T Nation

Question About Frequency


Hey everyone. Ive been visiting this site for a while but I just signed up in hopes you guys (or girls) could help me out.good 'base' mass on me.

I graduated 2 yrs ago from hs at 130 lbs Im now about 160 so Ive got some

so for the past few months Ive been doing this split:


so after doing this Ive heard all of this talk about frequency of hitting muscles. Ive always been a fan of each body part 2x a week but it seems like alot (at times if not all) of people do each body part 1x a week with alot of volume..

so after me doing this split for X amount of months I thought I would change. My main reason for changing is because my arms are lagging so I want to prioritze bis,tris, and shoulders (and abs of course lol).

my routine now Ive thought of is:

fri-off or arms
sat-arms of off

the thing is I dont know if I can get enough work on my 'main' body parts (chest,back,legs) by only doin them once.

I would probably do 4-5 exercises at 4-5 sets (8-12 reps) for big muscles and on the days I train my arms with another Id probably only pick one exercise but do 6 stes for them and them hit them hard on firday or saturday.

So I guess my question is when it comes to frequency for muscle building is it "better" to do each BP 1x a week and hit with alot of volume or is it "better" for muscle building to hit each muscle more frequently i.e. 2x a week. also for prioritizing arms should i work them tiwce...OR is my first workout "optimal".

I hope someone can help such an in depth question but everyone here seems pretty educated so Im looking foreward to posting more often!

thanks again!!


How tall are you? 6'2" at 160 and 5'2" at 160 are vastly different.

If you are a relative beginner, you probably don't have any severe imbalances, other than a possible push-more-than-you-pull imbalance, but you didn't post your typical day.

If you are performing compound movements then you are stimulating the arms plenty. If you think your body overpowers your arms (again at 160 you probably aren't big enough to notice from a visual standpoint) then throw in a couple extra sets for arms.

You could try a different "split" all together too. Look up TBT, do an Upper/Lower Split and on Upper day 1 add biceps, and on upper day 2 add triceps. Or try a push/pull split, and same thing. Experiment a bit.


Unfortunately there's really no cut and dry answer to your question. Some people do better on higher volume/lower frequency training, others do better on lower volume/higher frequency training. The best advice that we can give you is to experiment and find out what works best for YOU.

Just make sure that you give each program a chance to work (anything less than a couple months isn't enough time). Also, do not switch up if the program you are following is giving you the results that you're seeking, no matter how much time has passed. Switch up programs when they stop working, not when some arbitrary amount of time has passed.

Alternatively you could try keeping the same frequency that you've been doing, but switching the body part pairings up a little. For instance,

Mon- Chest/Bis
Tues- Back/Tris
Wed- Legs/Shoulders
Thurs- Off
Fri- Chest/Bis
Sat- Back/Tris
Wed- Legs/Shoulders
Mon- Off
Tues- Off

This might seem like a seemingly insignificant switch, but it means that your Tris will get worked all three days. They are involved in chest movements like bench, dips, etc..., they obviously get worked on the second day, and they are involved in shoulder pressing movements as well.

Bis will get hit at least two out of the three days (possibly even on the third day if you include leg exercises like Zercher squats and shoulder exercises like upright rows).

Along the same lines you might want to choose exercises for the other body parts that will place more stress on the Bis and Tris. For instance do a fair amount of supinated grip pulling moves for the back, I already mentioned upright rows for the shoulders, and possibly Zerchers for the legs. All of those will place secondary stress on the Bis. For Tris be sure to include pressing movements for the chest and shoulders.

Also, you didn't really mention this but diet is of huge importance. If you're not gaining weight, then chances are you're not eating enough. If you've hit a plateau, then once again the problem might be diet, not the program you're following.

Hope this helps.