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I have formatted this study to be easier to digest by including only the information that I found to be relevant. I then bolded the important bits of that and included some summaries scattered throughout.
It goes: Short summary of the results for those who don't want to read a lot>A more in-depth read of the results>And then highlights of the integrity of the study (subjects, their history, routine, technique, measurements etc.)
Short summary of the findings:
Results find that for hypertrophy you may want to include training blocks of higher frequency training where you distribute your volume across multiple days. For example, instead of doing 5 sets of bench press 2x a week, do 2 sets 5x a week.
In theory, this increases MPS and allows you to perform your volume with higher quality.
Once a week is as efficient as training 5 times per week to maximize strength gains.
Higher frequencies elicited a similar strength gain, and significantly greater increase in hypertrophy of upper-body muscles
Also, if you want to maximize hypertrophy you must include isolation.
In conclusion, this study indicates that under volume-equated conditions, there are no additional strength benefits to training muscle groups 6 days per week in resistance-trained men, and that very high training frequencies may, in some cases, hinder muscle hypertrophy.
The training protocol was somewhat short because it lasted only 6 weeks. It is conceivable that results would have differed with a longer-duration training intervention. We also did not control for nutritional status.
So the sweet spot is potentially 2-3x a week. 5x could still be beneficial over 3x because the 1v5 study had less holes than the 3v6 study and the 3v6 study's holes are pretty big.
The current study aimed to compare the effect of a split training routine with muscle groups trained once per week vs. whole-body training routine with muscle groups trained 5 days per week
The findings of this study demonstrated that training a muscle group only once a week is as efficient as training 5 times per week to maximize strength gains.
The findings of this study suggest a potential hypertrophic benefit to a higher frequency of training when training volume (number of sets per muscle group) is equated between conditions.
This would suggest that the increased muscle mass achieved in TOTAL did not translate into greater strength gains.
MBI showed that clinical difference between groups for MTTB was unclear. In combination, these data provide evidence that resistance-trained individuals benefit from including periods of training muscle groups more frequently than 1 sessions·wk−1 when the goal is to maximize muscle hypertrophy.
Moreover, although triceps brachii MT was not statistically different between groups as in this study, the ES reported by Schoenfeld et al. (30) for a higher frequency protocol was 96% greater than that of a lower frequency protocol (0.90 vs. 0.46, respectively). Although, vastus lateralis MT was not statistically different between groups, Schoenfeld et al. (30) also reported a markedly greater ES for vastus lateralis thickness increase on a higher frequency protocol compared with a lower frequency protocol (0.70 vs. 0.18, respectively).
In short: You should do isolation. You may also want to do isolation on a higher frequency with volume distributed.
Back to this study
This study agrees with the results observed by Schoenfeld et al.
In comparison with lower frequencies, higher frequencies elicited a similar strength gain, and significantly greater increase in hypertrophy of upper-body muscles
Research by Burd et al. demonstrated that a relatively low number of sets (i.e., 4 sets to volitional failure) may be sufficient to elicit a large increase in MPS for up to 24 hours afterexercise (2).
It, therefore, can be speculated that performing fewer sets per muscle group per session may be more effective at reducing prolonged neuromuscular fatigue and allowing the same muscle group to be trained more frequently.
In short: Higher frequency with volume distributed = more MPS and ability to perform said volume with better performance and thus net a better response from your training.
Eighteen healthy men (26.4 ± SD 4.6 years [range 18 to 30 years]; 177.8 ± 6.6 cm; total body mass = 84.4 ± 8.1 kg; RT experience = 6.4 ± 2.4 years)
Subjects were well trained;
All had been performing RT a minimum of 3 days to weeks for at least 1 year.
The range of RT experience was 2–10 years. All subjects regularly performed (minimum frequency of once a week) all exercises used in the training intervention and in the strength tests for at least 1 year before entering the study. Moreover,
subjects were free from any existing musculoskeletal disorders, history of injury
Resistance-Training RT Program
The RT protocol consisted of 25 exercises targeting each of the major muscle groups.
all subjects performed the same exercises and similar repetition volume throughout the duration of the study.
The external load was adjusted for each exercise as needed on successive sets to ensure that subjects achieved failure in the target repetition range.
The RT protocol for both groups consisted of 5 weekly sessions performed on consecutive days (Monday–Friday) for 8 weeks.
Subjects performed 3 sets per exercise for a total of 15 sets per session. Each set involved 10–12 maximum repetitions 8 (RM) with 60 seconds of rest between sets and 120 seconds between exercises
* All sets were performed to the point of momentary concentric muscular failure and defined as the inability to perform another concentric repetition while maintaining proper technique.
All routines were directly supervised by research assistants to ensure proper performance and technique of the respective routines.
Adherence to the program was 100% for both groups.
Estimate of Food Intake
In short, they made sure to control for dietary intake.
Subjects were advised to maintain their customary nutritional regimen and to avoid taking any supplements during the study period.
This section re-iterates the points from above and heavily describes the form and technique for the lifts. Mentions they did a 5min warm up beforehand, that they didn't exhaust themselves the day before the lifts, how failure and 1rm was measured. That they achieved 1rm without injury. They even recorded foot and hand placement to have consistency session to session.
The sequence of maximum strength tests was 1RMBENCH, 1RMSQUAT, and 1RMROW with a 20-minute rest period separating tests.
Muscle Thickness MT
Ultrasound imaging was used to obtain measurements of MT.
In an effort to help ensure that swelling in the muscles from training did not obscure results, images were obtained 48–72 hours before commencement of the study and after the final training session. This is consistent with research showing that an acute increase in muscle thickness returns to baseline within 48 hours after an RT session (21).