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Thread: Frequency

  1. #1
    Registered User adamgentile's Avatar
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    Frequency

    We all read especially for "natural" lifters that frequency is key for gaining muscle. We can read training advice online or in magazines until we are blue in the face, but what it really comes down to is what works for you. Frequency was not working for me. I was on a push/pull/legs routine for a year, maybe longer, I was hitting each bodypart twice within 5 days. This routine is great but what was happening to me i was losing strength, especially with the barbell squat, my recovery was lacking. For the first 6 months things were great, than after that I started to see a fall off in my lifts. So I switched to a 4 day split working a body part once a week which is:
    Day 1 - Chest/biceps
    Day 2 - Back
    Day 3 - off
    Day 4 - Shoulder/triceps
    Day 5 - legs
    Day 6 - off
    Day 7 - off


    I have been on this split for 4 weeks now and I'm seeing my strength increase. The extra rest is working wonders for me now. I think recovery is essential and should be on the top of the list, especially in our age bracket.
    Yesterday I hit 225lbs for 4 reps on my last set (if i dug dipper I'm sure i could of hit 6) this was the first time in long time where i even attempted to load 225lbs on the bar. This is a prime example of finding what works for you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX4_ycwfQC8
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    169 11% in avi ezra76's Avatar
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    I believe it's very much individual. I based my workout around certain programs (5x5 for compounds) but have never found anything that's completely right for me out of the box. Something is either lacking or is too much volume/frequency.

    Nice work btw.

    Look up Clarence Kennedy on Youtube for some motivation. Tom and Juji's channel has some pretty sick footage of him squatting.
    Last edited by ezra76; 10-03-2020 at 09:43 AM.
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    Chihuahua in the rain Corbets's Avatar
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    I don’t know what you read, but the studies I’ve read lately say that frequency is not really relevant, and that it comes down to weekly volume, insofar as that can be measured.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    What you're doing during the week (exercises/volume/intensity/progression) matters more than how you split it up, including how suitable it is for your training level and experience. A PPL v. bro split can't be evaluated simply by the body part split itself.

    Recovery is just as much determined by volume than the split. Regardless, I agree that you should do whatever you feel works best for you if you're happy with the results.
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    Ive been lifting Mon/Wed/Fri for years now and it's worked well. I try to do a total body workout in every workout too, just changing up the type of exercise each time. The only downside is that I spend well over an hour at the gym every time.

    Some exercises doing some primary work and some secondary for each muscle but making sure I get enough volume each week. Sticking to three days keeps me from feeling burned out as well.
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    Originally Posted by Corbets View Post
    I don’t know what you read, but the studies I’ve read lately say that frequency is not really relevant, and that it comes down to weekly volume, insofar as that can be measured.
    I'm just reading mainstream stuff, it seems you like to read studies, which goes more into detail.
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  7. #7
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    High frequency never did anything for me except hurt my joints

    Muscles recover relatively quickly but connective tissue can get torn up and chronically damaged from excessive frequency since its much slower to regenerate- and cartilage etc cannot regenerate which means it has a finite lifespan

    I train everything every 5-6 days on average now
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    Trying to assess frequency as inherently good or bad in isolation from other variables makes no sense. It's simply one of the knobs used to balance volume and recovery given a level of intensity. We should not expect it to be some kind of static value that remains constant over the course of a lifter's lifetime, or for all muscle groups, or for all exercise selections, etc. By all means do what is right for you, but a broken clock is also correct twice per day, and it's not uncommon for lifters to stumble into a new pattern of making gains while crediting it to the wrong reasons.
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    I guess what i was trying to say is there is no blueprint to follow, we are all different, and it takes time to eventually find what works for you. I'm not making an argument or stating a fact that works for me WILL work for everyone, it's a personal journey and when something clicks and the workouts feel awesome, it's a good feeling.
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    Originally Posted by adamgentile View Post
    I guess what i was trying to say is there is no blueprint to follow, we are all different, and it takes time to eventually find what works for you. I'm not making an argument or stating a fact that works for me WILL work for everyone, it's a personal journey and when something clicks and the workouts feel awesome, it's a good feeling.
    True. Also the exact same plan can drastically change it's effectiveness based on the individuals perceived take on intensity.
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    The three variables that we can manipulate are frequency, intensity, and volume. You just need to find out which one (possibly two) of these that you can push and still make progress.
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    I've always went by the old saying "Everything works but not for long". I change my workout when I think it is getting stale, either physically or mentally. As far as volume, I measure it on a weekly basis rather than daily. I'm usually around 20-25 work sets weekly for chest, back and shoulders, 30-40 for legs and 15-20 for arms. How I get there varies but that's generally where I end up by the end of the week. Home schooling our Grandkids has made me be a lot more flexible on when, how often and how long my gym sessions last right now

