More HIT/Volume Training Techniques

Here is another great way to get some volume work in your schedule without beating yourself into a state of overtraining. Before I start, I want to make it clear that unless you KNOW you respond well to volume work, or have already built at least a minimal strength base and are not happy with the size you have to go along with your strength, you should NOT bother using volume techniques. Why? Because the trainee is few and far between than will build strength as fast doing moderate to high volume work, as compared to keeping the volume much lower than what most would consider as volume training.

What constitutes a MINIMUM strength base? I will give some numbers that I think are pretty fair for Joe average trainee with a height between 5’8 and 5’10 or so, weighing at LEAST 190 or so in lean condition (not 190 and fat.) Joe average, after a fair amount of time focusing mostly on medium reps (6-12), using a volume and frequency level that allows relatively fast strength gains has built his bench to 275-315, squats to 350-400, and deadlift to 400-450. Those numbers are for singles, done with powerlifting contest form. Now, if he is not happy with how the size followed the strength gains, it can be time to do some hypertrophy specific work. Please understand these are approximate numbers and there can be a little leeway on either side, and of course if one of the lifts is a poor responder, and the other two are good to-go, that’s OK also, but these are good solid numbers that most any dedicated trainee can, and will reach in time IF they don’t train too often, with too much volume.

I also know that many reading this regardless of their current strength level are absolutely convinced they must do a boat-load of work because they “think? it will make them bigger faster than lower volume work, and will be using as much volume as possible. So since they are going to indulge anyway, I will give them another option……

I already went over how to wave volume work in a previous article, so this time I am going to discuss another way to get the volume without falling flat on your face and ending up STUCK!

OK, you have your body split 3-4 ways and are currently hitting every body-part once in 7 days. Pretty standard for many trainees. Now you decide it’s time to do some volume (or in some cases, your doing volume and want to make it actually work for you) so now instead of just doing every session as volume, what if we do some days, as volume, some days as low volume? How about this as a couple examples:

Day/Body-Parts Protocol
1) Chest/Shoulders/Tricep Volume
2) Back/Biceps Low-Volume
3) Legs Volume

Then every 2-4 weeks, you change the sequence.

If you are a fairly hardgainer, it may be best to only have one third of the routine be volume based, such as:

Day/Body-Parts Protocol
1) Chest/Shoulders/Tricep Low-Volume
2) Back/Biceps Volume
3) Legs Low-Volume

The task then becomes to determine how long to stay on each volume sequence, and how much volume to do on volume days, and how low to go with the low volume work.

I’ll go out on a limb here and state that for MOST guys, there is little reason to do more than 9-12 sets a body-part when doing volume. I see all kinds of posts on a daily basis by guys about their 16-20 set workouts, and know they are usually based on what the “pro’s? do. Do any of these guys ever reason-out the fact that they are expecting themselves to be able to do what the guys with the best of the best, of the best, genetics are doing? Do they take into consideration that the “pro? they are trying to emulate is doing anywhere from 3 to 7 GRAMS a week of gear in many cases and every other growth enhancing drug they can get their hands on. The pro, on all that gear handles the 16-20 set workload well. Do you REALLY think you are as talented as him and need to do his routine?

For the low volume work, anywhere from 1-4 WORK sets a bodypart will be enough if you are training hard. Don’t think it’s enough, or can work well, ESPECIALLY for strength? You are WRONG!!!

Determining how long to run each volume, low volume sequence is another task that is more like an art if you have never tried it. To begin using this method keep it simple, I would start out with 3-4 weeks max volume time per muscle group before switching over to the low volume work. You can play with the variable with this method ‘till doomsday and still have time left over so it works well for guys that like a lot of change in their routines to keep them fresh mentally as well as physically. Give this method a try IF you qualify with the outlined strength numbers. You may find it works extremely well for you and adds some size to your frame without burning you out.

Iron Addict