Looking to increase your muscle growth?
Training all muscle groups at least twice a week is a commonly accepted rule for experienced athletes looking to increase muscle growth. This guideline is based on the frequency and amount of protein synthesis in response to strength training and protein ingestion.
Protein synthesis is an anabolic process that involves building new muscle protein, while muscle protein breakdown is a catabolic process that involves breaking down muscle protein. A positive net balance is achieved when protein synthesis exceeds protein breakdown, leading to muscle growth. Although it was once believed that a positive net balance of protein synthesis alone would automatically lead to muscle growth, recent research has shown that muscle protein synthesis is also used to repair muscle cell damage. This means that muscle protein synthesis time may be used solely to repair muscle cells instead of building new muscle cells, potentially limiting muscle growth.
The rate of muscle protein synthesis following strength training decreases as the athlete becomes more experienced. In beginners, muscle protein synthesis takes longer and can remain elevated for up to 50 hours after exercise. In contrast, in experienced athletes, peak synthesis is reached in about 5 hours, and after 10 hours, muscle protein synthesis is significantly reduced.
Given these factors, it is recommended that experienced athletes train all muscle groups at least twice a week to ensure that each muscle group is given sufficient time to recover and grow. However, for beginners, training each muscle group once a week may be sufficient to stimulate muscle growth.
In addition to strength training, protein intake is essential for promoting muscle growth. Athletes should consume adequate high-quality protein throughout the day to maximize muscle protein synthesis. Generally, it is recommended that athletes consume around 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
In conclusion, for experienced athletes looking to increase muscle growth, training all muscle groups at least twice a week is a crucial aspect of a well-rounded training program. While beginners may benefit from training each muscle group once a week, ensuring an adequate protein intake is essential for promoting muscle growth in all athletes.