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  1. #1
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    How frequency affects strength article

    https://www.strongerbyscience.com/training-frequency/

    Nerds: Read the whole thing
    Experienced: Read from 'discussion' down
    Newbs: Read the 'practical recommendations'
    Miscers: Bench moar!
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  2. #2
    Registered User zGwild's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    Do you have any thoughts on minimal effective dose not being reached per day due to it being spread to thin across to many days? For example 5x5 in one session vs. 1x5 for five sessions during the week.
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    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zGwild View Post
    Interesting.

    Do you have any thoughts on minimal effective dose not being reached per day due to it being spread to thin across to many days? For example 5x5 in one session vs. 1x5 for five sessions during the week.
    Well normally that term is applied to total volume over time - but I know what you mean. I haven't seen any data directly but I did see a study which hinted at over-dilution (can't recall which one). Menno Henselmans claims to have references showing that the minimum required dose to elevate protein synthesis is pretty small - throwing a number at it, 1 hard set may even be enough, perhaps 2 to make sure. Again I don't have links to where I saw that.

    I think in reality you would take a more typical workload such as 9-15 total sets and spread it through the week so you'd never have less than 2 or 3 per session.
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  4. #4
    "Thats what!" -She MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Nerddddd checking in..
    Read it.. completed it..

    Seems to line up with my experiences and what ive seen in people i know. Some of it went in ibe ear, out the other on first pass..

    But N=1 and i love greg the teddybear.
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  5. #5
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    As always from Stronger by science, rigourously conducted and well written article.

    But sorry to be the grumpy one... I'm quite cynical about how much we can conclude from data primarily based on 8 week studies on untrained (or not very trained) individuals beyond learning good ways of performing 8 week training plans for untrained individuals.

    How well can these studies (or meta-analyses of studies) extrapolate to more adapted individuals? or for periods much longer than 8 weeks? I genuinely don't know...
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  6. #6
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    Interesting... The concept of using meta-analyses to draw significant conclusions from collections of studies with insignificant results is a little problematic, but it seems somewhat convincing in this case. I'm not sure I buy his explanation of why direct comparisons are better than comparing averages though - that smells a little like cooking numbers to me.

    There was only one study directly comparing 3 day and 4 day frequencies, and the 3 day frequency was alternating, while the 4 day frequency was consecutive, so I'm not convinced based on that single study (from 1980, btw) that 4 is any better than a frequency of 3, when the comparison of averages points to 3 as being the best. The article comparing a frequency of 3 days with a frequency of 6 days showed no benefit in the additional frequency there either. So there is definitely not the evidence to suggest that there is a "linear" relationship between frequency and gains, like the author alludes to.

    My takeaway from the more reliable trend analysis sections is that a 3x a week frequency is probably optimal for most people, which, interestingly, is still more than almost all of the more common programs recommend.
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    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    https://www.strongerbyscience.com/training-frequency/

    Nerds: Read the whole thing
    Experienced: Read from 'discussion' down
    Newbs: Read the 'practical recommendations'
    Miscers: Bench moar!
    That's some excellent cliff/reading advice right there!!

    Validates my 4 day full body preference completely, happy me
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  8. #8
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    I just read this in the morning. The problem I have with three times a week frequency is you're talking either full body or a 6 day upper/lower. On FB after I do bench or squats i'm junk so doing them in the same day is an issue. If I can't put 100% into those lifts I don't think the higher frequency is going to be worth it. So my FB would have to be watered down to something like A-Squat,dip, pendlay row, pull up, face pull, B-bench, leg press, RDL, pull up, bi/calf, or heavy/med/light days. Then the issue with that setup is volume per session is going to be low. The other option (6 day u/l) is going to burn most people out real quick.
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Validates my 4 day full body preference completely, happy me
    +1, woop woop!

