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  1. #1
    Registered User JtownLift's Avatar
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    What is the LEAST amount of frequency needed to gain muscle and strength?

    Is it each muscle group being trained once a week? Once every 8 days? Once every 9 days? Hypothetically, how infrequently can you train each muscle group and still gain muscle and strength?
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JtownLift View Post
    Is it each muscle group being trained once a week? Once every 8 days? Once every 9 days? Hypothetically, how infrequently can you train each muscle group and still gain muscle and strength?

    I believe there are studies on this topic.

    Drug free vs “enhanced” answers on the forum are likely to differ.

    My son has made great gains hitting muscles this way…

    Week 1 Monday upper, Wednesday lower, Friday upper
    Week 2 Monday lower, Wednesday upper, Friday lower


    Seems to be more than adequate for a 14-15 year old doing 5-8 sets per body part.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  3. #3
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    There is a difference between gaining something and gaining optimally. From memory - and reading between the lines of available evidence, it needs to be at least once every 5 days, starts dropping away after that.

    But the point at which something becomes nothing at all probably depends on your training experience. It's likely to happen a lot sooner if you are maintaining an intermediate or advanced level.

    What's more important is total volume over time. If you can do a lot of useful volume in one session, you'll last a lot longer before starting to deteriorate than if you only did a few sets.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JtownLift View Post
    Is it each muscle group being trained once a week? Once every 8 days? Once every 9 days? Hypothetically, how infrequently can you train each muscle group and still gain muscle and strength?
    If you're untrained or relatively new to training, & eat heartily, you likely can train each muscle group hard & long even once every 30 days and probably still gain muscle & strength. Gains will be minimal & hard to notice, but you sound really lazy hypothetically, so this might be satisfactory.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    As long as weekly volume is accounted for, 1x every 6-7 days is fine. Especially as your training age increases.
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    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    I wouldn't err on the side of minimal. Once a week should be fine, even for intermediate maintenance, but 2-3x per week is still probably better in most cases. Existing experience level and the intensity of each session are big variables, of course.
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  7. #7
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    I had a full body injury last summer that involved tequila, a ladder, and me on the ground naked with a ladder on top of me. I did a full body workout about once every 7-10 days and hit each body part with 2 sets. I didn't get stronger. I didn't get weaker. I suppose if you have any volume greater than this you will have gains.

    edit: This was for 4-5 weeks.
    Last edited by paulinkansas; 02-09-2022 at 09:45 AM.
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    All good replies above OP.

    I think of the choice of frequency as more of a recovery management issue than anything else. This is also probably a big reason why people can never agree on this sort of stuff, as what leads to better recovery varies across individuals.
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  9. #9
    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Technically...
    Once every 14 days~ is enough to build more muscle than you loose.

    Is the efficient? No
    Is this close to maximal muscle gain? No

    I recommend 1.5-2x week regardless. Either natty or not.
    FMH crew - Couch.

    If a post sounds like N=1 and that they have no experience coaching anyone but them selves?

    Do the math. You ain't that person, their experience probably isn't going to be yours. Can still be useful for inspiration - try things, follow athlete response and track trends In your training.
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  10. #10
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Well, Mike Mentzer once said that if you train a muscle hard enough it could need up to 3 months off…

    And he was more jacked than all of you chumps
    Derp
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  11. #11
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TAWS6 View Post
    Well, Mike Mentzer once said that if you train a muscle hard enough it could need up to 3 months off…

    And he was more jacked than all of you chumps
    Derp
    Aren't there some studies which show that a newbie who takes the right vitamins can gain more muscle in the first few months sitting on the couch than someone who actually trains?
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  12. #12
    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TAWS6 View Post
    Well, Mike Mentzer once said that if you train a muscle hard enough it could need up to 3 months off…

    And he was more jacked than all of you chumps
    Derp
    Jacked as f, Aint that the truth!
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    If a post sounds like N=1 and that they have no experience coaching anyone but them selves?

    Do the math. You ain't that person, their experience probably isn't going to be yours. Can still be useful for inspiration - try things, follow athlete response and track trends In your training.
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  13. #13
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Depends. Contrary to weird beliefs. The less experienced technically the less you can train and get away with some progress.

    Frequency is a tool of trained lifters to spread volume effectively.

    The more advanced generally do better with more. Strength or hypertrophy.
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  14. #14
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Looks like min volume for hypertrophy is 5 sets per week According to some studies.

    Here’s the thing, if you had only five minutes PER DAY to spare for muscle building…you could easily get your five sets in like this:

    Push variations
    Pull variations
    Legs variations
    Rest if necessary
    Repeat

    So in theory, you can be Mr Olympia with five min of training a day because scientists say all you need is five sets a week.
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  15. #15
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Aren't there some studies which show that a newbie who takes the right vitamins can gain more muscle in the first few months sitting on the couch than someone who actually trains?
    There are indeed. Those studies don’t sit well with juice junkies.
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  16. #16
    Registered User Taatz's Avatar
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    U can do 1 time a week to get to intermediate it takes something like 2 years like that. Then 2 times a week to progresss ...
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