Learn why training frequency for mass is less important than the size of your workouts.
So tell me. How often do you do it? Are you the type who likes it everyday, or are you a strictly 3 days per week kind of guy? Or maybe you're a weekend warrior and enjoy doing it just once on Sunday?
The thing is, optimal training frequency is a fiercely debated topic and no single size fits all.
For example, some folks will say you should train your entire body 2 to 3 times per week to make muscle gains, while others will say such an approach is doomed to failure and will swiftly lead to overtraining.
So who is right? Is there an ideal training frequency for mass, and how do we go about finding it?
Well, the truth is, optimal training frequency depends on what you're doing in your workouts, both in terms of intensity and volume.
You see, size matters. Especially in the gym. Yet finding scientific help on the matter of training volume is no easy task due to the tough number of variables involved.
However, one study conducted by researchers at Goteburg University made some fascinating findings that might lend us a hand.
"Overall, moderate volumes (~30 to 60 repetitions per session for training) appear to yield the largest responses."
While these numbers appear to support many of the popular routines out there, how do they help us with frequency?
Before we can answer that, we need to take a look at intensity.
The thing is, intense weight training places a lot of stress on your nervous system - and the harder your workouts, the more of these stresses get dumped onto your body.
Research shows these stresses can accumulate as fatigue from workout to workout. And when this stress becomes too much, they often result in overtraining symptoms.
You see, as training volume and intensity increases, so does the amount of time it takes for your muscles (and nervous system) to recover.
But what if you're young?
Sure. That can help you. But studies show even in resistance-trained, college-aged men, muscle recovery can take anywhere from 48 to 96 hours - and when you are older, the recovery process takes even longer.
So what can we learn from all of this? In short, training frequency for mass is dependent on the size and intensity of your workouts.
For example, strength coach Dan John in his book "Mass Made Simple", would have you training one day then take two days off before hitting the gym again with total-body workouts.
Alternatively, 20-rep squat advocate John McCallum in "Keys to Progress", says 3 days per week is the optimal training frequency to gain size.
Who is right?
The thing is, they both are. Remember what we said earlier? No single size fits all.
What matters most is that you take care of your training volume first (30-60 repetitions per session) before you adjust your training frequency.
Figure this out, and you'll be amazed by the progress you make.