Optimized training frequency for muscle hypertrophy

This is an excerpt from Science and Development of Muscle by Brad Schoenfeld.

Frequency


Practical Applications


Modulating training frequency is an effective strategy to manipulate volume loads. There appears to be a benefit to higher training frequencies, at least over short-term training protocols. Thus, total-body routines represent an attractive option for maximizing training frequency for each muscle group. However, split routines allow for a greater volume of work per muscle group per session, potentially enhancing muscular adaptations via the dose - response relationship between volume and hypertrophy. A case can be made for periodizing frequency over time, altering the number of times a muscle group is trained weekly in accordance with individual response. This can be accomplished by alternating total-body and split routines (e.g., progressing from a cycle of 3 weekly sessions to 4 weekly sessions the next cycle, and then culminating in a cycle of 6 weekly sessions). In this way, the lifter can maximize hypertrophy while reducing the potential for overtraining.



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