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    I've found frequency to be the hardest thing to dial in. But I've learned at least for myself is that a set schedule needs to be flexible. The issue isn't muscle soreness, the issue is giving ligaments and tendons enough time to recover. Vladislav Kraevsky would say guys don't give enough time off between lifting heavy, 3 to 4 days and is the cause of most injuries. I try to get all my lifting done 2 days per week and I try to listen to my body as to when I am ready again. I can say for certain, I've had times I've tried to come back after 2 days and failed hard to put up weight, but given 1 extra day of rest I have a great lift day. I also don't like trainers that clearly use gear and then expect people to work at their level. That's not reality, don't try to compete at those guys levels, because there taking extra stuff to get recover down to a day or 2. Even with all that said, I try to find low impact workouts to do everyday.
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    Originally Posted by kyle38 View Post
    I've found frequency to be the hardest thing to dial in. But I've learned at least for myself is that a set schedule needs to be flexible.
    Good point. And even if you've been doing fine on a particular schedule, something like a very poor night of sleep or a very taxing day at work or while working at home could be sufficient for you to need another rest day just to compensate.
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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
    Good point. And even if you've been doing fine on a particular schedule, something like a very poor night of sleep or a very taxing day at work or while working at home could be sufficient for you to need another rest day just to compensate.
    When covid hit, first thing I did is pit a calisthenics plan together with weight. Have a 40lb vest and bowflex dbs. I did it for two months, all my 'lifts' got stronger. I did 25-30 mins of weights as one workout. In the evening I'd do another 5-15m hiit/cardio 5 days a week. Was working well. Then I started getting lazy when the "imprisonment" didn't stop. Now I'm going to the gym again for a week and using my old plan. I'm getting super sore. Much more than before. I find I need more rest time. I also don't sleep usually more than about 5-6 hrs tops. Sometimes less. So I am trying to not.go crazy and wondering if any of you have any suggestions for a supplement to help w soreness. I'm 51.
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    Why train biceps the day before back?

    Is it not negatively impacting on your back workout, bicep recovery and potentially messing with your aging joints?
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    Originally Posted by Corbets View Post
    I don’t know what you read, but the studies I’ve read lately say that frequency is not really relevant, and that it comes down to weekly volume, insofar as that can be measured.
    That just sounds too stupid to be true.
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    Originally Posted by gokite View Post
    ... a supplement to help w soreness.
    Vitamin-C. Gradually increase the dose until you're taking 6 grams a day minimum.
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    What OP was referring to regarding what is being published as of late regarding frequency is that for natural lifters frequency is critical because muscle protein synthesis TYPICALLY ends at around 48-72 hours after stimulating the muscle (for those on gear it lasts longer). So the thought process is that after 48-72 hours the muscle should be stimulated again. If not, at best it's not growing anymore, and at worse it can start to go backwards (lose muscle). I'm not saying I do or don't believe it, but I have seen it written quite often lately.

    FYI... we're all different, but I tried to "middle" it, and do a "PUSH / OFF / LEGS / PULL / OFF" routine, which has me hitting each muscle once every 5 days (about 1.5 times per week), and have found that particular frequency works best for my natural 55 year old body. Also, I have found that if I extrapolate my volume over 7 days (i.e. 10 sets for chest over 5 days = 14 sets a week), staying in the area of 14 working sets a week for large muscle groups works best for me (and 10 sets a week for smaller muscles)
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    Originally Posted by tkdnj View Post

    FYI... we're all different, but I tried to "middle" it, and do a "PUSH / OFF / LEGS / PULL / OFF" routine, which has me hitting each muscle once every 5 days (about 1.5 times per week), and have found that particular frequency works best for my natural 55 year old body. Also, I have found that if I extrapolate my volume over 7 days (i.e. 10 sets for chest over 5 days = 14 sets a week), staying in the area of 14 working sets a week for large muscle groups works best for me (and 10 sets a week for smaller muscles)
    I have a similar frequency strategy.

    My criteria are no workouts on consecutive days, and hit each body part 1.5 - 2 days per week.

    Presently I'm working 2/3 body each workout and going to the gym 3 times per week. Monday no pushing, Wednesday no pulling, Friday no legs.

    Previously I alternated between pushing and pulling workouts (For this split legs are included as either pulling or pushing). So that was 3 X .5 = 1.5 times per week per body part.

    Age 53.


    None of this is meant to detract from the OP.

    Doing what works for for you and thinking for yourself is great.

    It makes a nice change from the usual - ' Your not getting anywhere because your not following someone else's cookie cutter program etc..:
    Last edited by TheResistance; 10-15-2020 at 01:22 AM. Reason: Error in wording
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    Originally Posted by TheResistance View Post
    That just sounds too stupid to be true.


    Because it is I was just experimenting training biceps with chest, I didn't like it.
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    Originally Posted by adamgentile View Post
    Day 1 - Chest/biceps
    Day 2 - Back
    Day 3 - off
    Day 4 - Shoulder/triceps
    Day 5 - legs
    Day 6 - off
    Day 7 - off
    I trained like this my entire life and then recently changed to doing a much shorter, snappier full body workout virtually every day. I'm in and out quick and I don't really get sore. I think part of it is freshening things up and trying something different but I've been much more consistent in getting in the gym and my results have been very good without having to hit heavy weights.

    In the end, it probably equates to higher volume but it's a way that I'm finding easier.
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