Thursday, January 28, 2016

HFT Benefits

The Benefits of High-Frequency Training for Size and Strength Gains!

     If you haven't done so, please read my previous post on High-Frequency Training (HFT) before reading the following.  It will be of more benefit—no pun intended—if you do so.
     Now, on to building more muscle, strength and power...
George Hackenshmidt—the "Russian Lion"—built a massive physique, with the massive strength to boot, using High-Frequency Training tactics in the early 1900's.

     Different training strategies provide different benefits.  For instance—as an example of a training paradigm completely counter to HFT—if you were to follow a 2-days-per-week program of full-body workouts, focusing on the 3 powerlifting exercises, then you would reap the benefits of having more free time than usual during the week, and of being able to get good strength gains out of minimalistic training.
     High-Frequency Training has more benefits, in my book, than most other training strategies.  Here are some of the best benefits of this style of training:
It's Easy to Properly Regulate the "3 Variables"
     In the past, I've discussed what I consider to be the "three variables" of training.  For any program to be successful, these 3 variables must be properly regulated, controlled, and even manipulated.  The 3 variables are intensity, volume, and frequency.  As a general rule of thumb, two of the variables should always be high, while the other variable should be kept low.  The exceptions to this rule are either (a) highly-advanced lifters who have the ability to train intensity, volume, and frequency at a very high level, or (b) a program that is focused on keeping all 3 of the variables at a "moderate" level.
     The sort of HFT that I generally recommend here is one where you regulate the 3 variables by keeping intensity and frequency high, while keeping volume relatively low.  As the lifter gets more advanced, he/she can slowly add volume, but not until sufficient and regular strength gains are maintained.
     And that's really the beauty of HFT: it makes regulating the 3 variables relatively easy.
     You are training almost daily.  This keeps the frequency high.
     You are using relatively few sets for each exercise, while only using a handful of exercises.  This keeps the volume relatively low.
     And you are working up to a fairly high percentage of your one-rep maximum, which, in turn, means that your intensity is also going to be high.
     It's simple, and that's what makes it so effective for a great majority of lifters.
Training Motivation Stays High
     For lifters or bodybuilders who use any kind of low-frequency training, one of the hardest things is remaining motivated while on the program.
     Generally, this isn't a problem for lifters on HFT programs.  The daily training makes it more "addictive" for your body, so that your nervous system and muscles will actually be "craving"—for lack of a better word—to train each and every day.  In fact, most lifters reach a point where they feel really weird when they take a day off, and they are usually dying to get to the gym on the day after an off-day.
     And once you reach a point where you are not looking forward to the daily training, then you know that you are doing too much, which means that all is needed is a few "back-off" days to renew and re-energize the body and the muscles.
Better Hormonal "Response" on a Daily Basis
     Each and every time that you train, a host of good things happens to your muscle cells and the hormones that control/regulate them.
     Training increases output of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).  So, obviously, the more frequently you can train a muscle group, the more frequent is the anabolic response.
     Bodybuilders—and researchers to boot—have long known about these anabolic responses to training, but many really didn't know how to take advantage of them.  The idea just to "train more" obviously was not the appropriate response.  The beginner or intermediate trainee doesn't need to increase his/her frequency without regulating volume and intensity.
     The sort of HFT I have written about regulates volume and intensity rather nicely, and the daily training really does make a difference in the anabolic response.  When performed properly, you should feel more "full" in your muscles, and feel more "aggressive" than usual in your mindset—both indicators that your hormones—and your muscles—are getting adequate stimulus.
Take More Advantage of Peri-Workout Nutrition
     Consuming the appropriate macronutrients and supplements before, during, and after your workout (peri-workout nutrition) can have a big influence on your muscle growth.  Bodybuilders who take advantage of peri-workout nutrition know that doing so makes their muscles grow larger and stronger in a shorter period of time.
     It only makes sense that more frequent training, combined with always using peri-workout nutrition will result in the largest, strongest muscles possible within a particular training cycle.

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