To Build Muscle, How Often Should I Train It?
There are many factors and variables that make up the entire muscle building, weight gain picture. Things such as amount of sets, reps, exercises, etc., all have a say so in what kind of results you’ll get from your workout programs. One of these very important factors is training frequency, aka the amount of times you train that particular body part per week.
The most popular belief right now is to train a specific muscle only once per week. The reasoning behind this training philosophy is that you train the muscle intensely, then it will need an entire week (7 days) to recover, recuperate, and grow. Many feel that training a muscle any more than this will result in the dreaded “overtraining” syndrome.
However, keep in mind that many people believe in the once-per-week training module because of certain studies that have been released that allegedly prove that the weight trainers in the studies gained more strength when training once per week than when training more frequently. But, getting stronger is not the same as getting bigger. How many bodybuilders do you know that are as strong as a bear, yet they have flat pecs, skinny / lanky arms, and slender legs? And the opposite is true: they are a ton of people that have a lot of muscle mass yet aren’t as strong as they physically look.
So, you can’t factor in these types of studies. Besides, there have been other studies that show that more frequent bouts with the weight in the gym gave more progess. So, again, you can’t take into consideration these types of studies when your primary goal is to gain weight and build muscle mass fast.
Another thing you have to realize is that it wasn’t until Mike Mentzer and Arthur Jones popularized the whole HIT, aka High Intensity Training philosophy that bodybuilders began to severely cut their training volume and frequency down. But back in the day, during the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s it was pretty much the norm to train each muscle group 2-3 times per week. Look up most those guys from back then, and you’ll see that they all did this.
Also, look at what happens in the real world. Gymnasts, sprinters, or any other athlete in a sport that has caused them to have very muscular body parts don’t just train one time per week. They train those muscles practicing their particular sport pretty much every day, sometimes for hours on end.
So, again, how often should you train a particular muscle group to stimulate muscle building and weight gain? If you’re main goal is to muscular development and hypertrophy, and especially if you consider yourself a so called “hardgainer”, then the minimum should be twice per week.
More to come…………