Firstly, for those who aren't in the know muscle hypertrophy is an increase in muscle mass due to an increase in the size of your individual muscle fibers.
Edit: Check out Layne Norton PHAT system.
I have been in the fitness industry for many years and for those who want to gain muscle, increase size and bulk up, usually follow a basic, low frequency split routine; training each muscle group once per week. I also did this for many years and achieved good results. However, last year I decided it was time to change things and my biggest change would be training frequency. Changing up your training frequency for hypertrophy is a very effective and this article will show you how.
My Training Frequency For Muscle Hypertrophy
Over a period of 2 months, I tried to train each muscle group twice per week. I achieved ok results in terms of size, however, I often felt tired during the day and weak in the gym. I was over training and not giving my body enough time to recover and repair. I decided to sit down and write up a split routine which would train each muscle at an average of 1.5 times per week. This would give me more frequency but also enough time to recover and avoid the side effects of over training.
The only way to do this, would be to split my routine in to a 2 weeks rota:
- Monday: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
- Tuesday: Back & Biceps
- Wednesday: off
- Thursday: Legs & Abs
- Friday: off
- Saturday: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
- Sunday: Back & Biceps
- Monday: off
- Tuesday: Legs & Abs
- Wednesday: off
- Thursday: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
- Friday: Back & Biceps
- Saturday: off
- Sunday: Legs & Abs
If you train each muscle group once per week, the problem is losing the progress you made during the full week when you're waiting to train that muscle group again.
If you train twice per week, the problem is not giving your body enough time to repair that muscle group before you hit it again and it will massively impact your ability to recover. However, with a frequency of 1.5 times per week as above, you get the best of both worlds.
I have been following this routine for almost a year and have achieved great results, better than I would have ever achieved training each muscle group once or twice per week because of its drawbacks.
If you're a beginner to weight training, I would suggest that you stick with training each muscle group once per week or look at full body routines to allow time for your body to adapt to weight training, learn good technique, focus on improving your diet etc. If you have been training for at least 12 months or more, give this a go and I guarantee you will not be disappointed with the results providing your diet is also up to scratch. If you need advice on this, have a read of my 'setting up a nutrition plan article' and take a look at the Transformation Stack.
Hope you enjoy the article and let us know how you get on if you decide to try it!
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