Muscle Hypertrophy: Why Frequency Is Better Than Volume For Gains?

TSquared Lab, 09 Nov 2021

It’s important to consider several variables when it comes to improving
your strength with your workout classes. For example, the type of exercise
you choose, the weights you lift, the reps you perform, the sets you
complete, the rest you get, and so on determine how strong you can
potentially become.

When creating your muscle gain workout plan, you should consider the
frequency and volume of your workouts as both are key factors for your
progress while working out, apart from including healthy meal plans in your
daily life. Both are essential for success, but you’ll find it difficult to
progress much without sufficient amounts of either.

Moreover, overworking your nervous system makes training for strength
difficult, if not impossible. So, how do you choose the frequency and
volume of workouts when you plan them? What’s the reason behind frequency
being considered more important than volume for gains?

Before we answer these questions, let’s look at and understand what muscle
hypertrophy is in the first place.

Understanding Muscle Hypertrophy

Scientifically speaking, muscle hypertrophy is the cross-sectional area of
muscle fibres linked to muscle mass and volume gain. Muscle hypertrophy
happens when the muscles are loaded in a way that activates inducibility,
such as the IGF-1 hormone.

Muscle groups respond differently to different rep ranges when trained for
muscle hypertrophy based on various factors such as muscle fibre types,
genetic characteristics, and individual differences.

In strength training, muscle hypertrophy occurs, resulting in increased
muscle mass. Generally, it is attributed to weight training because of its
results. Moreover, as a necessary component of strength development, injury
prevention, and performance, hypertrophy training is crucial.

How Does Muscle Hypertrophy Work?

You can build muscle through both myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
with strength training. Through training, the body is forced to repair damaged muscles by undergoing strain. As a result, the resistance gradually increases over time.

This repetitive stress stimulates muscles to grow in strength and size as
they adapt to muscle hypertrophy. Strength training, doing different
exercises, and getting enough sleep are the best ways to increase muscle

There are, however, some conditions that can disrupt muscular hypertrophy.
For example, during middle age, muscular dystrophies such as myofibrillar
myopathy cause muscle weakness. But, before affecting the rest of the body,
the symptoms start with the hands and feet.

The Science Of Strength Training

Muscle hypertrophy training aims to increase muscle mass and strength
through resistance training by stretching muscles until they are damaged
and well adapted to the change in muscle mass.

Resistance training reduces body fat, increases lean muscle mass, and burns
more calories. In addition, strength training allows you to gain muscle
mass and strength within a short time.

As a part of resistance training, you typically perform movements against
resistance, such as:

  • Weightlifting
  • Resistance bands
  • Exercising with your body weight (push-ups)
  • Deadlifting
  • Weight training machines

Strength training can be tailored to match unique fitness goals, and
individuals can choose to target specific muscle groups. A strength
training program can provide you with the following benefits:

  1. Gaining Muscle Mass

Strength training can reverse the natural decline of muscle mass with age.

  1. Weight Control

Having more muscle means your body burns calories more easily, making
controlling your weight easier.

  1. Balance

Increasing flexibility and balance can reduce falls and injuries with
ageing by strengthening exercises.

  1. Joint Flexibility

Joint flexibility can be enhanced through strength training and can reduce
arthritis symptoms.

  1. Stronger Bones

Strengthening bone density reduces the risk of fractures due to greater
bone density.

Does Training Frequency Matter For Muscle Growth?

The training frequency determines how many times a given muscle group or
lift is performed within a given period. Therefore, providing training
stimuli at a certain frequency is necessary to build on or maintain a
previous stimulus.

The recovery time between training sessions is crucial for maximizing
adaptive processes. Therefore, as training stimulus intensity increases,
training frequency decreases as well. However, training stimulus intensity
should not be confused with training intensity. When done correctly, it is
possible to train hard even with high frequency. To understand the
importance and benefits of recovery in training, take expert guidance from
our rehabilitation center at TSqauredlab, where our trainers and coaches.

Every muscle group gets a workout once or twice per week most of the time.
Therefore, you can target each muscle group twice during a session.
Bodybuilders refer to such a method as “splitting”.

