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How Often Should You Workout? | Balancing Exercise And Recovery

What Is Training Frequency & Why Is It Important?

So you might have heard someone talk about training frequency in regards to weightlifting or even overall athletic training in general. However, if you don’t know what training frequency is and why it is important for training, don’t feel alone because most people are unaware of this term.
Training Frequency is essentially a term used to describe how frequently or often you train a particular body part or region of the body. For instance, with weightlifting, many people stick to the very common routine of back/bicep, chest/triceps, shoulders/legs followed by day 4 being a rest day. After the rest day, the cycle would repeat itself. For many others, this training isn’t the case, but this is one of the most common training routines for most athletes.
What this routine tells us is that your training frequency of each body part is every 4 days or almost 2x a week. In some cases, a bodybuilding split might even have you performing super heavy routines at only 1x a week per body part. Although this may work in the beginning of your training program, over time this is going to lack sufficient results so a better approach is going to be needed.

Why You Should Increase Your Training Frequency

If you wanted to perform a much higher intensity training frequency split, you would perform something along the lines of this: Day 1) Chest/Back, Day 2) Legs, Day 3) Chest/Arms, Day 4) Back/Shoulders, Day 5) Legs, Day 6) Chest/Back/Shoulders, Day off. Incorporate abs into the routine as you see fit roughly 3x per week with cardio around 3-5x a week on days you’d like.
The reason why you would want to increase your training frequency and why this is so important when it comes to results from weight training is it inhibits greater protein synthesis within the body. What this means is that our body will adapt to using up more protein in which we consume for rebuilding muscle tissue, which allows for an increase in overall muscle mass or density.
By increasing training frequency for this reason, the increase in the protein synthesis along with a higher intake or consumption of protein is whats going to be a major factor in regards to you building muscle at a greater and faster rate when compared to a training program that is focused on each body part once a week or once every 5-7 days.
By increasing your training frequency you end up increasing the total amount of time spent training per week. This is beneficial because it helps with insulin resistance. The more insulin sensitive you are when trying to build muscle, the more muscle you will gain compared to fat. This also means that when dieting you will lose more fat without losing much muscle. By increasing our overall exercise duration per week through increased training frequency we optimize insulin for the greatest muscle growth and fat loss as compared to those who train 1x per week on each body part.

The Benefits Of Increasing Your Training Frequency

Many studies have shown that training more frequently leads to more muscle growth as well as strength. If you trained for only 3 days a week on one program and someone else trained 6 days a week on the same program in which it was set up so that the volume between the 3 days a week and the 6 days a week was identical, the person training 6 days a week is going to have an increase in muscle growth due to the issues regarding insulin from the increased training frequency.
If you are someone who is struggling with a plateau in weight, increasing training frequency could be the answer to fix that problem for you. If you aren’t sure how to increase your training frequency on your current routine, it’s actually really simple. If you are on a standard 3 day split, simply divide each workout in half roughly and that gives you a 6 day split now instead of 3. Although the workout load is still the same for the 3 days vs the 6 days, the frequency has now been increased. Another advantage that this offers is that you will now have more energy on each of those days because the sessions are shorter which allows you to increase intensity and weights you are using for greater muscle growth.
To summarize this all together, training frequency is simply how often you train or exercise a particular region or the entire body. By increasing this frequency you will result in greater muscle growth and an increase in fat loss over time when compared to a program in which you train for 3 days straight and 4th day is off.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Nutrition. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/.

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