Does that style of routine look familiar? A lot of us start with this trend of working out. We want to destroy that 1 muscle group, that it needs a whole week to recover. This will work great as a new gym goer as any sort of stimulus will work a treat. The idea of progressively overloading, adding more sets, adding more volume over the years isn’t something that is rushed. Over a long period you can progressively increase your daily volume from 3 sets of 4 exercises to 6 sets of 5 exercises. At some point there’s only so much you can work 1 muscle group in one session before you stop getting benefits. So eventually you will need to increase your frequency and overall volume for that week to create new stimulus.
E.g. No.1 On Monday you do 4 sets of 5 exercises for chest at a total of 20 sets for the week.
E.g. No.2 On Monday & Thursday you do 3 sets of 4 exercises for chest at a total of 24 sets for the week.
Option No.2 gives you a 20% increase in total volume for the week which is fantastic. But not only is it an increase in volume, but you have increased the frequency. Plenty of studies show that increased frequency of training a muscle group will increase protein synthesis which is a bonus.
Dr. Brad Schoenfeld conducted recent studies showing advantages of increasing training frequency.
A literature search was conducted to locate all studies that directly compared measures of hypertrophy for different weekly lifting frequencies using traditional resistance training programs. Only human studies with healthy subjects were considered, and study duration had to last a minimum of four weeks.
A total of 10 studies were identified that met inclusion criteria. 7 of the studies, comprising a total of 200 subjects, investigated muscle group frequency while the other 3 studies assessed training session frequency when the number of weekly times working a muscle group was matched.”
“We first looked at the effects of frequency as a binary predictor. Simply stated, this means that the higher frequency condition in a study was compared to the lower frequency condition, irrespective of how many days a week the muscle group was trained. Thus, a 2 day-a-week vs 1 day-a-week was treated the same as a 3 day-a-week vs 1 day-a-week. In this model, there was a clear benefit for higher frequency training of a muscle group.”
As you can see above, the 7 studies all favor increased training frequency vs. 1 day per week style of training.
Also, as you’re probably aware when your training, the more you train the same muscle group within that session, the quality of that training session quickly goes down. So if you were to train that muscle group twice per week, you might have to start train 2 muscle groups per session.
An e.g would be training 3 sets of 4 exercises each for both legs and chest in one session.
An overall split might look like this.