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Meta-Analysis
, 37 (11), 1286-1295

How Many Times Per Week Should a Muscle Be Trained to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Studies Examining the Effects of Resistance Training Frequency

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Meta-Analysis

How Many Times Per Week Should a Muscle Be Trained to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Studies Examining the Effects of Resistance Training Frequency

Brad Jon Schoenfeld et al. J Sports Sci.

Abstract

Training frequency is considered an important variable in the hypertrophic response to regimented resistance exercise. The purpose of this paper was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental studies designed to investigate the effects of weekly training frequency on hypertrophic adaptations. Following a systematic search of PubMed/MEDLINE, Scoups, and SPORTDiscus databases, a total of 25 studies were deemed to meet inclusion criteria. Results showed no significant difference between higher and lower frequency on a volume-equated basis. Moreover, no significant differences were seen between frequencies of training across all categories when taking into account direct measures of growth, in those considered resistance-trained, and when segmenting into training for the upper body and lower body. Meta-regression analysis of non-volume-equated studies showed a significant effect favoring higher frequencies, although the overall difference in magnitude of effect between frequencies of 1 and 3+ days per week was modest. In conclusion, there is strong evidence that resistance training frequency does not significantly or meaningfully impact muscle hypertrophy when volume is equated. Thus, for a given training volume, individuals can choose a weekly frequency per muscle groups based on personal preference.

Keywords: Exercise frequency; dose-response; hypertrophy; resistance training.

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