Training Frequency On A Surplus

  1. Training Frequency On A Surplus


    Hey all,

    Pretty simple question here. What is generally the ideal frequency when on a caloric surplus? I can see two sides to this argument, one being: You're eating more and recovering faster so frequency should be boosted. The other one being: Take frequency down a notch to let the extra calories do their job and recover completely leading to more growth.

    Here's where I'm questioning both of these processes though - theoretically you'd be training harder, or more aggressively, if you're not in a deficit therefore inflicting more damage to tissues and cells, so recovery should take a bit longer. Am I wrong in thinking this? I've been sore more often now that I'm "bulking" than when I was in a maintenance and deficit stage.


  2. Whenever I bulked I always did a one body part per day split and would annihilate that day's body part. Gives your muscles a full week to recover and I would think you won't over exert your surplus calories in this type of workout because you would kill the muscles before that happened. So, you crush the muscle, give it a week to recover while being fed extra calories throughout the week. I have no scientific data to back any of this up, it just is what has worked for me. And it worked very well. Several times
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  3. Let's start with this scientific truth: muscle protein synthesis is only elevated 24-48 hours following resistance training (for natural atheletes)

    In order to get the most muscle building bang out of your calories you want muscle protein synthesis elevated all the time, or as often as possible.

    Muscle protein synthesis is also a localized event, it happens in the muscle which is worked. It therefore follows that higher frequency of stimulation of a body part will result in maximal protein synthesis in that muscle.

    With more calories I'd imagine that you'd be able to train more intensely and do more damage which would account for the soreness. The rate of recovery though should not be affected.

    There is a limit to muscle protein synthesis, which is to say after a certain point your muscles wont rebuild any faster regardless of the damage or nutrients present.

    Since muscle protein synthesis is a localized process in the tissue being worked I would venture to say that if you want to make the most of your calories for muscle building I'd work every muscle group at least 2-3 times per week, ideally with full body workouts.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Killcure666 View Post
    Let's start with this scientific truth: muscle protein synthesis is only elevated 24-48 hours following resistance training (for natural atheletes)

    In order to get the most muscle building bang out of your calories you want muscle protein synthesis elevated all the time, or as often as possible.

    Muscle protein synthesis is also a localized event, it happens in the muscle which is worked. It therefore follows that higher frequency of stimulation of a body part will result in maximal protein synthesis in that muscle.

    With more calories I'd imagine that you'd be able to train more intensely and do more damage which would account for the soreness. The rate of recovery though should not be affected.

    There is a limit to muscle protein synthesis, which is to say after a certain point your muscles wont rebuild any faster regardless of the damage or nutrients present.

    Since muscle protein synthesis is a localized process in the tissue being worked I would venture to say that if you want to make the most of your calories for muscle building I'd work every muscle group at least 2-3 times per week, ideally with full body workouts.
    Thanks for the insightful and knowledgeable response to steer someone, and now myself should I bulk again, in the optimal direction. I shall hang my head in shame in the bro science corner. But seriously, good info

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Killcure666 View Post
    Let's start with this scientific truth: muscle protein synthesis is only elevated 24-48 hours following resistance training (for natural atheletes)

    In order to get the most muscle building bang out of your calories you want muscle protein synthesis elevated all the time, or as often as possible.

    Muscle protein synthesis is also a localized event, it happens in the muscle which is worked. It therefore follows that higher frequency of stimulation of a body part will result in maximal protein synthesis in that muscle.

    With more calories I'd imagine that you'd be able to train more intensely and do more damage which would account for the soreness. The rate of recovery though should not be affected.

    There is a limit to muscle protein synthesis, which is to say after a certain point your muscles wont rebuild any faster regardless of the damage or nutrients present.

    Since muscle protein synthesis is a localized process in the tissue being worked I would venture to say that if you want to make the most of your calories for muscle building I'd work every muscle group at least 2-3 times per week, ideally with full body workouts.
    Thanks for the info, much appreciated. How much is "too much" for a full body sessions? For example: rows, squats, deads, presses (OHP, incline/decline/flat) sled press, plus many more are staples in my normal split. How would you balance that without spending hours in the gym and possibly over-exerting yourself? I've been using a single body part per session, or a pairing of no more than 2 large groups for the past 4 years or so. Good progress, but it's just been within the past 8 months that's I've really buckles down on nutrition and I want to be able to have the max effect of a solid program on top of a solid diet.
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  6. Big muscles need more rest. Smaller muscles can recover a bit quicker, but the chance of repetitive stress syndrome starts to creep up (unless you got Deca in the blood stream). There is always a Point of diminishing returns no matter how many calories you eat .

