‘How often should you train a muscle group’ is a question that nobody can answer with certainty. However, if we take into consideration a couple of factors it’s possible to create a basic idea of the training frequency natural bodybuilders should follow.
1.The one time a week rule sucks for natural bodybuilders
Modern IFBB pros have modernized the so-called one time a week rule. You train a muscle group only once a week. Of course, no matter what you do there will be some overlap, and when you train your chest for example there will be also some triceps work involved. However, the real hard work will be done only once a week. While this method is not completely retarded, it’s not the best choice when it comes to natural bodybuilding.
Obviously, steroid users can train anyway they want, or even not train at all. In this post we presented you concrete evidence that people who don’t train and take steroids are usually bigger than people who train and don’t inject. That’s why the opinion of steroid users seems to be less important in this case.
If you are a natural bodybuilder, training a body part once a week is not effective. The evidence for that is that if you train a muscle once every seven days, you are super sore after every workout. This means only one thing – the rest between your workouts has been too long and there was enough time for ‘deadaptation’ to occur.
If you workout is built properly, you won’t get super sore the day after every workout. Of course, if you are new to training or starting once again after a long break, there will be a short phase when you will experience soreness.
So, fuck once a week.
2.Two times a week seems to work the best
It seems that training a body part two times a week works better for natty bodybuilders. You can accumulate enough volume while also having enough time to rest. However, there is a catch and simply repeating every workout two times is not an option.
If you are moderately strong, there will be exercises which you want be able to do with great intensity two times a week. For example, deadlifting heavy two times a week is a recipe for disaster unless you are a beginner. The same goes for many other exercises. That’s why the second session should include a less intensive exercise done for higher reps.
For example one day you may bench press heavy and after a few days do some assistance exercises such as dips, push-ups…etc. The goal is to increase volume without stopping your body from recovering properly. With this approach we are looking for moderation.
Also, it’s often beneficial to do variations of your main exercise instead of always repeating the same thing. The idea is that by doing different exercises you joints and muscles operate under a different angle, and as result the stress does not accumulate at the same points.
It’s a popular approach among some running coaches to make athletes run on different surfaces in order to avoid over-training the same part of the joints.
However, you may also repeat the same exercise and just use less weight. This is not a rule set in stone, just a a guideline.
3.Three times a week is the best for specialization
If you want to get good at something, you have to do it more often and three times a week seems to be plenty for natural bodybuilders. For example, if you really want to improve your back, you may do some dedicated work three times a week. Some muscles can take the beating. However, the key here is choosing the right exercises and rep ranges. Obviously, if you are going to be training a muscle group three times a week, you should choose more forgiving exercises for some of the training days.
4.Everyday for the genetic freaks and the unemployed
While it’s really hard, you can also train a muscle group every day. However, this is not needed nor desirable unless you are a genetic freak, and even if you are such, this method works only for a short period of time before regression due to over-training occurs.