The Effect Strength Training Frequency Has On Gains In Lean Tissue And Muscle Mass
Many bodybuilders are familiar with the maxim that “intensity + frequency = gains in muscle size”. However, the relationship between the frequency of strength training and muscle gains is not entirely understood. There does appear to be a threshold where an elevated training frequency will yield marginal gains in muscle size relative to a low-frequency training regime. A recent study byISE and colleagues examined the effect of strength training frequency on increases in muscle size and mass in non-athletes and athletes.
The study involved a complete bodyweight training schedule consisting of fifty-three one and two repetitions bench press, squats and deadlifts. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a strength training frequency group (low) or high or medium frequency (medium). The group was then monitored for gains in lean tissue over four years. The results showed no significant improvement in lean tissue in the strength training frequency group but a significant increase in the high-frequency group, primarily in the absence of steroids.
The authors explain the finding due to an accumulation of anabolic steroids in the body of test subjects who regularly worked out. Testosterone, the steroid of choice for bodybuilders, is naturally present in the body. Therefore, steroids in the body of non-bodybuilders may account for the lack of significant gain in muscle size from strength training frequency.
To understand the cause of this phenomenon, it is necessary to take a closer look at the role of steroids in the human body. Testosterone is a hormone responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. Like other hormones, Testosterone is naturally produced in the body at various stages of life. However, testosterone production decreases during menopause and will drop even more when a woman stops taking hormones. Because of these circumstances, women are less likely to use steroids and are therefore less likely to see significant gains in muscle size from strength training frequency.
An increase in muscle density is the result of building new muscle cells. Sometime during my four-year research, I discovered the relationship between strength training frequency and muscle cell growth. My calculations came out looking like this: There is a direct relationship between muscle cell number and strength. You can calculate this relationship by dividing the amount of mass in the weight bench you use by the number of cells in your body. This tells you the number of new cells you will be making during each workout. The study also says that the maximum gain in lean tissue will occur during your peak muscular moments – workout periods when your muscles are exceptionally responsive to the anabolic effects of steroids.
My experience over the last decade has been that increased strength training frequency combined with high repetition sets produces the best gains in muscle mass. My results speak for themselves. In addition to adding to my already impressive physique, my performance at work has dramatically improved as well. I’m excited about the future.