I have a guest blog post for you today from Chad Waterbury, the creator of the new HFT2 training program. Like Chad, I’m a big proponent of high frequency training, and I think this post will give you some great insight into how to increase the frequency in a safe and effective manner. Take it away, Chad!
We all agree that training a muscle more frequently can make it grow faster. But how do you accomplish that without frying your nervous system or adding hours to your current training plan?
In 2001 I started experimenting with ways to train an underdeveloped muscle four or more times per week. This High Frequency Training (HFT) approach took many years to hone because I had to learn tons of valuable lessons along the way (mainly, what not to do).
So if we all agree that more frequent training can build muscle faster, the next logical question is: How do you recover from the increased demand? This is what I learned.
1. Keep the extra workouts as brief as possible: Since none of us want to add a lot of extra time to our training schedule, I had to figure out ways to trigger muscle growth as quickly as possible.
One strategy is to perform an intense squeeze for 3-5 seconds at the beginning of a set when you can actually recruit the largest motor units (they won’t come into play at the end of a set). When you know exactly how to quickly recruit the right motor units, the extra workouts take only 5-10 minutes.
2. Use minimal equipment: I’m a minimalist when it comes to training equipment. All I use are kettlebells, dumbbells, a barbell and rings or a pull-up bar. Luckily, this equipment list is easy to have on hand.
The workouts should not only be brief, but they should also be designed to do at home. If the extra workouts require a gym or esoteric equipment, it’s more likely you won’t succeed. And in many cases, body weight exercises work exceptionally well.
3. Spare the joints: Any HFT exercise should stress the muscle more than the joints. If you use an exercise such as a lying triceps extension, barbell bench press or leg extension, your joints will take more of a beating than the muscle you’re trying to build.
This is another reason why an isometric squeeze is an ideal method to increase your training frequency. If the exercise is performed correctly you’ll overload the muscle while sparing the joint. Here are two examples, (one for the calf, the other for the biceps):
Calf Raise Iso-Squeeze (3 sets of a 10-second squeeze in the morning and evening)
How to do it: Stand on your left leg, then rise into the peak contraction of a calf raise. Squeeze this peak contraction as intensely as possible while driving through the big toe for 10 seconds. Repeat with the right calf. Do 3 sets in the morning and 3 in the evening with 2 minutes rest between sets (don’t rest between right and left).
The key is to do this without holding on to anything for support. It’s much tougher than it sounds!
Ben’s note: I’m going to give this protocol a try myself. My calves need it!
One-Arm Hang Iso-Squeeze (3 sets of a 5-second squeeze in the morning and evening)
How to do it: Get into the mid position of a chin-up (elbows bent to 90 degrees) with your hands a few inches apart. Then quickly grab your left wrist with your right hand. Hold this one-arm hang and squeeze the biceps hard. Repeat with a right-arm hang. Do 3 sets in the morning and 3 in the evening with 2 minutes rest between sets (don’t rest between right and left).
To get the most out of this biceps builder, hang from a position that’s most challenging to your biceps. For some guys that means they’ll hang a little lower or higher based on their strength level.
The two aforementioned examples will help add muscle to the biceps or calves while sparing the joints. However, if you want to learn the unique, targeted methods I use to increase the size of any muscle group, check out my newest muscle-building system, HFT2.
Ben’s note: HFT2 is only on sale until midnight tonight (Tuesday), so check it out soon before the price bumps up. You can find out more details HERE.