How many times per week to train each muscle so that it grows?

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We unveil one of the biggest unknowns in hypertrophy training plans. Control the rhythms of each exercise and the training frequency to achieve all your goals in the gym.

One of the most common questions among those who frequent the gym, especially at the beginning, is how many times to train each muscle group to reach certain hypertrophy goals. Because, to be honest, that (along with losing weight) is the most common concern among men who are fitness enthusiasts. Put on as a built-in wardrobe. Is it better once a week and then let them rest to grow? Or the more cane you give them, the bigger you’ll get?

Well… the answer is not so simple. Among other things, because in fitness there are usually no rules for everyone, but it depends on many personal factors, from genetics to the history of injuries or the work of each one. Obviously, if you spend the day laying bricks on a construction site, you will have very different needs in the gym than someone who sits in front of a computer for at least eight hours every day. It also depends on how much time you can and want to devote to training. Being realistic and setting reasonable goals is part of success; if you go too far, you will only fuel your frustration and throw in the towel sooner rather than later.

To answer the question of how many times to train each muscle group, we asked Miguel Boix, a personal trainer in Barcelona. “First of all, it is important to say that it depends on the level of each one,” says Boix. “For a beginner (less than a year of experience), I would recommend following a 2-3 day full body routine, separating upper body and lower body.” Miguel Boix recommends following this structure.

Beginner level

First week: day A-day B-day A

Second week: B day-A day-B day

Third week: like the first

Fourth week: like the second

The fifth and sixth weeks should be like the first and second, but increasing the load. That doesn’t always mean lifting more pounds. You can also increase the load by playing with the isometric and eccentric phases of the exercises. For example, taking longer to descend on a biceps curl or holding about three seconds in the bottom position on a lat pull down.

Intermediate level

“For an intermediate or advanced level (two years or more of training experience) I would order the exercises in another way to enhance their growth,” says Boix. How? As follows.

Large muscle groups (pectorals, lats, glutes, quads, and hamstrings)
• Training frequency: 2-3 times per week

• Sets per muscle: 6-9

• Exercises per muscle 3-4

• Repetitions per exercise: 8-10 (at 75-80% RM)

• Rhythm per execution: 1 second in the concentric phase – 4 seconds in the eccentric phase

Medium and small muscle groups (biceps, triceps, deltoids, calves)

• Training frequency: 1-2 times per week

• Sets per muscle: 6

• Exercises per muscle: 2

• Repetitions per exercise: 8-10 (at 75% RM)

• Rhythm per execution: 1 second in the concentric phase – 4 seconds in the eccentric phase

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Advanced level
Week type of advanced training of 4 days.

Day 1

3 chest exercises

3 dorsal exercises

2 bicep exercises

2 tricep exercises

Day 2

3 gluteus maximus and medius exercises

2 hamstring exercises

2 deltoid exercises

Day 3

3 chest exercises

3 dorsal exercises

2 quad exercises

1 twin exercise

Day 4

3 gluteus maximus and medius exercises

2 bicep exercises

2 tricep exercises

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2 deltoid exercises