High volume training, your opinions on my program

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    High volume training, your opinions on my program


    Before I start, let me say all sets are non failure, and I will not be androgen assisted.

    I am trying to plan ahead here, and I have set out a nice high volume split.
    This split is aimed mainly at bringing up my chest(my major weakpoint) as you will see from my stats, and my shoulders. My arms and back are ahead of my chest and shoulders a little, but are still being worked very hard, and my legs are worked a little less, as they are miles ahead of the rest of me, as you can see from my stats:

    My current max lifts are:
    Bench ~190-200
    Squat ~270-280
    Dead 396 ----as you can see, absolutely miles ahead.

    The groupings are:

    Chest arms
    Back shoulders
    Lower(2 separate lower workouts)

    The workouts will be done in a 4 week cycls as soblank days are rest days) so it is 3 on 1 off, 2on 1 off repeat

    1 Chest arms
    2 Lower A
    3 Back Shoulder
    4
    5 Chest arms
    6 Lower B
    7
    8 Back Shoulder
    9 Lower A
    10 Chest arms
    11
    12 Back Shoulder
    13 Lower B
    14
    15 Chest arms
    16 Lower A
    17 Back Shoulder
    18
    19 Chest arms
    20 Lower B
    21
    22 Back shoulder
    23 Lower A
    24 chest arms
    25
    26 Back shoulder
    27 lower B
    28

    The workouts:

    Chest/arms
    Sets: 16/19(9tri, 10bi)...35


    BB bench 4x3
    Chest dips 3x3
    Incline DB bench 2x4-6
    Incline DB 4x10-12
    Cable crossover 2x10-12, 1x20
    Close grip bench 3x4-6, 2x7-9
    Pushdowns 3x10, 1x20
    Hammer curl 4x3
    Seated DB curl 2x7-9
    Standing DB curl 3x10-12, 1x20

    Over the 4 weeks, this workout is done a total of 6 times ~1.5x a week. This averages out to 53sets a week.

    24sets for chest a week
    13.5sets for tris a week
    15sets for bis a week

    Back/shoulder
    Sets: 20/16...36


    Pullup 6x3
    BB row 2x3, 3x4-6, 2x7-9
    Seated cable row 6x10-12
    Pulldown 1x20
    Seated military press 4x3, 2x7-9
    Seated Arnolds 2x4-6, 4x10-12
    Side lateral 2x10-12
    Rear lateral 2x10-12

    Over the 4 weeks, this workout is done a total of 6 times ~1.5x a week. This averages out to 54sets a week.

    30sets for back a week
    24sets for shoulders a week

    Lower A: Quads/L.back hams/calves
    Sets: 12/8/8...28


    Squats 5x3
    Rack deads 2x3
    Bavarian deads 2x4-6
    Leg press 2x7-9, 4x10-12
    Leg extension 1x20
    Leg curl 2x4-6, 2x7-9
    Smith calf 3x3, 4x10-12
    Seated calf 1x20

    Lower B Quads/L.back hams/calves
    Sets: 10/10/8...28


    Box squats 4x3
    Deadlift 3x3
    Squats 3x4-6
    Leg press 3x10-12
    Goodmorning 3x10-12
    Leg curl 3x3, 1x10-12
    Smith calf raise 2x7-9, 4x10-12
    Seated calf 3x10-15

    I kniow there are no SLDL's in there, bt my lower back really does not like them at all!

    Over the 4 weeks, my lower body will be worked 8 times. 2x a week. This averages out to 56sets a week.

    Of those sets,
    22 a week are mainly quad
    18 are mainly lower back/hams
    16 are mainly calves

    Hopefully this, and the fact I am doing squat movements 1st will help bring up my squat a lot, whilst improving my dead a little.

    That makes the totals of:

    24 sets for chest a week
    13.5 sets for tris a week
    15 sets for bis a week
    30 sets for back a week
    24 sets for shoulders a week
    22 sets for quads a week
    18 sets for lower back/hams a week
    16 sets for calves a week

    total sets per week(average) 162.5

    Upper body 106.5
    Lower body 56

  2. LunaHotel's Avatar
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    IMO that is WAY too many sets per workout... But first some questions...

    How old are you?
    How long in training?
    How long between sets?
    How long do your workouts last?
    Are you looking for strength only, or size AND strength?

