Updated: Aug 17, 2021
When you are building your training blueprint to optimal performance and aesthetics, there are a couple of variables to take care of.
Two of the most important ones appear to be intensity and volume, however, those just represent the stimulus.
After the stimulus comes the recovery phase and this is exactly when training frequency has to be appropriately dosed, in order to open windows for optimal recovery.
If you don’t do so, you are risking the health of your joints, tendons and ligaments, so if you want to bring fitness into your older years, do think of adjusting your training frequency.
Now, there isn’t really an optimal, universal training frequency, simply because we all have different life dynamics, approaches to training, response to stimulus and recovery windows.
Nevertheless, let’s have a look at exactly what happens during training, which can help us determine the training frequency.
When going through your challenging working sets in the gym, you engage the working muscles, ligaments and tendons, using up their energy reserves, ramping up the central nervous system and causing micro tears to the muscles.
After you do so, the body starts recovering and looks to recover and hyper-recover the used tissues and energy reserves.
A hyper-recovery of those leads to an increased working capacity, force output and volume of the energy reserves, as well as a reinforced structure of the engaged tendons and ligaments.
It is generally considered that this so-called “supercompensation” occurs 48-96 hours after training.
Right around the 4th day after a heavy workout, you are completely recovered if, of course, your nutrition and sleeping habits were on point throughout that period.
And then again, you should look to factor in the levels of intensity or in other words, how close you get to your maximum strength capabilities.
Because intensity is more demanding and strenuous by nature, you should consider longer rest times both in-between sets and workouts.
In the end of the day, you should track your own recovery and how your muscles feel in the days after training them.
There is a certain feeling to complete recovery, so try and find that in order to determine your own best training frequency.
Last but not least, don’t forget that higher levels of intensity should be properly implemented into your training schedule, in order to avoid nervous system burnout by always bringing your sets to failure.
Experiment, monitor and adjust.