of the most up to date information we have on this topic.
I refer specifically to a systematic review and meta-analysis by Schoenfeld et al. 2016, whose study aim was to determine the effects of training frequency and hypertrophy outcomes.
𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐨𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐥 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲 & 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐭𝐡?
A recent systematic review & meta analysis by Grgic et al. 2018 found some slightly different results
𝐓𝐨 𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬
When comparing studies that investigated training muscle groups between 1 to 3 days per week on a volume-equated basis, the evidence indicates that frequencies of training twice a week promote superior muscle building outcomes compared to a resistance training frequencies of only once a week.
They also infer that major muscle groups should be trained at least twice a week to maximize muscle growth, but it remains to be determined if training a muscle group three times per week is superior to twice per week.
The paper by Grgic et al. 2018 concluded by saying ‘it still remains unclear whether resistance training frequency on its own has any significant effects on muscular strength’.
They found that these effects seem to be primarily driven by 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐦𝐞, as when training volume was equated, there was no significant effect of resistance training frequency on muscular strength.