HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK SHOULD WE TRAIN EACH MUS­CLE GROUP?

Australian Natural Bodz - - Train Smart -

As far as Amer­i­can sports sci­en­tist Brad Schoen­feld can tell from the lit­er­a­ture, body­builders and fit­ness fa­nat­ics make more pro­gres­sion by train­ing their mus­cle groups twice a week than if they only train each mus­cle group once a week. Schoen­feld writes about this in a meta-study that will ap­pear soon in Sports Medicine.

Schoen­feld looked at ab­stracts of 491 stud­ies that had com­pared the ef­fect of dif­fer­ent train­ing fre­quen­cies. Of those 491, only 10 could be fur­ther an­a­lysed.

On the ba­sis of the ten stud­ies that the re­searchers con­sid­ered good enough, the re­searchers con­cluded that the train­ing schemes pro­duced more mus­cle growth the more of­ten per week that the sub­jects ex­er­cised their mus­cle groups.

As far as Amer­i­can sports sci­en­tist Brad Schoen­feld can tell from the lit­er­a­ture, body­builders and fit­ness fa­nat­ics make more pro­gres­sion by train­ing their mus­cle groups twice a week than if they only train each mus­cle group once a week. Schoen­feld writes about this in a meta-study that will ap­pear soon in Sports Medicine.

But how many times per week should you train a mus­cle group for op­ti­mal re­sults? Just twice a week? Or does three times a week give bet­ter re­sults? The re­searchers did not have enough data to be able to an­swer this ques­tion.

Conclusion The re­searchers drew three con­clu­sions from the meta-study. The first is an ob­vi­ous one. “When com­par­ing stud­ies that in­ves­ti­gated train­ing mus­cle groups be­tween 1 to 3 days per week on a vol­ume-equated ba­sis, the cur­rent body of ev­i­dence in­di­cates that fre­quen­cies of train­ing two times per week pro­mote su­pe­rior hy­per­trophic out­comes com­pared to one time”, they wrote. “It can there­fore be in­ferred that the ma­jor mus­cle groups should be trained at least twice a week to max­i­mize mus­cle growth.”

“Whether train­ing a mus­cle group three times per week is su­pe­rior to a twice-per-week pro­to­col re­mains to be de­ter­mined”, they then added. “Due to an ab­sence of data, it is not clear whether train­ing mus­cle groups more than 3 days per week might en­hance the hy­per­trophic re­sponse.” That’s conclusion num­ber two.

“That said, train­ing a mus­cle group once a week was shown to pro­mote ro­bust mus­cu­lar hy­per­tro­phy and re­mains a vi­able strat­egy for pro­gram de­sign”, they wrote. And that’s conclusion num­ber three.

Ed­i­tors Com­ments: So af­ter all that science is there re­ally a conclusion? Twice a week proved to be bet­ter than once per week! How­ever, three times is still an un­kown. Mmm, in­ter­est­ing but let’s get down to the nitty gritty and what re­ally mat­ters – IN­TEN­SITY!

Whether you train each body part once, twice or three times per week it es­sen­tially will not make any dif­fer­ence if your work­outs are lack-lus­ter and de­void of any real sense of work-ethic.

From my per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence and I have been work­ing out with weights for over 30 years. Work­ing out each body part twice per week (In­tensely) does pro­duce the best re­sults for mus­cle growth and this study does con­firm that.

Train­ing each body part once per week was the main­stay with many body­builders who felt they needed the ad­di­tional re­cov­ery time. Lets not un­der-es­ti­mate the bodys abil­ity to adapt and re­cover when sup­plied with the cor­rect nu­tri­ents.

In my mind and this is some­thing I feel very strongly about, once per week train­ing is purely for main­te­nance, not growth. So if you want to ex­pe­ri­ence qual­ity gains from your work­outs en­sure you hit each mus­cle group at least twice per week.

Ref­er­ence: Sport Med. 2016 Apr 21.

Nat­u­ral Bodz Ed­i­tor steve jones

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