Some practitioners use so-called “
full-body sessions”, in which all muscles are worked simultaneously with low volume per
muscle group. Therefore, there are three to six training sessions per week
for this type of training.

What’s Volume Training?

In a workout, volume refers to the number of reps that stimulate a
particular muscle group. The volume of training muscles refers to how much
work is performed during a single workout session or over several weeks.

By defining the dose of a strength-training program as volume, we can
determine how much strength training is necessary. Increasing the volume of
training will stimulate muscle fiber growth and provide more training.

If a short rest period is used, this number will be lower. An exercise that
requires this muscle as the limiting factor is approximately five
repetitions per set to failure. It is possible that later sets of a workout
may contain fewer stimulating repetitions due to CNS fatigue.

CNS fatigue can affect the number of effective repetitions achieved in each
set to failure during later workouts if earlier workouts have caused
serious muscle damage. The number of repetitions per set should not
increase beyond five if this muscle is a limiting factor in the exercise.

Why Is Frequency Better Than Volume for Gains?

Frequency is a better place to start when beginning strength training for several
reasons. Your strength will be challenged first, as the weight you lift
will be heavy for you. There is a huge difference between 100 pounds and
500 pounds.

To accommodate your body to the strength level, it is best, to begin with,
a higher frequency and a lower volume. You are less likely to suffer from
excessive inflammation due to tears in muscles, joints, ligaments, and

It is only possible to count a stimulating rep as full when the working
muscle group has fully recruited its motor units. It means that the
exercise must reach the threshold of its usual capacity to recruit more
muscle fibers to continue the set.

To optimize your training volume for hypertrophy, increase your training
frequency. By training more frequently, you can do less junk volume
bodybuilding and more effective volume.

In some cases, reducing training frequency can be beneficial after a long
period of high training frequency (12-20 weeks).

In most exercises, more than one muscle group is strengthened, and not all
muscles are fully worked. Stimulating quadriceps maximally is a limiting
factor. Hence, doing squats also stimulates the hip extensors. They are
more effective when they are done with a more hip hinge, that is low bar

A training frequency greater than twice per week is optimal. MPS is
elevated only after 48 hours of training, making it unlikely that a once or
twice weekly training program will not miss out on windows of growth.

The MPS response can be maximized in as few as 18 sets per session 24 to 48
hours after training, so you may be better off training more frequently
than doing fewer sets per session.

Therefore, you will have more time in a positive protein balance. In
addition, as MPS instead of MPB determines muscle growth, this should yield
better long-term gains.

You can then maximize training volume each week in this manner. The
distribution of your training will allow you to take advantage of
MPS-stimulating workouts every week. Thus, avoiding junk volume.

By increasing your training frequency for a particular muscle, you would
see better results rather than simply adding sets to the workout.


When it comes to the science of strength training, proper frequency, and
volume can lead to maximum muscle hypertrophy.

It is always important to monitor overall training volume and frequency
when training for muscle hypertrophy and to maximize muscle growth while
gaining strength. Overworking muscles can be counterproductive, so allowing
them to recover is better.

Knowing why frequency is better than sheer reps in a set for gains should
give you confidence and a scientific insight to training. It encourages you
to discover your individual strengths and abilities by focusing more on
quality than quantity.

Strength training to gain muscle hypertrophy can benefit both women and men
and jointly devise a muscle gain workout plan.

But if you haven’t worked out in some time, it’s recommended that you
gradually build up your strength. Our personal trainers and wellness
coaches at Tsquaredlab make sure to work with you to achieve your ultimate
fitness goals and strength.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the key factors to consider for your progress while working out?

A. Apart from including healthy meal plans in your daily life, you should consider the frequency and volume of your workouts as the key factors for your progress while working out.

Q. What is Muscle Hypertrophy?
A. Muscle hypertrophy is the cross-sectional area of muscle fibers linked to muscle mass & volume gain. Muscle hypertrophy happens when the muscles are loaded in a way that activates inducibility, such as the IGF-1 hormone.
Q. What activities do you perform in resistance training?
A. As a part of resistance training, you typically perform movements against resistance, such as Weightlifting, Resistance bands, Exercising with your body weight (push-ups), Deadlifting, Weight training machines.

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