It’s important to consider several variables when it comes to improving your strength with your workout sessions. 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 mass.
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:
- Resistance bands
- Exercising with your body weight (push-ups)
- 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:
- Gaining Muscle Mass
Strength training can reverse the natural decline of muscle mass with age.
- Weight Control
Having more muscle means your body burns calories more easily, making controlling your weight easier.
Increasing flexibility and balance can reduce falls and injuries with ageing by strengthening exercises.
- Joint Flexibility
Joint flexibility can be enhanced through strength training and can reduce arthritis symptoms.
- 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 tendons.
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 variation.
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.