    It seems to me that even training high volume in set numbers, you should definitely still train MAX 60 minutes at a time, ideally 45, since cortisol, the big no-no of muscle growth, becomes a significant issue after the 45-minute mark, especially for a non-assisted athlete.
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    i agree with luna completely
    you're max's would definitely go up (along with your weight) with a more low volume work out
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    Quote Originally Posted by meathead1987
    That makes the totals of:

    24 sets for chest a week
    13.5 sets for tris a week
    15 sets for bis a week
    30 sets for back a week
    24 sets for shoulders a week
    22 sets for quads a week
    18 sets for lower back/hams a week
    16 sets for calves a week

    total sets per week(average) 162.5

    Upper body 106.5
    Lower body 56
    Even if you were on gear and not going to failure on any sets, this would still be severe overtraining. If you feel you have to do high volume, then look into GVT and follow Poliquin's recommendations on how to do volume training. Remember that you grow outside of the gym.
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    1. 17(will be 18 when this starts)
    2. 4 years, about 8months properly
    3. After the initial power sets(the sets of 3) which I will rest ~2-4minutes between. Exercises are alternated with 45-60secs rest
    4. Previously I have done volume almost this high(40-50sets per upper body workout, 20-25 per lower 2x a week each). The longest of the workouts lasted just under 2hrs. I gained better than I ever have before on this style of training.
    5. Looking for size and strength. I suppose you could call me a "power builder"

    Cortisol is not a problem, as long as you have an in workout shake, with plenty of dextrose. In my case, probably about 50-60g dex and 40g whey(I will weigh ~175 @10% BF at the time). The insulin release from this wil be pretty large and blunt cortisol.

    High Slin = no cortisol.

    On top of that, I will probably run 7oxo/7OH-DHEA for a majority of the training.

    here are pics of me before high volume training, then after ~10weeks of it. I know the lighting sucks in the 1st pic, but you can stil lsee a lot of progress!

    The basic outline of the program is from the "periodization for bodybuilders" article by Lyle McDonald.

    www.mindandmuscle.net
    Attached Images Attached Images   
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    i still believe you'd make MUCH MUCH better gains with MUCH lower volume
    unless you have arnold's genetics you really aren't going to continue growing on that workout
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    If it works stick with it. Once it stops working switch to something else. I also used to be a high volume freak around 18-19 yrs old. I gained faster than anybody I knew at that peroid. I still do more volume than most but not as much as I used to.
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    I figured my young age/higher test levels could be a reason why I am gaining well of this program.

    Not only that, but I enjoy training with this volume! I look forward to every trip to the gym!
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    Have you looked into HST?
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    Yes, I have, But I prefer the idea of conjugate periodization over the linear style. I am interesed in both strength and size. I dont think HST is appropriate for that.
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    Cool, although last time I did GVT I lost alot of strength. I got some great body comp changes but my bench, deads, and squats all suffered. Let me know how it goes.
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    I have a problem with doing legs twice a week. That seems like it would put a huge strain on your ability to recoup. I also have a problem with doing back the day before or after legs and becnhing the day before or after legs. As a general guideline, I suggest having a day off before and after leg training.
    Also cut your sets in about half. You can probably get away with the what you're doing now, but it probably isn't optimal.
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    I have trained legs 2x a week for months with no problem, I also perform upper body workouts the day before/after these days.

    It is surprising how different the responses are from the ones I got from avant labs.

    Over there they liked the program, and did not suggest lowering volume, just a few substitutions.
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    Dude,
    Do what you want, you were the one who asked for opinions. I'm not trying to flame you here but you got pretty much the same response from a bunch of guys who have been down the road a few times.

    Here's a little something to think about: If you made gains doing it this way how can you be sure that doing it the way we prescribe won't get you better gains? I'm sure you break a good sweat during your workout but at that many sets, no single set that you do reaches the intensity we are talking about, it just isn't possible. That's not a knock against how hard you lift and I'm not questioning your desire but it's a fact of physiology.

    If you ask any of these guys for help, they will give. But don't ask for help with the intention of disregarding anything that goes against what you currently believe. Oh, and as for the carbs after a workout to spike insulin, check out some of the postings by Bobo.
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    Roughly what is your rate of strength progression on the big compound movements (ex. squat,dl, bench, dips, rows pullups etc) on this routine?
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    Cardinal,
    Who are you asking?
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    Was asking meathead about the posted routine specifically, but anyone can answer =D Mainly trying to get an idea if anyone that uses volume at this range is able to progress anywhere near as fast as they can on a more moderate volume routine.

