By Nick Nilsson
Author of Mad Scientist Muscle
Training frequency may be one of the KEY factors that you might be missing the boat on when it comes to building muscle and strength.
So let's talk about how your body responds to training.
1. You apply stress to the muscle, causing some degree of damage.
2. This damage "sets you back."
3. Your body responds by sending resources to repair the damaged muscle tissue, hopefully bigger and stronger than before.
4. Then you train again, repeating the cycle.
Here's where it gets interesting and where the two paths of low-frequency and high-frequency diverge...
With a "standard" low-frequency approach, you hit the muscles extremely hard in each session. This is the multi-exercise, multi-set bodybuilding approach, such as the "one bodypart per day" split, for example.
Basically, you hammer the target muscle into oblivion, requiring your body to take 3 to 5 days to recover until you hit it again.
And this DOES work (for some people).
However, consider this...every time you hammer your muscles into the ground, you take a BIG step backwards...
...then it takes time to rebuild back to the baseline level they were at when you trained them...then it takes even MORE time to build up bigger and stronger past that baseline.
In the meantime, a lot of things can go wrong that can mess up the recovery process for that muscle...poor sleep, poor diet, stress...
...or you hit OTHER muscles hard now forcing recovery resources to go those muscles instead as the emergency priority.
And this last point is the BIG one you need to pay attention to, especially if you're a classic "hardgainer" who has issues with recovery.
THIS is the reason "one bodypart per day" programs will FAIL you...
If you're constantly hammering your muscles one after the other, your body will only rebuild your muscles enough TO KEEP UP WITH the continuous state of emergency you're putting it into, not to build up bigger and stronger.
With a low-frequency "hammer it into the ground" approach, your body has to deal with a series of CURRENT emergencies... it's constantly putting out big fires and it's never got time to build a stronger building before the next fire comes up.
The people who make progress on this type of program have enough recovery resources available to deal with the emergencies and move beyond...or they leave enough TIME in between sessions to allow for enough recovery.
Possible? Absolutely. Ideal? I don't think so...
Now let's turn to high-frequency training...
If you were watching an infomercial, here is where the screen would turn from grey and black to bright, shiny colors...
With high-frequency training, you're hitting your muscles with less training volume per session...you're lighting smaller fires, essentially.
It's much easier for your body to put out these fires, bringing things back to baseline levels then moving a bit beyond.
Granted, you're not taking as big of steps forward as with the first approach, but you're also not taking as big of steps BACKWARD.
This leaves more time and resources for your body to move a bit beyond.
So even though you may be taking smaller steps forward, you're taking them a lot more frequently and without beating your body down on a constant basis.
You will feel more energetic, your recovery will be better, you won't DREAD going to the gym for marathon training session and your target muscles will feel FRESHER and STRONGER when you hit them again.
If you've been used to training sessions where you're hitting a single muscle group for 45 minutes to an hour each time, you will feel like you're doing hardly anything in each session. It'll be weird...and you'll feel like you want to do more.
THAT is exactly the feeling we're looking for...
Because you're going to come back to the gym the next day EAGER to do more.
Now, if you want to learn more about high-frequency training and how you can use it to build muscle, strength and density in your physique, I HIGHLY recommend checking out my friend and colleague, Rusty Moore's program "Visual Impact Frequency Training."
I've made it no secret that I'm a big fan of high-frequency work. I think it's one of the real keys to building muscle strength that so many people and a concept man people struggle with.
Rusty's done a phenomenal job putting this program together... it's absolutely doable and extremely effective. Definitely worth picking up a copy.
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