T Nation

High Frequency for Strength Program


Hi everyone, I have just signed up on TNATION but have been reading many of the articles for a while.

I want to get stronger on my 3 lifts: Squat/Bench/DL and would like to follow some sort of program that includes high frequency- maybe 3 times a week. Anyway, if anyone could direct me or spill some knowledge it will all help :slightly_smiling:

Last PR:

Squat 215
Bench 135
Deadlift 265



Why the interest in high frequency alone?


In my opinion, high frequency programs are overrated. Blocks of high frequency training can be useful and increased frequency also allows you to practice the lifts more often, but the drawback is that you don't get as much overload per session because the volume per lift/movement is lower in each session. Hypertrophy is also easier to achieve with a lower frequency upper/lower split unless you are at a highly advanced level and have all day to train.

Another issue is that you will spend more time warming up, with an upper/lower split you are already warmed up after the first exercise and you will only need a few sets to work up to your working weight.

If you have been training with a low frequency then there is a good chance that you will see gains from training more often, but in the long term you might be better off alternating between low and high frequency blocks if anything. A lot of lifters have gotten very strong on an upper/lower split, high frequency is not nonsense by any means but isn't necessarily better.


By the way, at your level a standard 5x5 program could work well. What is your current training like?


Texas method maybe? I'm with Reed and chrit_ottawa though in questioning why the interest in high frequency. Also, do you mean high frequency by S/BP/DL all three times a week, or just training them three times a week?

If it is the former, I've seen some success using this template:

Day 1:
Speed DL - competition style - 5x2 @ 60%
Heavy squat - 3x3 @ 85%
Bench work - 3x5 @80%
Assistance - lunges - 3x6-8

Day 2:
Speed bench - 5x2 @ 60%
Heavy DL - competition style - 5x1 @ 85%
Front squat work - 3x5 @80% NOTE: front squats here are chosen because the main weak point was the quads. If the weakness was lower back it could be heavy-ish good mornings, if tightness and glutes/hams box squats, etc.
Asssitance - suitcase carry - 3 sets

Day 3:
Speed squats - paused - 5x2 @ 60%
Heavy bench - 3x3 @ 85%
DL work - snatch grip DL - 3x5 @80% NOTE: this is the same case as the front squats, targeting a weak point. Any DL variation targeting the weakest point would be used.
Assistance - Kroc rows - 3 sets

Go up 5 lbs on everything every fortnight, 10 lbs if it feels like everything is way too light.

For what it's worth, that approach worked/works in an older female lifter (70 yrs) who has been training these lifts for about a year and whose maxes aren't as high as yours (currently at about 132 lbs, max squat (no belt, wraps or sleeves): 143; max bench: 66; DL (no belt): 165).




HF should be an everyday training. No time off. Intensity up and volume down. This should be used sparingly. 2-3 week blocks once or twice a year for more intermediate to advanced lifters.

You don't need speed work.

You're PR's look novice. Start w/ a novice program.

My advice: Start w/ a set amount of "working" weight/sets/reps that is moderately tough to complete. Stick w/ it until it becomes easier, then add more weight, sets or reps. Too many lifters think you always have to be moving more of those three things each session in order to gain. Truth is, you don't have to change much in order to get stronger and grow. Let your body and mind tell you when to move up.

Good luck.


I just wanted to try something different and I felt like high frequency would benefit me, but I am not only sold on that.


I am not sure if I made myself to clear. I wanted to simply begin by squatting 3x a week- I felt like it would be putting more emphasis on it and a good shock since I have never trained that way. Deadlifts & Bench would be trained once a week. As far as the upper/lower could you be a bit more clear?

I have done 5x5 before and of course it won't hurt to do it again with the new numbers but I just wanted something different I guess.

Thank you :slightly_smiling:


I actually simply meant beginning squats 3x a week. After a while easing in Bench maybe 3 times a week, and I would maybe consider DL 2 times a week. Haha. I am beginning to wonder if I am simply making this overcomplicated which I tend to do. :smiley:


if thats the OP in the avi then she looks like a feeemale and those numbers are pretty decent/intermediate


Texas Method, RTS generalized intermediate program, or Sheiko 3 day sample program if you want to keep things relatively simple and not write your own programming. When you increase the frequency it is normal to feel a but beat up the first few weeks but you should adjust quick. If you are looking to gain some muscle mass then upper/lower is usually more effective (with higher reps and more total volume) but higher frequency works well for a strength phase.


Yes that's me. Current weight 151 to be exact.


I've done short phases of squatting 3x a week, and made good progress that way. As a matter of fact, my best squat came after one of those phases. If memory serves, I was working up to heavy doubles, but not exceeding 90% of 1RM, and then doing assistance work in the hypertrophy range.


You can squat as many times as you want per week as long as you know how to balance intensity and volume. If you aren't sure how then it is probably better to keep learning what you can handle from an existing program like everyone has mentioned. There isn't anything wrong with having a novice squat everyday but it's better to have a coach regulate training in that situation.


That's basically what I am seeking. I was looking at the programs they mentioned above. Did you manage your own training or did you follow some sort of program?


That's exactly it. I wouldn't know how to balance my training, so it I will definitely work those programs mentioned above. Thank you for your feedback!


Figuring out how much volume to use for a particular frequency is easy enough. Just start low and add a set every week. If you start to feel run down, decrease the volume.

Don't lift too heavy, and don't go to failure on your heavy sets (under 5 reps). If you know you can get one more rep, but you don't think you could get two, end the set. Pushing to failure on your high rep sets is fine.


HMMMMM ....IMA say yes! your making it harder than it is ...LOL JK


I would check the training from Boris Sheiko. Definitely worth a look and if I could start all over again, I would do that. Best meet lifts currently are Sq- 655 Bench-445 Dead-665 just for some reference. His app is really good also! His forum is definitely worth taking a peek at...