    On a routine of this nature, my limit strength progress comes to a complete halt, but I gain a tad bit of endurance strength and some nice conditioning.
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    Basically if you feel as though what your doing is working then stick with it. Everyone is different. Eventually doing this high of volume will stop progress and then it's time to switch things up. The trick is to not wait till that happens. Research different training techniques and utilize them all. Shock your body, never letting it catch up with your routine. Mix it up with high volume, low volume, different rep schemes, varying timing of positives and negatives, ect...ect...ect...
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    Week 1 of high volume:
    Bench 120lbsx4
    Pullup -5lbsx3
    Dead 290x4(failure)
    Squat 185x5

    Week 9 of high volume
    Bench 184x3(I maxed out about 2 weeks before this at 187)
    Pullup +33lbsx2(+27.5x3)
    Deadlift 355x5(maxed at 396)
    Squat 250x3(maxed at 270)

    Sorry if I sounded like an ass, and I did not mean to throw your advice back in your face. I was just saying what I observed.

    After reading this, I may reduce the overall volume of the workouts, maybe by ~5-10sets a workout, then build up to this volume over a few weeks, maybe surpass it. Then deload for a week and start again. That way I can better assess my tolerance to all the volume!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jminis
    Basically if you feel as though what your doing is working then stick with it. Everyone is different. Eventually doing this high of volume will stop progress and then it's time to switch things up. The trick is to not wait till that happens. Research different training techniques and utilize them all. Shock your body, never letting it catch up with your routine. Mix it up with high volume, low volume, different rep schemes, varying timing of positives and negatives, ect...ect...ect...
    Agreed totally on that.
    You guys seem to judge high volume training like it was hell, but every training style has his benefits. High volume with higher reps will target sarcoplasmic hypertrophy since you're looking more for muscle fatigue. Then you have lower volume with lower reps, which is mainly for myofibrillar hypertrophy. You also have strength program etc.

    I think a bodybuilder looking for mass need all these kind of program to reward his training effort to the max.
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    Thanks for the reply Meathead. Those results are well above average. I definitely would stick with it making only modest alterations like you indicated. I expected at most about 5lbs per week average on Squats and deads over such a long time frame. Clearly you are getting much more than that! Good work
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    A good rule of thumb when doing allot volume training it to keep you work outs under 45 minutes. IMO you would be better off going twice a day at 45 minutes each than working out for two hours.
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    For a short time(when I did TP PT in the summer) I did workout 2x a day 4days a week. I did enjoy this, but now I simply do not have the time.

    I can get a rough estimate of my tolerance to higher volume while cutting at the moment. I am doing UD2, which calls for about 150sets a week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by meathead1987
    I can get a rough estimate of my tolerance to higher volume while cutting at the moment. I am doing UD2, which calls for about 150sets a week.
    That explains alot. Just keep in mind that Lyle's ideas are primarily focused on weight loss and not on becoming massive. His integrated plan, as outlined in UD2, is mostly a cutting method for natural bodybuilders that want to take their bodyfat to single digits without losing muscle mass. His use of high reps and many sets in a quasi cardio fashion - very similar to circuit training - all revolve around the cyclical keto diet and how to manipulate the hormonal changes using weights to aid in the fat loss.

    If you are looking for strength and size, which is what you said earlier, he has a small section at the end of UD2 that outlines his recommended diet and training for putting on mass. It is not high volume that he recommends. The only high volume workout in that plan is the workout for glycogen depletion that imediately precedes the 36 hour carb-load.
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    Meathead, you're ****ing insane to try all that voluem..... fits you well
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    Meathead, no matter how young you are, no matter how much testosterone your balls put out naturally, no matter what your genetics are, there is no way that a 2 hour session is OPTIMAL.

    Take it or leave it, and that from a guy who enjoys the higher-volume workouts. Much higher than most guys on this board. And this style is a reason why I am so weak for my size - or big for my strength. But what you are doing isn't productive. FYI I go for 30 sets in 45 minutes. That's my highest volume workout. Of course, I do alternate with lower-volume periods too.

    The way you are progressing with that kind of training, you've got Mr. Olympia 2015's genetics. Don't waste your best years of natural growth on a counterproductive routine. Grow big, grow strong and yes, grow smart.
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    I spend 2 hours in the gym on weekends on ME days. But the first hour is mostly warmups, and sitting around waiting for my spot in the rotation again. After I hit a max I probably spend about 30-45 minutes doing heavy assistance work... I drink a large protein+carb shake before and during the workout to maintain energy levels.

