Research shows that training a muscle twice a week is superior to weekly exercise, but the merits of frequent exercise are controversial (1). Fortunately, recent studies for the busy lifter show you have more flexibility than you might think.
A 2015 study using top-of-the-line bodybuilders compared a four-way split four times a week for four weeks, comparing a three-day split six days a week (2). Both groups posted similar increases in size and strength.
A recent study compared the same exercise volume over two days (Monday and Thursday) or four days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) (3). After six weeks of training, both groups improved performance and body mass, and the two-day-per-week group improved body size and body composition.
In another study, the training was compared three times with training volume and intensity six times a week (4). After six weeks of training, both groups had significantly increased their maximum strength and muscle mass.
What does that mean?
Take a look at your busy schedule. Is it easier for you to do this …
- Longer, less frequent workouts or …
- Shorter, more frequent workouts?
When you do the work you need, you can carry out the weekly usage schedule that best suits you.
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- Schoenfeld, B.J., Ogborn, D. & Krieger, J.W. Effects of frequency of resistance training on measurements of muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 201
- Ribeiro, A.S., et al. Impact of two against three-fold resistance training routines on body composition and muscle strength in bodybuilders: a pilot study. Internal Journal of Sports Nutrition and Motor Metabolism, 2015, 25 (6), 559-65. doi: 10.1123 / ijsnem.2015-0077.
- Yue, FL, Karsten, B., Larumbe-Zabala E., Seijo, M., Naclerio F. Comparison of 2 weekly balanced volume resistance training with different frequencies on body composition and performance in trained men. Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 2018, 43 (5), 475-481. doi: 10.1139 / apnm-2017-0575.
- Colquhoun, R.J. Training volume, non-frequency, indicator of maximum force adaptation to resistance training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2018, 32 (5), 1207-1213. doi: 10.1519 / JSC.0000000000002414.