High frequency training can take strength through the roof. I am a big fan of training squats, bench, and deadlifts often. Especially in a lift such as the bench where recovery times seem to be faster for most people. High frequency training means you are performing the lifts often, usually 3-4 times a week
Why it works so well?
Squat, bench, and deadlifts are a movement, just as swinging a baseball bat or shooting a basketball is. Sometimes the key to getting stronger isn't actually getting stronger, it's perfecting this movement. The only way to perfect the lifts so that you lift technically sound each and every time is practicing them often
Who do you think will be more technically sound, the lifter who practices each lift 50 days a year, or the lifter who practices each lift 150 days each year? I am willing to bet the person who trains each lift at a frequency of 150 days a year will look smoother and be stronger. They are practicing the movement pattern at a rate of 3x more than the lifter that trains each movement once a week
Not only are you becoming more technically sound which is huge, but you are also building muscle and training the neural patterns in that movement more often. Think about the first time you rode a bike, it was probably a mess and you might have fallen off a lot. Just like the first time you squatted, you probably looked like a mess and fell a bit. The more you do it the more proficient you become! You will build up the exact musculature involved in performing the movement. What is the best way to build a bench? By doing a bunch of flys and dumbbell presses, or actually benching? Performing the actual movement will account for about 80% of the actual process of getting stronger in that lift, accessory work on other lifts account for the other 20%. Do what it is you wish to get strong at!
How it can potentially be disastrous?
Recovery on a high frequency program needs to be paid close attention to. Since you perform the lifts so often, you don't have a lot of time to rest before performing them again. A muscle that never recovers can never get stronger. The best way to set up high frequency training is by utilizing daily undulating periodization. With DUP you constantly change volumes and intensities. You cannot bench heavy 3-4x a week. You can however bench heavy once a week and bench light to moderate the other days. A light day isn't going to tap into your recovery abilities as much as a stressful heavy day or very high volume day
Most people fail with high frequency programs because of this exact reason. They don't listen to their bodies and they don't ease back when they can't recover. If you handle 300 lbs for reps one day and 150 lbs for reps feels like a metric shit ton the next, you know you aren't recovering right. Leave yourself more time to recover in between or cut back on how heavy you go or how many working sets you actually do
How I set up high frequency programs?
I have found great success in structuring training to hit main lifts 3x a week. If we take a look at the basic outline of how I structure training a single lift such as the bench, it will look like this over the course of the week
Day 1 - Heavy Bench/Low Volume (3-5 heavy sets of bench 85+% 1RM)
Day 2 - Light Bench/Moderate Volume (2-3 very light sets of bench, high reps)
Day 3 - Moderate Bench/High Volume (5+ sets of bench 70-83% 1RM)
Setting up high frequency training for all 3 lifts can get a bit trickier but is certainly possibly and is the preferred way I like to see most people train
Day 1 - Squat (Heavy)/Bench (Light)/Deadlift (Light)
Day 2 - Bench (Heavy)/Squat (Light)/Deadlift Variation
Day 3 - Accessories (Weak Points)
Day 4 - Deadlift (Moderate)/Squat Variation/Bench Variation
With this set up just rotate the weeks you go heavy on squats vs deadlifts, or prioritize one or the other for a period of time depending which lift you want to bring up. I wouldn't stop benching heavy during the week. Most people will do well with one heavy bench session a week since recovery is much faster than squat and deadlift. The nervous system is fatigued to a greater degree in the squat and deadlift from the fact that you are using so much more weight than you are when you bench
This way of setting up your training allows you to train the movements much more often than you would just doing a once a week program. You will get become far more proficient as a result
Everyone has a style of training they prefer, high frequency may not be for everybody. However it is worth a try and is the method of training I stand by. Not everybody is a candidate for high frequency training, you really need to look over someones training history, what their schedule is like, how well they recover, etc. This is why I always ask questions with my clients before we begin training
If you'd like to take the guess work out of your training and have a coach take over the reigns of your training to make you stronger, email me now at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can utilize these techniques and build a strategy to take you to the next level!