I’ve been reading a lot about frequency. Reason being is that A) I don’t want any rest days, and B) my chest and lats are lacking and I really want to speed the growth of those 2 groups. I’m doing PPL split (midnight after work, its my only workout option) no days off, 6 sets of ab workout every other morning. Now, I’ve read (multiple outlets) its better to perform 2 working sets of a specific exercise 3 days a week rather than 6 sets 1 day/wk or 3 working sets 2 days/wk. I’d just like to know what your take is on this. My current supps are creatine, leucine, beta alinine, a mixed amino drink, fish oil, and 2 protein shakes a day. Would performing bench press, chest dips, pullups, and lat pull downs 3 days a week be my best option to pick the pace up on my chest and lat development? Thanks everyone! Brian
Because if rest days aren’t required, I have no problem working out 7 days a week. I lift at home, so there’s no time inconvenience for me. If there’s any truth to my original post, I can restructure my plan accordingly to hit my weak areas 3X a week, and use the other days hiring the rest of the groups. Again, that’s IF you all believe that working a target group 3 days a week is recommended.
They’re not required!
Oh wait, you want to grow?
Then they’re required.
A few things on frequency. For one, bodybuilders have been getting huge on bro splits, I.e. minimal frequency per body part, forever, so there are factors in frequency studies that we don’t yet understand. However, studies of the effect of frequency on hypertrophy have showed that 2 times a week seems to be optimal for muscle growth, but 3+ yielded no extra gains.
If you WERE going to do a push pull legs with as much frequency as you could handle, you could at the very least do 6 days on, 1 off, but i like the upper lower split. Upper 1, Lower 1, rest/conditioning, Upper 2, Lower 2, rest/conditioning, rest/conditioning. You can even knock out the second consecutive rest day and have a 6-day week.
Lots of options here, but the idea of a 7-day lifting program at midnight after work is not conducive to growth. You’re not getting big in the gym, you’re breaking down muscle. When you rest, eat, and repair that muscle, you get big.
I almost never have a total rest day, so when I say rest, you can do prowler sprints and cardio and abs, all of which can be brutal and do not qualify as actual rest. You need days where you’re not lifting heavy weights. Nobody says you have to lie down and eat donuts, but it is absolutely possible to go overboard in this situation. Try exercising some self control here.
Thanks for the input… A few questions for clarity… when you say rest days without lifting heavy weights, do you mean for the lacking group, or any group? Also, instead of having a PPL 1 and PPL 2 routine, would it hurt to have a single push routine with heavy bench, chest dips, and incline press 2 times per week? I appreciate your time and help.
Edit: ill be more specific. Push 1: bench, incline flys, cable uppercuts, and diamond pushups. Push 2: chest dips, cable flys, dumbbell pullovers, decline dumbbell press. Would it be counterproductive to take bench, dips, incline, and cable flys and decrease the volume while increasing the frequency on those specific exercises? As far as intensity, I would gage mine at about 60%-70% because I focus on hitting the 3 second negative on every rep of exercise. I always leave a rep or 2 in the tank as well when I feel my form start slipping. Hope this extra info helps y’all help me out here.
I mean a day without lifting heavy weights. Conditioning should be more miserable than lifting anyhow.
4-6 days is high frequency and optimal. You can do it in 100 different ways but give yourself 1-3 non-lifting days per week. If you do legs, you will be using some back, and usually vice versa. When you do push and pull, you’re using shoulders in both workouts. There’s overlap, there’s the central nervous system, there’s neurotransmitters that get depleted, there’s cortisol buildup, there’s a ton of factors that contribute to the idea that more is not always better.
I think 2x a week is fine. I’m sure 3x can be okay too if volume is kept low, but 2x PPL or 3x Upper/Lower is still 6, not 7. I just want you to save your joints and have a bit of patience. What are your reps/sets/exercises on your split, and what did you eat yesterday?
What about shoulder work? Some people think you don’t need overhead pressing - I think overhead work is great, and at the very least, everyone could benefit from lateral raises.
And do you do 3, 4, 5 sets? All at one weight or ramping up? What’s your rest time in between exercises? What’s your pre and post workout nutrition like?
I’m not trying to be a pest, but there are a ton of things we can address before we wreck your joints by having you lift every day. Maybe we can bring up those lagging parts by increasing volume and decreasing frequency, instead of vice versa.
