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29.08.2016


How many times a week should strength athletes train their muscle groups?

As far as American sports scientist Brad Schoenfeld can tell from the literature, bodybuilders and fitness fanatics make more progression by training their muscle groups twice a week than if they only train each muscle group once a week. Schoenfeld writes about this in a meta-study that has appeared in Sports Medicine.

Study
Schoenfeld looked at abstracts of 491 studies that had compared the effect of different training frequencies. Of those 491, only 10 could be further analysed.

Results
On the basis of the ten studies that the researchers considered good enough, the researchers concluded that the training schemes produced more muscle growth the more often per week that the subjects exercised their muscle groups.


As far as American sports scientist Brad Schoenfeld can tell from the literature, bodybuilders and fitness fanatics make more progression by training their muscle groups twice a week than if they only train each muscle group once a week. Schoenfeld writes about this in a meta-study that will appear soon in Sports Medicine.


But how many times per week should you train a muscle group for optimal results? Just twice a week? Or does three times a week give better results? The researchers did not have enough data to be able to answer this question.

Conclusion
The researchers drew three conclusions from the meta-study. The first is an obvious one.

"When comparing studies that investigated training muscle groups between 1 to 3 days per week on a volume-equated basis, the current body of evidence indicates that frequencies of training two times per week promote superior hypertrophic outcomes compared to one time", they wrote. "It can therefore be inferred that the major muscle groups should be trained at least twice a week to maximize muscle growth."

"Whether training a muscle group three times per week is superior to a twice-per-week protocol remains to be determined", they then added. "Due to an absence of data, it is not clear whether training muscle groups more than 3 days per week might enhance the hypertrophic response." That's conclusion number two.



"That said, training a muscle group once a week was shown to promote robust muscular hypertrophy and remains a viable strategy for program design", they wrote. And that's conclusion number three.

Source:
Sports Med. 2016 Nov;46(11):1689-97.

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