In today’s video we’re talking about the subject of training frequency, and specifically the approach of training each individual muscle group once per week only. So it’s become pretty common nowadays if you watch most content on the subject of training frequency for most people to, basically just crap all over the idea of hitting each muscle group only once per week.
Saying that it’ll only work for steroid or sarms (e.g. ostabolic) users or for people with way above-average genetics and that it won’t be effective for building muscle in average natural lifters. And the truth is that, yes, if you’re looking to gain muscle and strength at the fastest possible rate, a once per week frequency almost certainly isn’t gonna be ideal for the simple reason that it doesn’t actually take an entire week for a muscle to recover and grow after it’s been trained.
Depending on how much volume you use and how intensely your training and other factors like diet and sleep, somewhere between two to four days is probably what you’re looking at for full recovery and growth after a given workout. So by using a higher frequency your muscles are going to be stimulated more often and that’s going to produce a higher number of individual growth periods throughout a given month and year.
If you only train a muscle once per week then that’s fifty-four growth periods for the year,whereas if you were to train it one and a half times a week you’d get eighty-one growth periods, if you trained it twice a week you’d get a hundred and four and so on. And I would say that depending on a person’s individual experience level and the type of weekly split they’re following, anywhere between one and a half up to three times per week would be the optimal frequency to fully maximize the rate of muscle growth over the long run.
I don’t necessarily think that twice per week would literally be twice as effective as once per week, or that three times a week would be exactly fifty percent more effective than twice a week, because there are certain diminishing returns at play and total volume for the week as a whole is still gonna be the most important factor by far. But, yeah, no question for most natural lifters training each muscle more than once per week will be ideal for the very best gains.
Now all that said, despite how strongly some people will advise against a once per week frequency it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a very big difference between something being sub-optimal versus being ineffective. So just because training each muscle once per week isn’t the optimal way to gain muscle that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work or that it can’t be applicable in certain situations. And in a lot of bodybuilding circles it actually wasn’t that long ago where hitting each muscle once a week was considered a pretty standard piece of advice.
And there are plenty of guys out there who have built great physique and gotten very big and strong by training exactly that way. Even speaking for myself, back in my more bodybuilding focused days when this was a standard advice, that’s exactly how I used to train and I eventually got up to achieving probably 85% plus of my genetic muscle building potential that way.
Would I have gotten faster results with a higher frequency? Yeah, most likely. But I think that’s exactly what the main factor at play here is. It’s primarily speed of results. So a higher frequency will allow you to see faster gains because you’re stimulating each muscle for growth more often, however a lower frequency can still get you to the same goal eventually as long as the total weekly volume is still the same, but it’ll just take a longer period of time.
So with all that said there are a few situations where training each muscle once per week,which is usually gonna mean a four to five day per week of some kind, it could be done in three days per week if you use enough volume per session, or you could also spread it out over six days if you really wanted to, but usually four to five days per week will be about right for most people.