For more muscle power: That's how often you really have to train

How often you should train in a week is a question that many athletes ask themselves. Especially when it comes to building more muscle strength as quickly as possible.

A study by the Australian Edith Cowan University in cooperation with the Japanese universities Niigata and Nishi Kyushu can now answer the issue without a doubt.

Study: How often should you exercise per week?

In their study, the researchers examined 36 Subjects. Of these, twelve were female and 24 male.

The physical condition of the subjects was impeccable – neither neuromuscular nor orthopedic damage was present. Furthermore, none of them suffered from chronic diseases. The most important selection criterion: Six months before the study, none of them did any regular arm strength training.

How the study proceeded

There were three groups in total, each containing twelve people. Their assigned workout: eccentric bicep contractions. This exercise is about lengthening the muscle. The muscle is guided downwards during a biceps exercise. By contracting, the biceps slow down the movement. The study participants mastered this training unit on a machine designed for this purpose. This was able to measure muscle strength during movement.

But to find out how often the strength training should take place per week in order to exhaust the maximum contingent of muscle strength within the specified period, they shared assigned the students an individual training program that they had to complete for four weeks.

The first group completed five contractions six days a week. The second group trained once a week with all 30 contractions and the third group trained once a week but only performed six contractions.

In the video: The best bicep exercises for beginners and professionals


Result: How often should you train per week

The result allows a clear answer: If you want to increase your muscle strength, then you should train every day.

Because: the group that trained six times a week with 5 exercises each had a muscle circumference that was almost six percent larger and increased muscle strength by ten percent.

The group that performed reps once a week 30 had a 5.8 percent increase in muscle size. However, their muscle strength was not increased.

In the group in which only six contractions were performed per week, no significant developments could be determined.

The conclusion of the study

This study supports older studies that found similar observations. Among other things, another study by researchers from Edith Cowan University found that training frequency is more important than training length.

Therefore, according to the research team, it is best to train several times a week to build muscle strength.

“Although these study results are limited to training the biceps muscle, the results can be extrapolated to other muscle groups—at least to a degree.” At least that’s what Ken thinks Nosaka, teaching professor at the Department of Sports Science at Australia’s Edith Cowan University, in a related article.

“We need to know that every muscle contraction counts and that it depends on how regularly you train it,” stresses nosaka So it’s more important to train a little every day than to train intensively once a week.

Nevertheless, you shouldn’t overexert yourself and take rest days into account.

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Why strength training is so important

Strength training is becoming more and more important as a health sport. Because it is not only generally good for your physical fitness, your physical well-being and your mental state, it also reduces the risk of injury in the event of a fall, your physical performance and your posture improve.

Your bones are strengthened by weight training also more stable. This could have a positive effect in old age in the long term, which minimizes the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Your cardiovascular system also benefits, because your heart muscle is trained during the training sessions. Due to the increasing pumping capacity of the heart, the hollow muscle becomes stronger with constant training.

If you want to strengthen your immune system, you can also do strength training. Because this is also trained. Adrenaline is released during strength training. This is there to form new immune cells and increase blood pressure. This will make your heart stronger and the blood circulation better.

There is of course also the aesthetic aspect: defined muscles.

Let’s get to the machines!

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Sources

Yoshida, R., Sato S., Nosaka, K. et al. (2022): Greater effects by performing a small number of eccentric contractions daily than a larger number of them once a week. In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. .

Edith Cowan University (2022): Exercise answer: Research shows it’s how often you do it, not how much. Last accessed on: ..24: https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/961692

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