    The actual volume of max effort training work and failure work I do is pretty low, I do a ****load of sub-maximal work however.
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    An hour of warm-ups seem a tad excessive. You should be able to warm-up in 15 minutes. Add that to 45 mintes and you're out in an hour. What effect do you get from the ****load of sub-maximal work?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skoal
    An hour of warm-ups seem a tad excessive. You should be able to warm-up in 15 minutes. Add that to 45 mintes and you're out in an hour. What effect do you get from the ****load of sub-maximal work?
    Technique, technique, technique, technique, technique I can't stress that enough... Most guys will trash their bodies before they ever hit anywhere near 500lbs on a bench or 700lbs on a squat because their technique is stressing parts of the body that aren't well adapted to handle such massive weights. A friend of mine pec benches about the same weight I put up in a power style bench with a small arch, and has torn his pec tendon twice, thrown his shoulder out many times, etc. I got tendonitis in both shoulders before I mastered proper bench technique, now everything is peachy and I'm putting up sick weights.

    People think a bench press is a simple motion, those people never bench very much You wouldn't hit the bag 20-30 times and call it a boxing workout would you?
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    At the momant, I am not liking UD2 at all. The depletion days are great, but I dont really like the carbup.

    I may start this split(with lower volume) as part of my cut. I'll keep this thread updated with my progress.

    I will probably periodize it somehow, starting low volume, then building up to somewhere near that volume.

    To start with, I will keep workouts to 1hr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exnihilo
    Technique, technique, technique, technique, technique I can't stress that enough... Most guys will trash their bodies before they ever hit anywhere near 500lbs on a bench or 700lbs on a squat because their technique is stressing parts of the body that aren't well adapted to handle such massive weights. A friend of mine pec benches about the same weight I put up in a power style bench with a small arch, and has torn his pec tendon twice, thrown his shoulder out many times, etc. I got tendonitis in both shoulders before I mastered proper bench technique, now everything is peachy and I'm putting up sick weights.

    People think a bench press is a simple motion, those people never bench very much You wouldn't hit the bag 20-30 times and call it a boxing workout would you?
    If you're training for a max bench, who cares what you can do 30 times? So the boxing analogy really doesn't work and it fails to meet specificity. For a max bench you need to train heavy, not just to develop the muscle power to move the poundage but to train your nervous system to handle the weight.

    You should always use good form, but that doesn't require an hour of warm up.
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    You misunderstood the boxing analogy. When you are hitting the bag you are training your nervous system to be more efficient at a specific movement - less agonist activation on the way down, less of the antagonists on the way up, with an explosive reversal off the chest (or pausing if you're in a shirt). Most bodybuilders don't really understand perfect technique as it applies to powerlifting, there's more to it than what the lift looks like - there is a complicated sequence of contraction and relaxation of muscles that goes on that I'm still slowly mastering, a way to hold yourself on the bench, how you push off with the feet, the arch of the back, how you angle your elbows, even the way you grip the bar. You will pick it up a lot faster if you do 300+ submaximal lifts with perfect form than if you do 50 lifts with perfect form and submaximal weights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exnihilo
    You will pick it up a lot faster if you do 300+ submaximal lifts with perfect form than if you do 50 lifts with perfect form and submaximal weights.
    I think based on your last sentence we are arguing the same point. Most people have good form with the light weights, it's the heavy weights that turn them into a contortionist. You need to practice good technique under strain to improve. It's that stress that trains the nervous system.

