The Benefits of High Frequency Strength Training

The Benefits of High Frequency Strength Training

What if I told you that you could double your size and strength progression in the gym just by adjusting your program? It may sound like a gimmick but science-based evidence supports the claim that high frequency weight training may be the new breakthrough in athletic performance and muscular development.

The old bodybuilding routines of the late 70’s through today have always emphasized an approach of high per session volume, exhausting a single muscle completely and training each muscle group with as low of a frequency as once a week. This was popularized and effective for many of the steroid-induced bodybuilders of the time, but is not applicable to the natural strength training athlete or physique-focused individual.

High frequency training employs a differing approach in which each muscle group is trained with a low per session volume, but with a high overall weekly frequency of up to six times per week per muscle. This allows a person to be able to handle a higher load on each lift, which in turn, increases the overall weekly volume placed on a muscle group each week.

Norwegian Experiment

To determine whether high frequency training worked better than the typical three-day program or a traditional bodybuilding split, the Norwegian school of sport sciences decided to do a formal experiment.

Participants in the study had all trained continuously for competitive powerlifting for at least one year.  On top of that, they all competed in national Norwegian IPF affiliate powerlifting competitions within the last six months before the start of this experiment – so we’re not dealing with brand new lifters, but rather people with at least a fair amount of training and competition experience.

All lifters were put on the same 15-week program (same exercise selection, volume, and intensity) but the low frequency (LF) group performed the workouts in 3 days and the high frequency (HF) group performed their workouts in 6 smaller sessions.


The HF group exhibited a 10% increases in 1RM strength on the deadlift, squat and bench press while also seeing a significant increase in muscular hypertrophy while the LF group only saw a 5% increase in strength and did not increase muscular size.


Although the evidence needs further evaluation into the physiological mechanisms, it can be hypothesized that the increased frequency in training induces muscle protein synthesis more often then a low training frequency. Additionally, the lower per session training volume results in an increased effort and ability to handle higher loads which results in an increase of long term volume in comparison to low frequency training to exhaustion of single muscle groups.



About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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