Q: I’ve been following the current bodybuilding training trend of hitting each muscle once a week with lots of sets. Growth has been slow, but you’d think that with so much volume and intensity at one workout, it should take a full week for that muscle to completely recover, right?
Well, training each muscle with lots of volume once a week will produce some growth—if intensity is high enough to produce significant damage. The question is how much is enough?
Less volume for each muscle but with more frequent body part hits has proven a better, more sure-fire method for optimal hypertrophy in most cases and works as a sort of anabolic phasing…
In Anabolic Reload we discuss a recent study by hypertrophy researcher Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D. He compared a workout program that trained each target muscle once a week and the less popular full-body workout performed on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
He made sure that the trainees were doing the SAME VOLUME of work for each muscle…
In other words, if the once-a-week-per-muscle group did 12 sets for chest, the three-times-per-week group did 4 sets for chest at each full-body workout—still 12 total sets but over three workouts instead of all crammed into one. After 12 weeks…
The group that trained each target muscle three times a week (full-body) got better muscle gains than the group that trained each muscle only once a week. That’s right, doing less volume PER MUSCLE at each workout but with more frequent sessions produced better size gains. Oh, and these were experienced lifters, not beginners…
To be fair, Schoenfeld said that the better gains could have been the result of simply introducing a new stimulus—the three-times-per-week group may not have been used to that higher frequency of work, so they grew bigger faster, a.k.a. change to gain.
So if you’ve been training each muscle once a week with volume for a month or more, to trigger some new freak-physique growth you should switch to a three-days-per-week, full-body workout program for the next four to six weeks…
That Anabolic Phasing every few weeks is the key to a freak physique.
The Freak-Physique Stretch-Overload Workout contains new mass-building research and a few 3-days-per-week full-body workouts supercharged with anabolic stretch, including Pure-Positions STX. For a limited time, you can add it to your mass-building library, a $19 value, for ONLY $9 HERE.
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NOTE: The special low $15 price ($45 value) is still on for a few days only, so if you’re interested, grab it now at our NEW READ-ME PAGE HERE
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
ATTENTION OVER-40 BODYBUILDERS:
One of the most interesting read-me pages on Testosterone and other muscle-building hormones we’ve seen is The Truth About Testosterone.
It even talks about a fruit, a specific part, that can up your T naturally. Cranking up your testosterone will not only get you jacked in the gym, but in the bedroom too—not to mention help rip up your midsection as it ignites fat burning. If that interests you, there’s more from our colleague and registered dietician, HERE.