    I think we did get a little off the subject here. But I do believe that heavy weights, low reps, low sets is the best general approach. But there may be times to change to meet a particular need for some sports.
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    In the last decade I've trained myself and others, I've always tried to learn things along the way. What is true, is that although everyone differs, there are indeed constants. I believe, as many here have said, that brief intense workouts with adequate rest and nutrition will bring optimal gains. In fact, this is pretty much fact. You can work out hard, or you can work out long. But, you can't do both. Think about this: You do 4 sets of bench press to failure. Now, if you had to do only two sets to failure, you could use more weight on each set. More weight = more overload + rest and recovery = greater gains. The end. So, why would you want to put 25% of your total effort into four sets rather than 50% of everything you have into two sets? There are a million reasons to cut the volume and not too many applications in which to increase it. Neither me or any trainees I've worked with have gained in the ways we did when we kept it brief and ungodly intense. Get in, get working and get home and rest. I think you've gotten great advice from the folks here who have later on probably said 'Damn, why did I waste so much time?'.
    Whatever you decide, good luck!
    GR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Repper
    In the last decade I've trained myself and others, I've always tried to learn things along the way. What is true, is that although everyone differs, there are indeed constants. I believe, as many here have said, that brief intense workouts with adequate rest and nutrition will bring optimal gains. In fact, this is pretty much fact. You can work out hard, or you can work out long. But, you can't do both. Think about this: You do 4 sets of bench press to failure. Now, if you had to do only two sets to failure, you could use more weight on each set. More weight = more overload + rest and recovery = greater gains. The end. So, why would you want to put 25% of your total effort into four sets rather than 50% of everything you have into two sets? There are a million reasons to cut the volume and not too many applications in which to increase it. Neither me or any trainees I've worked with have gained in the ways we did when we kept it brief and ungodly intense. Get in, get working and get home and rest. I think you've gotten great advice from the folks here who have later on probably said 'Damn, why did I waste so much time?'.
    Whatever you decide, good luck!
    GR
    To each his own. The only thing HIT style training has ever really exceeded training with moderate volumes on me is injury rate...
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    Quote Originally Posted by exnihilo
    To each his own. The only thing HIT style training has ever really exceeded training with moderate volumes on me is injury rate...
    Well, I can definitely agree heavy training ALL of the time would potentially cause systemic breakdown leading to strains, sprains, tears, etc. The key though is periodization so that each new cycle has you starting with slightly less poundages to create momentum/conditioning for gaining. Plus warmups with acclimations are key as well. And whatever anyone decides, they shouldn't for heaven's sake pound their bodies with heavy weight for months on end at anytime! Cycles!
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    Take a look at powerlifters. They train heavy most of the time but it isn't always the same lift. For example, you can back off on your full squats for a couple of weeks and hammer partial squats or box squats. Most of the really good deadlifters I know won't even deadlift a good part of the year.

    I'll be the first to admit it isn't always easy. Once you start loading all those 45's on the bar, it's an ego boast to see people stop and watch. But you have to keep your eye on the big picture. People will also stop and stare when you come in with your arm in a sling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by meathead1987
    Yes, I have, But I prefer the idea of conjugate periodization over the linear style. I am interesed in both strength and size. I dont think HST is appropriate for that.
    The do CP...you will get strength and size...
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    Quote Originally Posted by skoal
    Take a look at powerlifters. They train heavy most of the time but it isn't always the same lift. For example, you can back off on your full squats for a couple of weeks and hammer partial squats or box squats. Most of the really good deadlifters I know won't even deadlift a good part of the year.

    I'll be the first to admit it isn't always easy. Once you start loading all those 45's on the bar, it's an ego boast to see people stop and watch. But you have to keep your eye on the big picture. People will also stop and stare when you come in with your arm in a sling.
    Heh, I like that arm in a sling statement.

    The main thing that differentiates HIT style stuff from powerlifting/westside style training (well, in regards to failure, they're night and day pretty much every other way) is that we might go for one PR a week, or two if we feel good, and we avoid any sort of forced negatives, supersets, etc. So, compare maybe 2 failed attempts at a 1rm a week in rotating lifts, with assistance work at a fairly low "intensity" but moderate-high volume, to mentzer/yatesesque supersets with forced supersetted forced negatives and all sorts of other craziness...

    In the group of guys I lift with the only injury in the last 9 months or so has been one of our benchers getting tweaked wrists from a 640 bench in a meet Train safe and all that...
  40. LunaHotel's Avatar
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    and the one by skoal also.

    Geez it's good to see I'm not the only one who's smart around here

    Seriously though, I see so MANY guys bench the bar to their collarbones instead of their nipples. Isn't that absolutely horrendous form? Well I feel it is, and by reading some of your posts, I think I will find a powerlifting club somewhere and learn to better my heaviest lift techniques. Seriously, I think even with 10 years training and reading experience, a guy who benches 500lbs naturally can teach me something I don't know. See, I'm modest too...

    Oh, and have any of you guys ever heard that thing about high insulin = no cortisol before? I didn't know that and tried finding a study in medline, to no avail.
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