High-Frequency Training: Pros, Cons & Results

lifting dumbbell weights in the gym
Focusing on form and technique to prevent injuries.

Benefits, Drawbacks, and Outcomes of High-Frequency Training

People often take different approaches when it comes to fitness training. Some may prefer to work out casually, exercising just enough to maintain a lean physical appearance and reduce excess fat. Others may try to exert themselves at intense rates that cause the muscles to feel like they are burning and uses up a lot of stamina but ensure a significant increase in muscular strength and growth. Those who share the latter mentality would benefit most from training at a higher frequency.

For enthusiasts who treat fitness routines as a lifestyle or a challenge, there is only so long that simple workout plans can satisfy their needs. If you have been doing a beginner-level workout program for some time now and are ready to increase the difficulty, you may want to transition to a high-frequency training workout.

This article will help you determine whether you are suited for high-frequency training by providing information on its pros, cons, and results.

What is High-Frequency Training?

High-frequency training focuses on repeatedly exerting every major muscle group at least 4-6 times per week. The fitness goal is to increase muscle gain within a short amount of time by practicing exercises at intense rates with the highest number of reps possible.

Though high-frequency training involves working your entire body each workout, you can assign certain days to focus more on specific muscle groups. For example, the first day could focus more on the legs, the second day could emphasize the arms, and so on.

On average, you should aim to complete 10-30 sets per week divided between each workout day. The more times you can practice high-frequency training per week, the fewer sets you need to complete each day. If you miss any days or have a busy schedule, you will need to combine or increase the number of sets in the remaining workout days.

It is possible to practice high-frequency training outdoors or indoors based on the season. Whether at a gym, home, or the beach, almost anywhere can be an ideal setting for this type of workout. Because of the intensity of this type of fitness training, it is recommended that only intermediate or experienced athletes try to attempt it.

Pros of High-Frequency Training

Man taking measurements of muscles
Lifting weights build muscles

Though the primary aim of high-intensity training is to increase muscle hypertrophy, this type of workout can have additional benefits for your physical health and overall lifestyle. 

Listed below are the pros of high-intensity training:


  • Efficient Use of Time

Standard workout plans have you train a select few muscle groups spread across several days per week, causing a slower progression in physical development. Meanwhile, high-frequency training ensures you gain increased muscle mass at a faster rate each week by pushing your entire body to the limit every single workout day. Though standard and high-frequency workout programs can cover the same number of weeks, there is an earlier sign of significant muscular growth in the latter.

  • Improves Motor Skills & Coordination

Because most exercises included in high-frequency training involve repeatedly moving your limbs and joints, this can help improve flexibility, reflexes, and motor skills. Outside of training, you might find it easier to do simple tasks, such as stretching, lifting, running, walking, or other casual movements you do without thinking.

  • Increases Protein Synthesis

During high-frequency training, your muscles will break down due to heavy exertion and rebuild themselves stronger during recovery. Protein synthesis is a natural bodily process that aids in repairing and building muscle mass. By engaging in more physical activity, you improve the rate of protein synthesis to make sure it balances out any protein breakdown that occurs during exercises.

  • Becomes Easier to Lift Heavier Weight

As you build up muscle mass, your upper body strength should gradually increase as a direct consequence. If you include lifting dumbbells or barbells in your training criteria, you will likely start from a lower weight range that you can reasonably lift without putting strain on your body. As time progresses, you should be able to lift more weight, allowing you to increase the size of the dumbbells and barbells.


  • Encourages Consistency

It is your responsibility to come up with a plausible high-frequency training schedule, determining which days you are free to exercise, the lists of exercises for each session, and which muscle groups to focus on. Though you may need to make slight adjustments from time to time, the longer you engage in your workout program, the easier you will find it easier to fulfill the criteria each week consistently. Developing a habit of adhering to a training schedule can help in other aspects of life, such as finishing work by set deadlines.

  • Improves Technique

Though there may be some variety in the exercises you perform to target all of your major muscle groups, there might be drills you are likely to include in every single workout day, such as push-ups, lunges, sit-ups, etc. Due to how frequently you repeat and practice exercises, you may better understand how to perform them without wasting precious energy or time during execution.

Cons of High-Frequency Training

leg cramp while exercising
Can increase the risk of soreness

The increased intense rate you complete exercises in high-frequency training can also be its biggest drawback since it can result in many detriments to physical and mental health that can set your progress back. 

Listed below are the cons of high-intensity training:

  • Increased Risk of Injury

Due to constantly straining your muscle group heavily, forcing them to break down and rebuild a lot faster than your body can handle can increase the risk of soreness, cramping, or joint injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to wait a few weeks to recover or you may have to switch to a less stressful workout.

  • Less Recovery Time

Because a typical high-frequency training routine requires working out at least half of the week at minimum, only a few days are reserved for recovery. Also, due to the shorter rest periods between workouts, there may not be enough time for your recovering muscles to finish getting back into shape before you resume intense physical exertion, which could contribute to the risk of injury.

  • Inconsistent Muscular Strength

Though you are guaranteed increased muscle mass when engaging in high-frequency training, your muscles will not always stay at their peak. Maintaining muscle mass requires constant attention and physical exertion, meaning there will be sudden rises and drops in overall strength.

  • Increased Risk of Workout Plateau

Right at the start, high-frequency training plans set a high bar for pacing, scheduling, and exercise difficulty. Though this can help make the rate of your progress go faster, it could also cause you to peak in muscular strength early and cause it to stagnate instead of continuing to gain more muscle mass.

  • Cannot Deviate from Workout Schedule

To maximize muscle gain, you must follow your high-frequency training routine while avoiding missing exercises, sets, or days as much as possible. Though it is possible to adjust any missed workouts by combining exercises and increasing the number of sets on another day, your body may only achieve minimal muscle growth due to being acclimated to the original schedule. Any inconsistencies in your training schedule could affect your body’s internal processes, such as the release of hormones like testosterone and protein synthesis that contribute to muscle repair.

  • Increased Risk of Burnout

Due to the high difficulty level of high-frequency training programs, many athletes, even experienced ones, may have difficulty sticking with their commitments. Whether due to busy schedules, bodily pains, or lack of confidence, many individuals end up quitting shortly after starting or part-way through their training.

Results of High-Frequency Training

Fitness training at the gym
Exercising at the gym with friends

If you finished a high-frequency training program correctly, the results should have positively affected every major muscle group in your chest, arms, legs, back, and shoulders. They should have more volume, the muscle fibers should be thicker, and the muscle mass should have greater weight capacity, durability, and strength.


High-frequency training is meant to break down and make almost every muscle in your body stronger, pushing you to go beyond your physical and mental barriers to achieve optimal muscle gains. However, it is a slippery slope to make it to the end of a high-frequency training program since pushing yourself too hard, missing too many sessions, and incorrectly performing exercises could reduce any progress made to some extent. Even if you use your time well, it can take a few months before you see signs of getting massive gains.

If you plan to start a high-frequency workout for the first time, it is fine to start small, working out the minimum number of days per week and doing the less complex drills. It can be a lot trying to work your entire body, and overworking yourself will likely do more harm than good. As with any health and fitness routine, it is more important to take care of yourself and progress at a comfortable pace instead of trying to get giant muscles as quickly as possible.

Author: Joshua Syn is a content writer at Born Tough. He is responsible for creating blog posts about seasonal fitness plans and workout clothing for men and women. These blog posts provide tips on how to improve one’s lifestyle through exercise and diet.

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