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Resistance Training Frequencies of 3 and 6 Times Per Week Produce Similar Muscular Adaptations in Resistance-Trained Men

Saric, Juraj1; Lisica, Domagoj1; Orlic, Ivan1; Grgic, Jozo2; Krieger, James W.3; Vuk, Sasa1; Schoenfeld, Brad J.4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue - p S122–S129
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002909
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Saric, J, Lisica, D, Orlic, I, Grgic, J, Krieger, JW, Vuk, S, and Schoenfeld, BJ. Resistance training frequencies of 3 and 6 times per week produce similar muscular adaptations in resistance-trained men. J Strength Cond Res 33(7S): S122–S129, 2019—We examined the effects of resistance training (RT) frequency performed 3 times per week (RT3) vs. RT performed 6 times per week (RT6) under volume-equated conditions in resistance-trained men. Twenty-seven men were randomly allocated to RT3 (n = 14) or RT6 (n = 13). The supervised training intervention lasted for 6 weeks. Upper- and lower-body strength were assessed using the 1 repetition maximum test. Also, muscular endurance (60% 1 repetition maximum performed to momentary failure) and muscle thickness (elbow flexors, elbow extensors, rectus femoris, and vastus intermedius) were measured before and after intervention. Pre-to-post intervention, both groups increased upper-body strength (RT3: +4%; RT6: +6%) and lower-body strength (RT3: +22%; RT6: +18%) with no significant between-group differences. No significant pre-to-post intervention increases in muscular endurance were seen in either of the training groups. Both groups increased elbow extensor thickness (RT3: +14%; RT6: +11%), rectus femoris thickness (RT3: +5%; RT6: +6%), and vastus intermedius thickness (RT3: +10%; RT6: +11%) with no significant between-group differences. Only the RT3 group significantly increased elbow flexor thickness from pre-to-post intervention (+7%). When training volume is equated, it seems that RT performed either 3 or 6 times per week can result in similar strength gains over a 6-week training period. Furthermore, under volume-equated conditions, comparable hypertrophy results may also be expected with both RT frequencies. Finally, no changes were seen in muscular endurance possibly because of the considerable interindividual variability in responses. The findings presented herein might be of interest to coaches, exercise practitioners, athletes, and recreational trainees.

1Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia;

2Institute for Health and Sport (IHES), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia;

3Weightology, LLC, Redmond, Washington; and

4Department of Health Sciences, Lehman College, Bronx, New York

Address correspondence to Brad J. Schoenfeld, bradschoenfeldphd@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.