  7. I am in a surplus and hit full body 4 days a week in a PHAT approach with 2 full heavy days, 2 full hypertrophy days, and an HIIT day. I've done this for the last 15 years every winter and see phenomenal gains every time. Generally around 15lbs + over a 10-12 week period.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by kisaj View Post
    I am in a surplus and hit full body 4 days a week in a PHAT approach with 2 full heavy days, 2 full hypertrophy days, and an HIIT day. I've done this for the last 15 years every winter and see phenomenal gains every time. Generally around 15lbs + over a 10-12 week period.
    Well, looks like I'll try out full body. To be honest I've just been bored with the same style for years at a time. Just not as motivated as I used to be. I've also been on a stim break so that plays a part in overall motivation as well, but my routine was pretty stagnant.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by sparks2012 View Post
    Here's where I'm questioning both of these processes though - theoretically you'd be training harder, or more aggressively, if you're not in a deficit therefore inflicting more damage to tissues and cells, so recovery should take a bit longer. Am I wrong in thinking this? I've been sore more often now that I'm "bulking" than when I was in a maintenance and deficit stage.
    Great question, and honestly I don't think there's a one size fits all answer. I typically keep my frequency the same, or increase it a bit more. It really depends on your ability to recover. If you're doing high volume sessions and you feel that you're unable to recovery before your next high frequency session, then I would suggest backing off on either frequency or volume.

    For natural lifters, I think that there needs to be a balance between frequency and volume. If you want to train with a higher frequency, then you should lower overall training volume per workout. This is typically my approach while bulking, it allows me to hit muscle groups more frequently and really focus on 3-4 exercises of 3-4 intense sets per session. Everyone is different though, so I would experiment with different approaches to see what works best for you
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  10. Quote Originally Posted by john.patterson View Post
    Great question, and honestly I don't think there's a one size fits all answer. I typically keep my frequency the same, or increase it a bit more. It really depends on your ability to recover. If you're doing high volume sessions and you feel that you're unable to recovery before your next high frequency session, then I would suggest backing off on either frequency or volume.

    For natural lifters, I think that there needs to be a balance between frequency and volume. If you want to train with a higher frequency, then you should lower overall training volume per workout. This is typically my approach while bulking, it allows me to hit muscle groups more frequently and really focus on 3-4 exercises of 3-4 intense sets per session. Everyone is different though, so I would experiment with different approaches to see what works best for you
    Thanks for the input, bud. I actually did just start up a full body split last week after seeing that it's worked for numerous others. I'm also hitting 3 exercises for 3-4 all-out sets for each muscle group per session...it's taxing but I feel that hitting everything 4 times in a 7 day period will help drastically.
  11. Training Frequency On A Surplus


    I do back, legs, and chest twice per week. I view arms as an accessory workout because mine grow fairly quickly even without a routine for them specially.

    Monday- chest/back
    Tuesday- legs
    Wednesday - arms
    Thursday - off
    Friday- chest back
    Saturday - legs

    For my back, I do rear delt work as well. Don't really do any other work for shoulders.

    Personally, I am not a fan of full body or upper/lower splits. I see more growth in means of strength gains and muscle gains by training with more volume.

    I also like do to DC training while bulking. That is the only routine that is somewhat upper/lower ...etc that I respond well to.

    Like others have said, you have to find what works for you. Take the ideas that myself and others have given you, develop a routine that you think fits best and give it a try.
    Performax Labs Product Specialist


  12. So true! It took me a decade to find what works consistently as well as when to back off and rest/grow. It was a real struggle too because I was boxing/kickboxing so weight training had to be in perfect amount.

  13. @R1balla thanks man, I've had pretty good results with what I've been doing. But, I was getting bored with it. I just needed something new. As the proverbial saying "there's more than one way to skin a cat" goes, I figured now would be a better time than ever to move out of my comfort zone and see how well, or how poorly, I respond to a different type of training. Funny you mentioned the thing about arms, I hate training them now for some reason and I've been doing fine with literally a couple (3 max) exercises for bi's/tri's with all sets taken to failure. Works just as well as spending an hour working them IMO.
  14. Training Frequency On A Surplus


    Quote Originally Posted by sparks2012 View Post
    @R1balla thanks man, I've had pretty good results with what I've been doing. But, I was getting bored with it. I just needed something new. As the proverbial saying "there's more than one way to skin a cat" goes, I figured now would be a better time than ever to move out of my comfort zone and see how well, or how poorly, I respond to a different type of training. Funny you mentioned the thing about arms, I hate training them now for some reason and I've been doing fine with literally a couple (3 max) exercises for bi's/tri's with all sets taken to failure. Works just as well as spending an hour working them IMO.
    Exactly. My arm day is usually short and involves a lot of drop sets and super sets. In and out in 30 min usually. I do start out every arm workout with a "larger" lift, heavy weight low reps. Biceps - usually barbell curl or drag curls then for triceps either weighted dips or reverse grip bench.
    Performax Labs Product Specialist

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