It’s all about raising your frequency. Your high frequency training that is. Training your muscles more frequently will lead to faster muscle gains.

I’ll never forget my first experience with Russian style high frequency training programs. I was a personal trainer at a chain gym in Ottawa, Ontario. My friend/co worker and I were eyeing up a power lifting program designed by a Russian strength coach. The program was called Sheiko. Aptly named after Boris Sheiko, the great mind behind the program. If you aren’t familiar with this man and his programming, it’s well worth checking out. The program was a beast. Also, consider checking out, they might have some useful stuff to help you bulk. It only had three training days per week, but each day you consisted of the same few exercises. We bench pressed every training day (twice, most days), along with either squats or deadlifts (twice, some days). Outside of those few exercises we would do some dumbbell fly’s and some leg raises. That was it. The same movements and muscles over and over. It didn’t matter if we were sore, it didn’t matter if we were ‘feeling it’. We showed up and did the lifts. The goal of the program was to add weight to our lifts. That it did. I can’t remember exactly how much strength I gained in each lift, but I remember being elated.

This next part I didn’t expect. I gained about 10 lbs of lean body weight in 6 weeks. I was shocked (but I shouldn’t have been). Up until this point I had always approached muscle building with the same old tactics. Body part splits, push/pull splits, upper/ lower splits. There was nothing wrong with these approaches, and I did build a half decent physique using them, but I’d never built muscle this fast before. I certainly had never trained muscle groups 3 or more times per week before either.

The Real World

As I said above, I was shocked at the results, but I shouldn’t have been. Take a look around the real world, outside the confines of your gym. There are tons of examples of people building muscle with high frequency approaches. Cyclists building huge quads from cycling daily. Mechanics build huge forearms from wrenching daily. People who are overweight for years tend to build up their calves to a level many struggle to match with heavy calf training in the gym. Gymnasts have impressive upper bodies from practicing their sport daily.The real world evidence is everywhere.

Why Do So Few People Train This Way?

Dogma, dogma, dogma. Besides that, there are a couple reasons I believe most people opt for a lower frequency approach.

  1. It’s harder: Training your muscles at a high frequency requires you to train your entire body during each training session. This is hard work. Imagine coming in the gym and doing squats, stiff leg deadlifts, dips, bent over barbell rows, and some direct biceps and triceps training. That’s a lot of work compared to ‘chest day’.
  2. Because Arnold: The sport of bodybuilding in the 70’s gave fitness a huge boost. Fitness was popularized and brought to the mainstream by the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The way Arnold and his competitors trained trickled down to the masses and the body-part split was the move. This isn’t a ‘bad’ thing necessarily. We won’t get into why this type of training works for them, but keep this in mind. How they trained isn’t necessarily how you should train.
  3. They’re Harder to Program. It takes some skill and experience to program a high frequency plan. Many people and coaches may choose to avoid it if they don’t feel comfortable with it. This is totally fine, as it’s uncharted territory for many. With that said, it’s time we got comfortable and proficient with this type of programming.

What Exactly Is High Frequency?

Training your muscles three or more times per week would be considered high frequency. Although, when time is available and recovery is on point, you could build up to training each muscle group five or six times per week. This may not be realistic for most people’s schedule, it is completely within the realm of possibility, and will produce great results.

What Do I Need to Know About High Frequency Training?

If you have never trained each muscle more than three times per week before, here is what you need to know before diving in.

  1. Start with three times per week. Switching from a split program to one that trains your entire body three times per week is the perfect way to start. This will get your muscles accustomed to more frequent work and build up your ability to recover. Not to mention full body training at three times per week has produced some great muscle building results. As you get accustomed to this, you can begin to experiment with adding another training day.
  2. Vary Your Exercises. The bigger your exercise tool kit, the better. Doing the same exercise the same way too frequently can create some overuse injuries caused by pattern overload. Even slight variations to an exercise can make a big difference. The width of your grip on a bench press or your stance on a squat will make enough of a difference to keep the pattern fresh.
  3. Vary Your Sets and Reps. You’ll need to get out of your comfort zone here. Using a wide variety of set and rep schemes throughout the week will help you vary the intensity and total volume throughout the week. This is important for both recovery and for gains.
  4. Avoid Muscular Failure. Recovery is the name of the game here. Training to failure (the point where you can’t do any more reps in a given set) will dig too far into your recovery ability. Instead, leave a couple reps in the tank on your big lifts and one rep in the tank on your smaller lifts.
  5. This is Just a Tool. Just like lower frequency training isn’t the be all, end all of training programs, neither is high frequency training. High frequency training produces results in a sonic boom like fashion, but it is demanding. Remember, everything works for a while, but nothing works forever. Eventually transitioning to a lower frequency plan will be necessary to keep making progress and give your body a break from this style of training.

Final Thoughts

If you have never given high frequency training a fair shake, you’re missing out on some serious muscle building potential. Apply the training tactics listed in this article and you will unlock some brand new muscle building potential, if you wanted to learn more from others check out websites similar to You can boost gains if you train in conjunction with sports nutrition supplements from someone like Muscle Food.

By Fitmo Coach – Mitch Heaslip

Mitch is going to get you into the best shape of your life! But what’s his secret? Mitch has developed solid methods that work for both men and women in losing weight and building muscle. With his very flexible approach, Mitch can tailor his methods to anyone. When it comes to building strength, muscle, and losing fat, his approach is second to none!

Learn more about Mitch, and working with him via the Fitmo app here.

3 thoughts on “High Frequency Training for More Muscle

  1. Tilak says:

    Great info.I like the article.I was wondering if some examples could have been provided.

  2. Mitch says:

    Hey Tilak, Mitch here.

    Are you looking for a sample high frequency training program?

  3. Mitch says:

    Hey Tilak, Mitch here.

    If you’re new to HFT I would start out with a 3x/ week program.

    Each workout would include a squat movement, hip dominant movement (like a deadlift or good
    Morning), an upper body press (bench or shoulder press) and upper body pull (pull up, pull down, or row), along with a little direct biceps, triceps, and/or and trainjng.

    Go with a variety of exercises and apply the rules in the article to make sure you are getting a variety of sets/reps and recovery.

    Hope this helps.


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