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Low volume training..really?

pumpkinhead

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I have seen some guys , national level/pro's, post some routines with super low volume training. Is this something you only do during pre-contest in order to keep cortisol low and muscle sparing...or something you guys have used for offseason bulk as well?

I guess I come from old school..

---as of now my bulking schedule is (260-265lbs)

Monday: chest/ tris
Tuesday: back / bi's
wednesday:legs
thursday:shoulders
friday: arms
saturday/sunday:eek:ff

*completely destroy each muscle group everytime trained, I.E. 5-6 exercises for chest on chest day with 15-18 work sets..then finish off tri's with 2 movements since they have already been partially destroyed from chest training. Arms are only muscle group trained 2x per week, they are one of my weaker bodyparts i.e. barly 19" pumped and bulked.
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---when it comes to pre comp:(220-225lbs)

monday: chest / shoulders/ tri's
tuesday: back/ bi's
wednesday: legs
thurs: OFF
friday: chest / shoulders / tri's
saturday: back/ bi's
sunday : off

*abs and calves are done EOD on rotating days
**volume is lowered to about 3 movements for each bodypart, except bi's/tri's get to movements per workout.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
----I have seen routines where guys are literally doing 2 movements and thats it for their workout...that just seems almost crazy. maybe someone can explain this ideaology better for me. maybe you can teach a old dog new tricks... just curious, by no means knocking it...I would love the idea of less time in the gym. curious more to guys that switched from high volume to low volume type training and results and was this done for pre comp only, or bulking as well.
Hopefully some of the vets can explain this a bit better to me, or if its complete BS... I would much prefer to hear it from a guy that applies it and competes then a 150lb guy who "has read alot" (sorry no offense)
 

richiec

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I'm not a competing BB, but have been lifting for 10 +/- yrs. I used to do a split that looks like yours and felt my CNS was absolutely fried after 3 weeks of doing it. There is little to no recovery time for your CNS, your muscles will recover, but your CNS is shot if you are truly blasting the target muscles each workout. I recently (8 wekks) switched to DC training and it is low volume, I absolutely love it.

The idea is not to do 5-6 excersises for each bodypart, but 1 all out set. Which, if done right, you shouldn't have any left in the tank. Personally, after I do a set of incline BB followed by the stretch, there is no way I could get under the bar and do even 1 more rep. You basically do 3 or more warmup sets to get warmed up for the "big set". After the big set, you shouldn't be able to do anymore for that particualr bodypart. Remember, this is progressive weights and reps too. Now this can be taxing after 8-10 weeks, so it woould be smart ot go to moderate volume for 1-2 weeks to let your body get some rest from pushing heavy weights.
 

brineal

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i find it very hard to believe that you can go absolutely 100 percent balls to the wall for nearly 20 work sets PER BODYPART..
 

IronCore

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pumpkinhead

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i find it very hard to believe that you can go absolutely 100 percent balls to the wall for nearly 20 work sets PER BODYPART..
its not 20 per bodypart...

back and legs will get around 20

chest around 16

shoulders 12-16

bi's / tri's 12 each

its balls to the walls, with drop sets thrown in... now OBVIOUSLY my first set is the strongest...say for example I do 315 for 15 reps...I might only be able to get that for 12 on the second work set.... so yes its balls to the wall..but obviously strength falls off.

and yes your right, not every workout can I go 100%...sometimes I am just fried and cant go 100%...then I will back off the weights a bit, and do some higher reps and "prime the pump"
 

pumpkinhead

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didnt start growing well till i cut back to training 3x per week
you dont do 3x per week pre comp do you? or is this just bulking?

*as RICHIEC mentioned about doing 3 warmups, then one all out set...I know yates used to train like this, and he was a monster. I have noticed as I get older my joints and stuff just can't take going heavy or all out anymore, thats why I am curious about this...
 
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brineal

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its not 20 per bodypart...

back and legs will get around 20

chest around 16

shoulders 12-16

bi's / tri's 12 each

its balls to the walls, with drop sets thrown in... now OBVIOUSLY my first set is the strongest...say for example I do 315 for 15 reps...I might only be able to get that for 12 on the second work set.... so yes its balls to the wall..but obviously strength falls off.

and yes your right, not every workout can I go 100%...sometimes I am just fried and cant go 100%...then I will back off the weights a bit, and do some higher reps and "prime the pump"
but like you said, on your last work sets, youre not able to get 100 percent of the possible reps with that weight right? s

thats still a lot work to be done per bodypart, you might be better off cutting each workout in half and hitting each bodypart 2x per week, same amount of work done per week and you will be stronger in each movement..

personally, i do about 3 warm up sets and 2 worksets/2 exercises per body part on a chest/shoulder tri, bi/back and leg day split going twice weekly for each bodypart so weekly it ends up being about 8 work sets per body part
 

dorian123

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yeah I go low volume high intensity year round...been doing it for about 10 years now
 

benner

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It truly is quality over quanitity for me. Sure you probably work out hard, however you simply cant recover enough, unless youre superman. I always responded well to ultra high intensity over high volume, every time I switched it up, high intensity yielded much better results. We are tearing down muscle fiber after all! Muscles need recovery time
 

Dado5

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Per my trainers i just recently switched to 20 sets per bodypart for size gain (except biceps, triceps and calfs) and it works great for me.
I do 4 days a week, Mon, Tues, Wed off, Thurs, Friday and weekedns off.
Everyone responds to dif things;)
 

pumpkinhead

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Per my trainers i just recently switched to 20 sets per bodypart for size gain (except biceps, triceps and calfs) and it works great for me.
I do 4 days a week, Mon, Tues, Wed off, Thurs, Friday and weekedns off.
Everyone responds to dif things;)
thats exactly my point...