    Originally Posted by TAWS6 View Post
    I just read this in the morning. The problem I have with three times a week frequency is you're talking either full body or a 6 day upper/lower. On FB after I do bench or squats i'm junk so doing them in the same day is an issue. If I can't put 100% into those lifts I don't think the higher frequency is going to be worth it. So my FB would have to be watered down to something like A-Squat,dip, pendlay row, pull up, face pull, B-bench, leg press, RDL, pull up, bi/calf, or heavy/med/light days. Then the issue with that setup is volume per session is going to be low. The other option (6 day u/l) is going to burn most people out real quick.
    One higher volume day for upper and lower respectively, two full body days ??? profit
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  10. #10
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TAWS6 View Post
    I just read this in the morning. The problem I have with three times a week frequency is you're talking either full body or a 6 day upper/lower. On FB after I do bench or squats i'm junk so doing them in the same day is an issue. If I can't put 100% into those lifts I don't think the higher frequency is going to be worth it. So my FB would have to be watered down to something like A-Squat,dip, pendlay row, pull up, face pull, B-bench, leg press, RDL, pull up, bi/calf, or heavy/med/light days. Then the issue with that setup is volume per session is going to be low. The other option (6 day u/l) is going to burn most people out real quick.
    Yes, it seems restricting in some ways but there are other good ways to rotate through lifts like push/pull. You don't have to limit yourself to having 1 clear day between training bodyparts either. 2 on 1 off can work - even everyday. But these tend to rely on some kind of heavy / light approach IME.

    Also, don't forget that the above article is about strength - so a powerlifter like Greg would be planning for just squat, bench and deadlift - and throwing accessories in where he can.

    The evidence for frequency and mass gain is weaker so far and I would stick with Brad's recommendation of 2 if you prefer.

    I watched a good video with Brian Haycock, he leans towards 3 having interpreted the same data

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  11. #11
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Do you think 3x a week is better for strength because strength could be considered a skill? Just a thought
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    Read the whole thing, interesting and thanks for sharing. I liked his use of statistical analysis but that can be dangerous on historical data and is more of an enumerative study than an analytic study.
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  13. #13
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TAWS6 View Post
    Do you think 3x a week is better for strength because strength could be considered a skill? Just a thought
    Yes, that is discussed in the article - it is a major factor but not the only one. Quality of each work set is also a big one.
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  14. #14
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TAWS6 View Post
    Do you think 3x a week is better for strength because strength could be considered a skill? Just a thought
    Yeah it's a convincing argument (read Pavel Tsatouline "Power to the people" if you want the full sales pitch) and matches the anecdotes of higher frequency benefitting lower skilled (i.e. novice) more than higher skilled (advanced) lifters.
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    old woman melDorado's Avatar
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    I do lower/upper/full body

    Makes me wanna maybe
    add an extra upper day

    My upper day is loonngg takes about 2.5 hours so might be a good idea tbh

    Thanks op always quality posts
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    Awesome analysis. There is definitely empirical evidence to back this up with programs like Texas Method, where bench seems to flourish and squats is person dependent.

    My question would be how do you use this information and plug it into a program like an u/l or ppl. It seems like pressing does better the more days its worked where each additional day increase effectiveness but pulling wasn't as conclusive. Pulling seemed like 2 is definitely better than 1 and 3 is marginally better than 2. I'm trying to see different ways i could balance the workload between days and use this frequency information to increase gains.

    Would a 4 day full body where you split quads and hams 2 days each work best? In that case would you do push heavy/pull volume w/ quads on monday, pull heavy/ push volume w/ hams on tuesday, then repeat Th/F.
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  17. #17
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by maddog352002 View Post
    Awesome analysis. There is definitely empirical evidence to back this up with programs like Texas Method, where bench seems to flourish and squats is person dependent.

    My question would be how do you use this information and plug it into a program like an u/l or ppl. It seems like pressing does better the more days its worked where each additional day increase effectiveness but pulling wasn't as conclusive. Pulling seemed like 2 is definitely better than 1 and 3 is marginally better than 2. I'm trying to see different ways i could balance the workload between days and use this frequency information to increase gains.

    Would a 4 day full body where you split quads and hams 2 days each work best? In that case would you do push heavy/pull volume w/ quads on monday, pull heavy/ push volume w/ hams on tuesday, then repeat Th/F.
    If you've not seen it take a look at TSA 9 Week intermediate, kinda answers this question
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