If there’s something all fitness freaks want, apart from staying fit, it is this: they all want to make the most of their gym sessions. But whatever your goals are, you need to have a plan to get there.
A lot of science goes into designing these plans. Fitness regimes are constantly evolving because of the plethora of new information that surfaces every now and then.
Earlier, bodybuilders usually exercised a traditional training split, which meant they undertook low-frequency high volume training. The plan involved training different muscle groups once every week with multiple reps and sets each session.
Now, however, a high-frequency training program is said to be the ideal regime for them. So, what is high-frequency training, and what should you know about it? Let’s get to it!
What Is High Frequency Training?
High-frequency training involves working your muscles out pretty often, training them about four to six times a week.
A typical high-frequency training regime will most likely consist of five full-body workouts each week. Each workout might use different lifts to challenge your muscles in distinct ways.
There are several different ways of planning high-frequency training for different goals. The first workout might have leg extensions, the second may have squats, and the third might consist of leg presses.
For instance, powerlifters usually stick to a regime where they squat daily to enhance their squats or bench every day to improve their bench press performance. Hence, the workout can be tailored for different goals, targeting only specific muscles and using specific lifts.
How to Create a High-Frequency Workout Plan?
You can’t just switch to a high-frequency workout without proper planning. Here are a few pointers you should keep in mind while structuring a high-frequency training program.
1. Simple & Progressive
Try to keep your regimen simple and progressive. Instead of doing unnecessary sets of isolated exercises, you should stick to the basics. Squats, bench presses, pull-ups, rows, Romanian deadlifts, shoulder presses, and calf raises are good activities to include.
You need to keep a proper check on your central nervous system stress while working out. Regulate the big and difficult lifts in a way that minimizes such stress.
If you perform deadlifts, squats, bench presses, and barbell rows every day with low repetitions and big weights, you won’t be able to keep up with the program. You should rotate the heavy exercises so that you can progress without harming your joints and burning out.
3. Rest & Recovery
Rest and recovery are of utmost importance with high-frequency training. You need to ensure that you take a proper diet and sleep well for consistent progress and results.
4. Total Volume
You need to set a total weekly volume for your exercises.
For instance, you decide to perform 15 sets of a particular exercise in a week. Split it in such a way that you do either five sets for three days a week or seven or eight sets twice a week.
5. Taking Time Off
Taking time off is extremely crucial; you should not work out at your maximum capacity for months at end.
Establish a routine that allows you to work out full-bore for four to six weeks before moving to low intensity and active rest workouts or taking some time off.
Your nutrition directly impacts the quality of your high frequency training. Hence, it is vital to maintain a nutritionally supportive eating plan. You should also include food items that help to build muscle during your high frequency training program.
Therefore, consume more lean proteins and fiber. Also, do not forget to include an abundance of healthy carbohydrates in your diet.
Consistency is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, it is easier to maintain a regular schedule with high frequency training than with traditional training.
Why Practice High Frequency Training?
Now, we know how to practice high-frequency training. However, why is it suggested for building muscle? Let’s explore the reasons.
Frequent training ensures testosterone, HGH, and protein synthesis spikes, which you need for your overall health, as well as for building muscle.
Whenever your body reaches the minimum essential strain while working out, it results in an anabolic response. It indicated higher protein synthesis that can be extremely advantageous to your body.
Higher protein synthesis leads to quicker repair of damaged muscle tissue. Moreover, muscle training can aid your body in producing more testosterone and growth hormone. It causes changes at a cellular level and promotes muscle growth.
No matter which part of the muscle-building phase you are in, you need strength training. It directly indicated muscle mass potential.
The more strength training you do, the higher is your work capacity. So, if you aim to build muscle in a short period, you need to focus on gaining strength.
Gaining strength is not that complicated; you can simply lift more weight and do more reps to reach your goals. Higher training volume also results in higher stress, the good kind of stress.
As a result, people who practice high-frequency training can improve their strength and get more lean muscles compared to people who only exercise once a week, irrespective of the volume.
Better Motor Learning
Let us understand how high-frequency training can improve motor learning with the help of an example.
Performing one squat workout every week will not help the motor learning of your body. It will make it hard to perfect your technique, let alone gain muscle.
Your priority should be about learning the proper forms. The best gains happen when you practice an exercise with the correct form and posture.
Like with other things in life, you will also achieve expertise over something when you regularly practice it. You might be extremely clumsy in the beginning, but it will surely get better with time.
Remember, while practice makes you perfect, practicing with high-frequency training helps you get perfect faster.
Disadvantages of High Frequency Training
While high frequency has multiple advantages, some drawbacks come with this training routine. In this section, we look at the disadvantages of high frequency training that can help you make a balanced decision.
Lower Period of Rest
Unlike traditional programs, with high frequency training, you do not have enough time between rotations. This lower period of rest means your muscles have less time to rest and recover. If your body is not up for that, the strain can affect your CNS (Central Nervous System) in the long run.
No Volume Increases
Workout volume does not have room to increase during the high frequency training. It is so because you have to stick to the plan when you are on the high frequency training. Plus, any change in the volume can impact other muscles on rotation and limit the later gains.
Although these two are the most common drawbacks of high frequency training, there are other disadvantages too. It includes the potential for plateau with gains as you become more accustomed to the regime.
Plus, injury rates are higher with high frequency training since it requires more frequent workouts at a higher intensity.
How Long Does It Take to Build Muscle after Working Out?
While high-frequency training boosts muscle-protein synthesis in beginners, it is not the same as time passes. When lifters gain more experience, they get back to the baseline much quicker.
Hence, many lifters believe that they need to train more often to build muscles steadily. However, there’s a catch here.
The goal of high-frequency training is not to boost muscle-protein synthesis but build actual muscle. Working out stimulates at least a few days of growth in all kinds of lifters.
If you work out rigorously, you can stimulate a minimum of 3 days of muscle growth in your muscles. Therefore, you can build muscle steadily throughout the week by practicing training about two to three times a week.
Can I Build Muscle Faster with High Frequency Training?
It is possible to build muscles substantially faster with high frequency training. However, there are two things you can do to make the process more time-efficient.
They use a higher training volume and training more often or doing more work within each workout. By following this, you can build muscle faster when you train your muscle regularly.
So, a three-day full-body routine or four-day split can help you build muscle faster. It is one of the major reasons why high frequency training has become more popular these days.
Moreover, a meta-analysis found that training our muscles 2 to 3 times a week is helpful. With just training once, you can nearly double the rate of muscle growth. (Source)
Wrap It All Up
Many fitness enthusiasts enjoy high-frequency training, yet some of them find it difficult. Nonetheless, it is okay to do free weight training and start small.
Most importantly, remember to ensure that you are following a well-planned program. Also, stick to your high-frequency training schedule regularly for the best results.
Furthermore, during this program, allow yourself to train harder, which can help your overall work capacity. Plus, your body will stimulate protein synthesis and anabolic hormones, which help you build stronger muscles.
Besides, you have to watch out for joint pain, which is quite common with this type of training.