Tag Archives: frequency
Do you have any idea how to progress your training across the variables?
It’s quite easy really, as such here is an example for each that can be used for several weeks or months if you have the courage to stay the course.
Ladders, one of my favourites.
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or 2,3,5,10, or 1,2,3,4,5
There are a lot of choices, for adding extra volume in the form of reps, the most effective being 1-10, and you will only add weight once you can go 1-10 unbroken.
Example (works best as a super set):
A1 – Pull Up
A2 – Close Grip Bench Press
Let us say that you’re a creature of habit who likes doing the same sets and reps, this is cool however progressing can be a tad tricky, therefor this is the solution:
Small 0.25kg (or lighter) plates, all you need do is hit your desired reps then add another 0.25kg and aim to do the same next time.
Personally I’ve found that doing 3-5×3-5 works well as it gives you some room to adapt to the gradual increases. Once you hit 5×5 with good form, adding another fraction plate is easy, it might may you only be able to do 3×3, that’s okay keep grinding until it’s 5×5 and progress from there.
Perhaps you’re already one strong hombre and adding weight or reps is becoming tricky, fear not, you have two options to progress.
1 – Set a time limit to hit your rep goal.
Example; 50 reps in 15min with 140kg in the squat.
Once you hit it you add weight.
2 – Reduce your rest periods.
Say you’ve started with 5min rest, knock off 15 seconds at the next session, if you hit all your reps then knock off another 15 next time, repeat this until you are perhaps at 3min rest, or lower, that is up to you.
Once you hit your desired point of ‘low rest’ add weight and take the rest back up to 5min per set and so on.
The easiest to manipulate, al you do is add an extra bout of reps or an extra session.
Say you train your squat once per week, bump it up to twice, if you already do two squat sessions do three, you can spread the reps out and build them up from there, example:
1 squat session a week = 5×10
2 squat session = 3×10 per session (10 more total reps)
Adding weight or reps can be applied from the other example above.
The little tips of today are very basic, there is a lot more that can go in to this, however these will be enough to tweak your current training and perhaps get you over the plateau.
What do they mean would be the best question to ask first of all.
These numbers are in reference to the frequency of training a muscle group, or if you are less about the aesthetic and more about performance it will be in reference to movement patterns.
So 3-2-1 is ideal for beginners and people who are short on time yet still want to make a decent amount of progress in terms of strength, hypertrophy, performance and fat loss.
Squat 3 days per week
Press 2 days per week
Deadlift 1 day per week
I’d also add in pulling (elbow flexion) and hip extension movements (rows, pull ups, face pulls, reverse fly, swings, rope pull throughs etc) to the three day group as these patterns are often left out.
Press vertically and horizontally both days, this would also encompass all elbow extension exercises – skull crushers etc.
The reason many will do well deadlifting once per week as they can often lift more weight in this lift and as such will cause more metabolic disturbance.
Taking in to consideration what is above you can guess where 5-3-2 is going.
Yep, more frequency for people with more experience who fall in the intermediate level and need more exposure to the movements.
Depending on goal you may find you squat 3 or 5 times per week, the sam gif true for pressing/pulling it might be 3 or 5 days, you can adjust this as you need to.
Press/Pull 5 days per week
Squat 3 days per week
Deadlift 2 days per week
Over the years it has been shown that more often than not the more frequently you train something (the more exposure it has to training stimuli) the stronger it is and the more developed the muscle/area/movement looks.
Now these guidelines aren’t gospel, they’re just a guide to give people some direction.
What is 1-1-1 then?
Yep, you’ve probably worked it out.
You may even find that you’re one of the luck ones who can train things once per week and make progress, if that is the case then stick with what works because there is no sense in fixing what isn’t broken. If this is you, just make sure each session you give it your all for maximal progress, due to the low frequency you will need to hammer the muscle to hit your required volume/intensity/work capacity needs.
In terms of my own training I will tell you that higher frequency has very much helped me gain high levels of strength relative to my size (what is needed for the combative sports is partake in), however when I dropped my frequency – it was still a minimum of twice per week per muscle group – I made more hypertrophic progress, this was due to not only a different style of training but also eating in a caloric surplus*.
*You need to be in a calorie surplus to gain weight, you’ll struggle if you’re not in one, regardless of set or rep range. If you want to shift fat you can train int he same way you will just need a caloric deficit, fact.
Take a look at your training and compete the frequency of your lifts to what body parts you have developed the most, you’ll probably find the ones you train the most are the best, or as some might say “Those are you naturally strong areas” – well duh, you train them more, they’re going to be stronger than the ones you avoid.
Training is all about learning, applying and adapting until you find what work best for YOU.
Let’s get started.
Frequency is King for adding both Strength & Size.
There are a few people who can indeed bend or completely shatter this rule, they are as follows:
– PED users.
– Genetic Elite (however frequency gives them more oomph).
– The Strong.
Now when it comes to PED users they will have an increased rate of recovery, protein synthesis and generally be more anabolic. The same is true for the genetic elite, while they are natural, their body responds far better which means they can make great progress on minimal frequency.
Both PED users and the Genetic Elite do benefit from training at a higher frequency, you can look back at various training records across differing sports to confirm this, there are several references in the Science & Practice of Strength training and Super Training if you want a place to start.
So what about The Strong?
What is strong?
Is a 405lbs or 180kg squat strong? Yes, but it’s not earth shattering. You could still get a benefit out of squatting 2-3times per week with sub max loads based on those squatting numbers. However if you are squatting 700lbs or 317kg you might do well squatting once per week or maybe even less frequently because of the amount of neurological stress handling even sub max weight would induce.
Now strength is indeed relative, to a point. A 60kg lifter lifting 180kg may adhere to the rule of less frequency, they may not.
The bottom line is that being strong may require you to use a lower frequency, until that weight becomes light, then you increase frequency to once again progress until you start hitting ridiculous numbers, but once you start hitting those you can do pretty much what ever you like.
Unless you are one of these incredibly strong individuals erring on the side of more frequency of a lift (2-4 times per week on separate days or more with twice or triple day training if you have the luxury) will get you better results than hitting it just once.