I know I know. High frequency training has became incredibly popular the last year, but hear me out! When I talk about high frequency training, I am not saying to go squat 4-5 days a week. Rather I just mean being in the gym more days of the week. We all understand the benefits and importance of exercise, but is more always better? How much should we do? In this article I discuss how often you should be in the gym and the benefits of high frequency gym work outs.
So the first question you may ask is how much are we talking? How many times to the gym and how much should we do each time? Though the answers are individualized and takes your own experience to determine, there are a few guidelines I recommend.
1) Exercise Everyday
You do not have to do intense work outs everyday, but just get your body moving.
2) How Much Depends On How Frequent
If you are working out everyday, there should be a balance between heavy/intense sessions and light/restorative session.
3) Your Recovery
The amount of heavy sessions compared to your light session will depend on your recovery and how well you recover from session to session.
The benefits/effects of high frequency gym sessions will vary in degree from person to person (just as general exercise will), but the benefits that hold true for everyone. The benefits to physical activity is not limited to only physical improvements. Physical activity has so much more to give!
It's no secret that exercise improves your mood and self-esteem. Why not take advantage of this? The more days you can be physically active, the more days of elevated mood and self-esteem. I have found this quite true as I went from 3 days a week (full-body split) to 6 days a week (push-pull-legs split) and have seen a huge improvement in mood day to day.
In order to get better at a skill you must perform the skill more and perform the skill more frequently. Higher frequency of skill acquisition allows the body to become more neurologically efficient at using less effort and information processing (thinking) to perform the same task.
Starting The Day
This is more for those who work out first thing in the morning. Working out in the morning sets the tone of the day. Leaving the gym feeling accomplished has such an amazing impact on your performance the rest of the day. The better my work out is each morning, the better my day seems to be. Good work out day? I tend to approach more customers with enthusiasm, stay focused better, and have a better overall feeling for that day.
Studies have shown that higher frequency of muscle stimulation (doing the same amount of work as you do in one day, but spread out between multiple days) actually provides better improvements than doing the same amount of work in one day (More info on the study HERE). The results are worth noticing and trying yourself. I can tell I made a HUGE improvement in strength with higher frequency training (training a muscle 3-5 times a week), but for bodybuilding 2 times a week per muscle group seems to work the best.
Bad Days Are Not As Bad
The more you work out, the less one specific work out is going to make an impact on your training. That does not mean that you should take each work out less seriously. That just means if you miss a work out or do not feel 100% that day, it would not impact the whole scheme of thing as much as if you missed the 1 out of 2 session you work out.
The more you move, the more energy you expend. Depending on the type of work outs you do, you will also have elevated metabolism throughout the entire day! This is perfect for weight loss seekers.
The more you move, the more blood that will be flowing. Unless you absolutely kill yourself in the gym (which has been shown time after time to be pointless for natural athletes) you actually leave the gym with more energy that continues throughout the day. Your body is made to move.
For those with anxiety or are heavily stressed, exercise reduces anxiety, depression, and stress. Through the hormones released, increasing your mood/self-esteem, and helping you feel accomplished, before ever resorting to medication or pills, try increasing your physical activity. Most individuals (if not all) admit that exercise has helped with their anxiety, depression, and stress.
The benefits to higher frequency gym work outs are not limited to physical aspects. Higher frequency physical activity elevates your mood, speed up skill mastery, starts the day off right, provides further improvements in muscular and strength progress, makes one bad day not so bad, elevates metabolism, increases your energy, and calms your nerves. Who would not want to take advantage of these benefits? Know any other benefits to high frequency work outs? Let me know in the comments below!