Training Frequency for Maximum Muscle Growth

This question is asked a million times on the forums/fitness websites…”How often should I train body parts?”

I had wondered if 2x per week was optimal. I never thought so but never had proof until now.

**** Look at male gymnasts….they train everyday… some 6x per week. They’re arms are incredible.

male gymnast arms

**** How about crosfit athletes? They train the same body parts everyday. Female crosfit athletes have big legs.

female crosfit muscular legs

I ran across an article the other day that tested muscle growth in 2 groups of men. One group resistance trained 1x per week while the 2nd group trained 3x per week. Both groups trained for 12 weeks with each performing the exact same workout and the exact same number of sets. The 2nd group did less sets per day but worked out more days.

The results were interesting to say the least. The first group (worked out 1x per week) gained 1 lb of muscle while the 2nd group (worked out 3x per week) gained 4 lbs of muscle in 12 weeks.

A lot of people say muscles need 2 or 3 days to grow/recover. I don’t believe that’s true. I think it’s more like 24 hours. The microscopic tears in the muscle are repaired rather quickly. It’s not like when you cut yourself or strain a muscle. That’s a lot of damage.

Here’s more proof….(http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/h95-038#.Vtcc3fkrJpg)

Muscle protein synthetic rate (MPS) was measured after heavy, resistance training and here is what was discovered. Muscle protein synthesis increased 50% 4 hours after training and 109% at 24 hours. At 36 hours muscle protein synthesis was almost back to normal.

So it looks like 24-30 hours maybe optimal recovery. I found it hard to believe it takes 2 or 3 days for muscles to recover/grow.

Let’s put it to the test. I’m going to squat 4-5 days a week. I’ll measure my legs before and weekly. Let’s see if they grow faster than 2x per week.

…stay tuned.

 

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