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Old 12-16-2014, 05:33 AM
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Default Why do you think high volume builds muscle?

A quick challenge to volume training!

Do you train your muscle groups with any of the following protocols? (rough estimates)

A) 3 x 10 reps

B) 4 x 8-12 reps

c) 10 x 10 reps

Do you know why?

Most likely you got it from a magazine or somebody in the gym.

Volume approaches such as those described above are classic and typical routines.

These methods were largely derived from elite bodybuilders who take steroids; which allows them to recover from gruelling workouts.

Have you thought about why these rep protocols work for a bit and then stop working?

Have you ever thought that if the experts recommend three, four or ten sets, then why not thirty, forty, or one hundred?

If workout volume (the total amount of working sets per week) is what the experts claim builds muscle, then why not train for 2-3 hours everyday and get professionally jacked?

Most experts will acknowledge that at some point excessive volume impairs recovery and therefore muscle growth, but they rarely have that lightbulb moment where they realise volume is actually an expression of endurance.

Endurance and fitness training is comprised of many steps and strides performed for a long duration typically in a daily fashion.

The human body when subjected to endurance and fitness training is essentially using high volume in an activity that has proven to shrink muscle mass.

Therefore, it stands to reason that building muscle must be the opposite of endurance activity.

What is the opposite of daily activity that has a long duration?


It cannot be zero because in order to build muscle you need a stimulus.

HIT advocates that muscle demands an intense stimulus to signal the bodies adaptive mechanisms which result in growth.

HIT advocates that recovery is needed for the muscle to repair and adapt by growing bigger and stronger; this immediately rules out daily activity which interrupts long term and complete muscular repair and adaption.

This means, that if we want to become muscular, our training must occupy the lowest possible expression of volume and frequency in compliance with the nature of the human body.

Our training must comply with our bodies nature and not determined by how keen we are to be active.

Our training must be:

Intense – hard muscle contractions taken to failure signal adaptation and desired muscle growth.

Brief – hard work is short because that is how muscle fibres work (sprinting vs jogging vs walking)

Infrequent – regular activity interrupts repair and it signals the body that endurance adaptations are required; which will cap at best and possibly shrink muscle mass.

Volume is not the major factor in signalling muscle growth, you merely need to signal a great demand with a high intensity contraction until you reach failure; then you need rest to allow the repair and muscle growth to take place.

Repeat the process with the higher load that your muscle can now handle and you will be on your way to gain city.

The volume has to be above zero; literally one set to signal the body, but once you continue to add more sets the intensity drops and the signal is muddied to suggest fit muscles which are smaller than you desire.

Muscle growth and potential size will be curtailed as you increase volume.

You will not be effected as a beginner and with good genes intermediates may even go ok with volume training, but if reaching your muscular potential is your goal, one hard set and progressive intensity is the best path to muscle growth.

If you disagree, I expect you to train steroid free for 3 hours a day and send me pictures (with your blood tests included).
Kernow bys vyken

Disclaimer: does not promote the use of anabolic steroids without a doctor's prescription. The information we share is for entertainment and research purposes only.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:22 AM
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A brilliant thread that makes absolutely perfect sense. I don’t see how anyone could argue with the logic.

Personally, as I’ve got older I put a lot more emphasis on the 5 x 5 style of training with at least a day in between each workout. I can give it some stick without suffering joint or excessive muscular pain. I certainly feel less ‘physically fucked’ doing this style of training. yes, guys, age does drag you down a bit.

However, to alleviate boredom I do incorporate other forms of training, such as an occasional run of 10 x 10 and 4 x 8 etc.

I’m not a bodybuilder in the true sense of the word. Never have been. But I have enjoyed weight training for a very long time and with it the extra size the training has given me. I’ve also enjoyed the muscular endurance and the sheer sense of achievement that all forms of training give you, especially when you have a period of balls to the wall training. I’ve also done too many other physical activities to be able to body build.

That’s my personal take and why I've leaned towards volume training over the years. I’m in it for the sense of satisfaction as much as (if not slightly more than) the out and out growth.

One final reason (excuse if you like) is that for almost thirty years a lot of my training has been done in a work environment where at any second I might have to stop training and use every ounce of strength and endurance I’ve got. Pushing myself to failure just before that ‘second’ strikes isn’t a good idea.

I’ll say it again. It’s a fantastic thread and for the true bodybuilders on this forum well worth noting and using.

Last edited by stillgoingstron; 12-16-2014 at 10:27 AM.
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