Low frequency training, as mentioned in our previous article, Training Frequencies – How Often Should I Train?, is training your muscles, or sport-specific movements, once per week.
Just like high frequency training, low frequency training has positives and negatives. Let’s discuss these attributes…
PROS of Low Frequency Training
- Muscular balance – With training a muscle once per week, you have more time to dedicate to smaller muscle groups, therefore building good balance in these muscles, as well as meeting the proper strength and size ratios so that there are no muscular imbalances
- Less chance of injury – With training less often, the chances of injury are significantly reduced
- Consistent strength levels – When you know you are hitting the muscle a week, the strength gains will be gradual, and consistent – there is little chance of overtraining or plateaus
- Less time – Dedicating your gym time to one specific muscle group reduces the time spent in the gym – volume plays a role as well, but generally working one muscle takes far less time than working, say, 4-6 muscles in one session
- Recovery time – With a full week for your muscle fibers to rebuild and repair, you can rest assure that, injuries aside, you will have ample time to refuel and annihilate your muscles next week!
CONS of Low Frequency Training
- Limited repetitive nature – low frequency training prevents you more from building up pefect technique and muscle memory than does high frequency training – this is especially a con for sports-specific athletes
- Balance – The limited nature in low frequency training is much more poor for building muscular balance and coordination than its higher frequency counterpart
- Specific weak points – With hitting your muscles once per week, weak points might not be worked on as much as a certain individual would like, as the schedule calls for only working on muscles once per week
Which Training Frequency is Best?
As you can see from this post, as well as our previous post, both high frequency and low frequency training have their strengths and weaknesses.
Athlete A may benefit more from high frequency training than Athlete B, and vice versa. No one knows you better than YOU. It is important to plan your regime properly, and know what strengths and weaknesses you yourself possess, and work on those traits with the proper training protocol.
And as always, make sure and mix things up so working out doesn’t get bland and / or at a standstill. Good luck and happy liftin’!