How often should you hit the same muscle or lift? It depends on your primary goal. Here’s what you need to know.
I generally favor training each muscle frequently and training the big basic lifts fairly often. However, new studies show that it may not be a great idea if the main goal is hypertrophy.
The Bullet Points
If you train chest one day, then train it again 48 hours later, the anabolic response from the second chest workout may be decreased. The protein synthesis response is somewhat dependent on the time between each stimulation/session.
Putting 72 hours between each workout for a particular muscle may be better. You’ll still get gains from putting 48 hours between training the same muscle, but the protein synthesis will be smaller.
I still believe that hitting a muscle more often is better than the “bro split” of hitting a muscle once per week. But instead of hitting a muscle three times per week, about two times per week is better.
This may not be true for pure strength or performance development. The more frequently you do an exercise, the more efficient at that exercise or lift you become. It improves synaptic capacity.
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At 55 (I know, I look 35, ahem)…full body 3 days per week works very well with respect to schedule and how I feel overall. I’ve done the bro split, and if there is a gap in my week (due to work, or family) I’ll feel like I’m not complete (best way to describe it)…
Just personal experience for what it’s worth