I also include shoulder work on both push days, but I didn’t mention that to avoid too long a post. I do increase weight every set, and my total sets per exercise depend on the volume of reps completed. I always try to do a total of 24-28 reps per exercise. I eat pretty clean. No added/artificial sugars, lean proteins, oats, salads, around 100 oz of water. My bread intake is about 2 slices of whole grain. I don’t overload on calories. I’m also not trying to get jacked either. I know and understand that my genetics wouldn’t allow that anyways and I’m OK with it. I do see a small increase in shoulder, chest, lats size since I’ve started lifting heavier, though it would be nice to get a little more a little faster. The sole reason I started this thread because of the articles/videos on frequency that I’ve seen.
Oh, and I’m stoked you mentioned neurotransmitter… that was mentioned in all I’ve read and seen. The “science” is that after lifting, the signal is sent to keep that part in muscle building mode for 48-60 hours. After that time, the signal is weakened. So by keeping the signal elevated, the gains come faster. Most, but not all, also stated that this change in routine should only be ran for 4-6 weeks. Then go back to your previous split for at least 90 days.
Thanks for picking up the ball on this.
If thats really the case this site not for you.
Read 10 Dan John articles and a couple by Wendler all you questions will be answered.
When setting up a program it is not only a matter of low vs high frequency. Volume and intensity MUST be taken into account. You can train 3x a day 7 days a week but, what does it matter if it is half assed?
I absolutely dig what your saying about the freq/vol/int aspect. Let me assure you all that I’m not lacking intensity. I push myself every workout while keeping strict form and for the last 4 months, I’m increasing either weight, reps, and sometimes both on every single workout. I keep a log and see my progression in the books. What I’m asking about is if I increase my frequency for 2 specific muscle groups while decreasing volume, will that not only translate to increasing log numbers, but also visible size in mass? Personal example is I see increase in size and definition in every muscle group EXCEPT my chest and lats. But, my progression in weight, sets, and reps have consistently climbed in those areas just like every other group, its just not visible in the mirror.
What do you look like right now? What are your stats? Without that there is no way of knowing if they are lagging or you are just small. If you are adding weight every session most likely you are underdeveloped all over.
That said I do not really believe one can bring up true lagging body parts, you may have muscle groups that require more stimulus to grow while others require less but, if you have shitty biceps chances are adding a shit ton of work is not going to help.
Which is why a beginner should focus on getting bigger overall.
I really appreciate the input. I’m 38 yrs old, 5’10, 168 lbs. You’re absolutely correct in saying I am small all over. I do have a small frame. In Apr of this year I weighed 187 lbs. (Before I started working out) From Apr 6th to mid September, I did the Spartacus hiit workout every other day. Dropped a lot of fat in the process. In early August is when I added in weight training as I decreased the hiit workouts. I know y’all are thinking “dude, you been hitting weights for 4 months, it takes longer” and I 100% completely agree on that. But having said, in those 4 months, my arms, shoulders, upper back, even traps and legs have all produced visible results. I’ve read a lot on here from the coaches about muscle imbalance and how it should be avoided, so I’m trying to avoid that. Again, I appreciate all the input you guys gave me, even the dick responses. My overall take from y’all is that my PPL split is OK with just one rest day and working each muscle group 2x a week is sufficient. Lastly, the only question remaining is this: for chest, should I bench twice a week or leave it in Push 1 while leaving chest dips in Push 2? Or should I do them both every Push day?
My only $0.02 here - you may be pushing yourself to your capacity every workout, but, if you’re overdoing it to the point that you’re always at 60%, you’re not really hitting the intensity you could at a recovered 90-100%. You won’t get stronger today, anyway, so stack up a bunch of these higher-level workouts over the course of the next few years.
@flappinit hit all the actionable advice anywau
When coaches or most people speak about imbalances it is with respect to improper set up. For example doing 20 sets of chest work a week and only 10 sets of back work. This can cause structural imbalance that can lead to injuries.
What does your set up look like now?
Push 1: Bench, incline dumbbell bench, cable flys, cable uppercuts, overhead press, side raises, front raises. Push 2: chest dips, decline dumbbell flys, cable flys, dumbbell ohp, dumbbell swings, front plate raises. Every (heavy) exercise has one warmup set of 50% ORM then 3-4 working sets at 80% ORM until I hit a minimal of 24 reps per exercise. Cable work is usually a few more reps per set. I choose weight i can do 10 reps max with and bang out 3 sets. I don’t think I’ve ever done more than 4 sets on a single exercise.