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Training Frequency

Training Frequency

Training frequency is one of the central questions of each exercise programme.
When you do exercise you set a training stimulus which disrupts the state of equilibrium between the decomposing (catabolic) and building up (anabolic) processes in the body. This disruption leads to an adaptation of the body, e.g. to muscle growth. Training too often prevents progress in muscle growth because the body, in this case, does not have enough time to carry out the adaptation.

It is important to time the training stimulus in such a way that the body’s reaction to the adaptation is ideal.Scheduling training frequency is a very important part of a successful exercise programme.

For the musculature it is valid as a standard that it needs at least 24 to 36 hours to regenerate. Tendons, ligaments and joints need even more time to recover. The body has reached its base level again after it has recovered. Now the next phase begins and it involves adapting (super-compensation) to the training stimulus (swelling of the muscles). The duration of the adaptation can take anything between 2 and 10 days. It would be ideal if the next training session would be at the peak of the super compensation phase.

Due to the recovery time that muscles need, split training has prevailed in bodybuilding. This training method supports frequent training without overstraining the recovery-ability of the individual muscle groups and the entire body.

Not training enough, just as training too often, leads to bad results. In this case the body is not provided with enough stimuli.

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The Ideal Training Frequency

All specifications of the ideal training frequency can only be guide values. Each body has a different recovery-ability. This means that everyone has to determine for themselves, how often they can train without overtraining the body.

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You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises, Mark Lauren, Joshua Clark


Starting Strength, 3rd edition,
Mark Rippetoe


The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised

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