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There is no secret to building muscle, it requires time, patience, and consistency. However, there are optimal training strategies that will make those lady gains easier to come by.
Training Frequency and Type
Training frequency refers to the number of times you train a muscle or muscle group per week. The most popular weekly splits are broken down below
5-7 exercises targeting one muscle group per day and only once per week
Target all lower body muscle on lower body days and targeting all upper body muscles on upper body days
Monday: Lower Body
Tuesday: Upper Body
Wednesdays: Lower Body
Thursday: Upper Body
Friday: Lower Body
Close grip pulldown 3×12
Arnold Press 3×8
Pause Chest supported DB row 3×8
EZ bar upright row 3×10 (not shown
Prone trap raise 3×15
Knee banded glute bridge 3×30 (added in for more glute frequency)
Full Body Training
1-2 exercises targeting each muscle group per day
Monday: Full Body
Tuesday: Full Body
Wednesdays: Full Body
Thursday: Full Body
Friday: Full Body
Example of a full body training day
3×12 Barbell Hip Thrust (235lbs)
4×1-2 reps Weighted Chin Ups (this is the first time I have ever done these)
3×12 Straight Leg Barbell Deadlift (105lbs)
3×10 DB Bench Press (30lb DBs)
3×20 45 degree Hyperextension
3×20 Lateral Band Walks
**Volume= Sets x Reps x Weight used
Even though the bro split is considered old school it is still held in high regard. However, the evidence behind hammering a singular muscle with high volume training once per week may not be optimal for muscle growth compared to moderate volume 2-3 times per week.
In a study comparing 3 full body training days to 3 bro split training days, the full body training group showed more muscle growth. Overall Volume was the same for both groups.
Another study examined a 3 day per week training protocol will 6 “mini” training sessions. Both Groups did the same amount of volume but over 3 or 6 days. The results favored the 6 day training group.
Also, a scientific review looking at 10 different training frequency studies comparing days from 1 to 6, 2 to 3, 1 to 3 “there appears to be a pretty clear benefit to training muscle groups with higher weekly frequencies
A word of caution to training muscles groups more frequently is to stay within the moderate volume, given that your body still needs to recover from each session.
The Lady Lifting Advantage and My Personal Recommendations For You
Pairing the research above with known gender-specific training advantages I highly recommend that women especially lean more towards the upper/lower split or a full body training regimen.
Several studies have shown that women recover faster than men both from day to day and within a training session requiring shorter rest periods. If you are within the first 6 months to a year of resistance training ease into higher frequency training by keeping the volume at the lighter end of the spectrum.
If you are someone who only trains 2-3 days per week then it is likely advantageous to follow a full body training plan, given that you will ample rest time between training days and will still be able to target each muscle group 2-3 times during the week.
Bottom line: While overall research supports training muscle groups multiple days during the week there is no perfect protocol. Personal preference your ability to recover between training days may dictate your training regimen.
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