Training Frequency & Volume: What You Need to Know

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Knowing how frequently to train along with the volume you should be aiming for is one of the most difficult aspects of programming for bodybuilders. However, there are certain principles that can guide you in making the correct decision.

Volume Determines Frequency

When devising a training program, it’s essential to note that your total training volume determines the frequency by which you can train.

Allow us to elaborate.

If you were to train every body part/exercise once per week, it’s likely that your session could end up exceeding 6 hours.

In addition to this, the extreme fatigue you would suffer would severely compromise your performance and ability to return to the gym (frequency).

Therefore, it is your training volume that determines how frequently you can train – not the opposite way around.

What Is the Optimal Training Frequency?

This is where the conversation starts to get argumentative and controversial.

On one hand, you have the old school thought of thrashing a muscle group once per week until complete exhaustion for optimal hypertrophy.

In modern times, we’re finding that people favour a higher frequency, occasionally training a body part up to 2-3 X weekly for what they believe delivers optimal hypertrophy.

There is one underlying principle that governs the optimal training frequency, however.

The #1 Rule

The most important rule is that progressive resistance is achieved.

This means more weight on the bar, continuously in the pursuit of progress.

In order to achieve this and achieve the optimal training frequency and volume, you’ll need to experiment and run trial and error with the following components:

  • Work/life balance
  • Recovery abilities
  • Experience in training
  • Weight lifted per session (heavier weights can take longer to recover from)
  • Training specificity (multi-faceted training requires more planning)

Concluding Thoughts

Fact of the matter is simple: determining the optimal training and frequency requires time, effort, and an acknowledgement of what level you’re currently at with your training in addition to the level of physical and mental effort you have to dedicate to training.

Get experimenting


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