Wednesday, January 16, 2013

High Frequency Training


High Frequency Training
Frequent Workouts for Fast Results

     High Frequency Training—we’ll just call it HFT from here on out—involves any form of training where you are working each muscle group a minimum of 3 times a week (that’s right, a minimum).  HFT usually gets a bad rap when it is presented to the average bodybuilding public.  It has become a fad to train each muscle group infrequently and with a very high-intensity and/or high-volume.  But I’m here to tell you right now that there is a better way to train.  So if you’re tired of hearing that the best way to train a muscle is to “annihilate” it and then give it a week (or longer) to rest and grow stronger, you ought to love this article.
     If you don’t believe this kind of training works, you probably would like to see some examples of well-developed athletes and/or bodybuilders who have used it.  First off, let’s examine athletes.  Some of the most muscular athletes in the world train very frequently.  Speed skaters have some the largest, most massive thighs in the world of athletics, and their thighs got that way by training them daily—and training them hard.  As far as upper bodies go, you don’t have to look any further than gymnasts.  Gymnasts have extremely muscular shoulders, lats, biceps, triceps, and forearms developed by daily training on events such as the pommel horse, rings, and the uneven bars.
     “Okay, what about the world of strength training?” you want to ask.  Look no further than Olympic lifters.  Olympic lifters do little else other than train their cleans, jerks, and squats on a daily basis.  And a lot of these guys have physiques most bodybuilders would kill for, despite the fact that they’re not trying to look like a bodybuilder.  They just want to get strong as hell, and they know that the best way to do it is with HFT.
     One more group has to be mentioned here, and they are the old-time strongmen.  A lot of strongmen from around the turn of the 20th century (and on into the 1940s and ‘50s, I might add) built their strength and muscle by working their lifts anywhere between 3 and 6 days a week.  They knew that the more they trained a lift, the better and stronger they got at it.
Making HFT Work
     Now let’s look at the keys to making HFT work, and then we’ll look at some workout programs.  First off, you can’t train often and extremely hard.  In other words, you can’t train chest more frequently just by using the current program you’re working out with, and just doing it three or four times a week instead of one or two.  That kind of training is what gave HFT such a bad rap in the first place.
     Here are the keys to making progress with high-frequency training:
1)    Keep your volume for each muscle group fairly low at each workout.  This is especially true when you first start out.  As you become more advanced, you can certainly have days where you train with a lot of volume, but it can’t be part of your regular program.  Also, keep in mind that even though your volume is going to be low during a workout, your total volume for each muscle group over the course of a week of training is going to be high.
2)    Avoid momentary muscular failure.  When training frequently, you want to stop each set several reps shy of failure.
3)    For each workout, focus on only one skill.  In other words, if strength is your goal, that’s what you want to work on during a workout—and that should be your primary goal throughout a training week.  The same goes if building muscle mass is your goal.  What you can’t do is focus on more than one skill in the same workout—the volume would be too high at each session.
     The first program here is geared toward strength and power, although muscle mass will certainly occur as long as you are eating enough protein and calories.  The second program is strictly for inducing hypertrophy.
Beginning Strength and Power Routine
     This workout program allows you to ease into HFT.  It begins by only training your muscle groups 3 times each week on a whole body program.  At each workout, pick only 3 exercises.  Choose a lower body movement at each session (squats, front squats, deadlifts), an upper body pushing movement (bench presses, incline bench presses, dips, overhead presses), and an upper body pulling movements (various chins or rows, for example).
     For the first week, perform 2 sets of 5 reps for each exercise on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  For the second week, perform 3 sets of 5 reps on each exercise on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  On the 3rd week, it’s time to add another workout.  This week will see you using 3 sets of 5 reps on each exercise on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.  On week 4, you once again add another session, this time training each exercise for 3 sets of 5 reps on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  And on week 5 you will perform 4 sets of 5 reps Monday through Friday.
     None of the sets should be tough, especially the first 3 weeks.  Use between 60-70% of your one-rep maximum on each exercise.  (You don’t have to be scientific about your percentages; just make sure they’re close.)  In summary, here’s the workout:
Week One
Mon-Wed-Fri: 2 sets of 5 reps
Week Two
Mon-Wed-Fri: 3 sets of 5 reps
Week Three
Mon-Tue-Wed-Fri: 3 sets of 5 reps
Week Four
Mon-Tue-Wed-Thur-Fri: 3 sets of 5 reps
Week Five
Mon-Tue-Wed-Thur-Fri: 4 sets of 5 reps
     On week six, you can either start the workout cycle over again, or you can switch to the second program in this article.
Beginning Hypertrophy Routine
     For those of you—men and women—whose only concern is to look good naked, then this is the program for you.  As with the Strength and Power workout, here you will have a week or two to “break in” to this kind of training.
Week One
For the first week, perform the following workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:
1)    Squats – 2 sets of 10-12 reps
2)    Incline Dumbbell Bench Presses – 2 sets of 10-12 reps
3)    Seated Overhead Dumbbell Presses – 2 sets of 10-12 reps
4)    One Arm Dumbbell Rows – 2 sets of 10-12 reps
5)    Standing Dumbbell Curls – 2 sets of 10-12 reps
6)    Lying Dumbbell Extensions – 2 sets of 10-12 reps
7)    Incline Sit-Ups – 2 sets of 20-30 reps
Week Two
For the second week, perform the following on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Here, you will change exercises from the first week, and add 1 set for each muscle group.
1)    Leg Presses – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
2)    Stiff-Legged Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
3)    Incline Barbell Bench Presses – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
4)    Barbell Bent-Over Rows – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
5)    Standing Military Presses – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
6)    Barbell Curls – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
7)    Lying Barbell Extensions (a.ka. “Skullcrushers”) – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
8)    Incline Sit-Ups – 3 sets of 20-30 reps
Week Three
     Perform the following workout program on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday:
1)    Squats – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
2)    Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
3)    Flat Dumbbell Bench Presses- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
4)    Lat Machine Pulldowns – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
5)    Upright Rows – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
6)    Seated Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
7)    Rope Pushdowns – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
8)    Feet Elevated Pushups – 2 sets of 10-20 reps
9)    Incline Sit-Ups – 3 sets of 20-30 reps
Week Four
     Perform the following program Monday through Friday, then take the weekend off:
1)    Squats – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
2)    Stiff-Legged Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
3)    Flat Barbell Bench Presses- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
4)    Lat Machine Pulldowns – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
5)    Lateral Raises – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
6)    Barbell Curls – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
7)     Skullcrushers – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
8)    Feet Elevated Pushups – 2 sets of 10-20 reps
9)    Incline Sit-Ups – 3 sets of 20-30 reps
Week Five
     For the final week of your training cycle, perform the following workout Monday through Saturday, taking only Sunday off from training:
1)    Leg Presses – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
2)    Dumbbell Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
3)    Incline Dumbbell Bench Presses- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
4)    Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows– 3 sets of 10-12 reps
5)    Seated Dumbbell Presses – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
6)    E-Z Bar Curls – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
7)    Triceps Pushdowns – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
8)    Cable Flyes – 2 sets of 10-20 reps
9)    Incline Sit-Ups – 3 sets of 20-30 reps
Conclusion
     There you have it.  Two completely unique training programs that will not only shatter your beliefs about what you thought was effective training, they will also bring you more strength, power and/or hypertrophy than you have experienced in a long time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave us some feedback on the article or any topics you would like us to cover in the future! Much Appreciated!