I see some people getting a bit deffensive about this like its the bible. But everyone does respond different..I was just trying to truly learn more about the theory behind it.

After all boards are full of self proclaimed guru's who have been training 2 years...for some of us who have been training 15-20 years...we have seen "big beyond belief" , "HIT", "PUSH/PULL" etc...and each at their time people preached it like it was the word of god.

Trust me, this low volume / high intensity idea sounds great to me..the idea of less time in the gym and better gains would be great. I will be the first to admitt I have been stuck around 265-270 in my offseason for the past 5 years...just can't seem to break that and still be lean at all. (of course lean is relative, I am not a pro..so as long as I see some sign of abs still their I consider it lean for OFFSEASON)

I would truly love to hear from hardgainers who have been in the game for years and years and have switched to Low volume over high volume and made gains. After all a routine that was written by someone with superman genetics like flex wheeler or lee priest is almost worthless for some of us...While thoose guys builds are by far some of the best that ever existed, have you ever seen pictures of them before they even touched a weight? I think thoose guys quads could grow from taking a crap...On top of that each persons "supplement" program is different.

so far the biggest problem I see from the low volume, especially when needed (pre contest) is the detail work. if your doing 1 set of lets say , military presses, how are you gonna do the detail work for your rear delts and front delts for comp? does that make sense? (I say this for the reason anyone who has ever competed knows at this time not only is your CNS totally shot, but so is your body from fatigue and dieting)

**but this thread also gets me thinking, about reducing my volume some and creating a new split that is low volume, but maybe a compound excersise along with a detail excersise for 1 work set each....have to keep thinking about this..but for the mean time, please keep the responses comming.
 

Ashop

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Ive found my best gains have came from a low to moderate range of sets.
My workouts are like tweaked version of HIT and DC style training. I think you should be in and out of a gym in less than 1hour.
 

Geardepot

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I do low volume now too.

If you read into the dc style of training you can see why this is effective. I do my own variation of it. I generally do 2 exercises per body group, and 2-3 sets per exercise. I have found this to be the most productive for me.

I know a lot of guys who love the high volume and I can attest to the effects of it cause these guys are very large, but once I started reading Mike mentzer, dorian yates and the DC type stuff I started to understand the low volume was the way for me. When you understand what training to 'failure' really is, and how the nervous system works in relation to your overall recovery it really starts to make sense.

I have always remembered this: "Getting extra reps out of your set is far more productive then getting extra sets out of your workout". It is much more painful to complete those last 3-4 reps you would normally rack the bar before getting into. You want to be able to work inside those last reps when the burn gets intense. Most of us are conditioned to do one or 2 reps in the 'burn' then rack the bar, but working into failure and completing more reps in those work sets will recruit more dormant muscle fiber.


When it all boils down there are so many ways to stress the muscle to grow. High volume works as we see with many Pro's. Low volume works as we see with many Pro's too.

G
 

ronnieron

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depends if you are in gear. Obviously if you were on cycle you would want to take advantage of a benefit of the gear in recovery and maybe throw in another 2-4 working sets (depending on body part) than you would off cycle. I would do low volume for about the first month, after coming off cycle, until your test levels come back.
 

pumpkinhead

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I do low volume now too.

If you read into the dc style of training you can see why this is effective. I do my own variation of it. I generally do 2 exercises per body group, and 2-3 sets per exercise. I have found this to be the most productive for me.

I know a lot of guys who love the high volume and I can attest to the effects of it cause these guys are very large, but once I started reading Mike mentzer, dorian yates and the DC type stuff I started to understand the low volume was the way for me. When you understand what training to 'failure' really is, and how the nervous system works in relation to your overall recovery it really starts to make sense.

I have always remembered this: "Getting extra reps out of your set is far more productive then getting extra sets out of your workout". It is much more painful to complete those last 3-4 reps you would normally rack the bar before getting into. You want to be able to work inside those last reps when the burn gets intense. Most of us are conditioned to do one or 2 reps in the 'burn' then rack the bar, but working into failure and completing more reps in those work sets will recruit more dormant muscle fiber.


When it all boils down there are so many ways to stress the muscle to grow. High volume works as we see with many Pro's. Low volume works as we see with many Pro's too.

G
thats more of what i was thinking..so I could at least have a isolation movement in their.

so are you working a 2way split or 3 way split....m,w,f...or m,tu,th,f
 

Ehren

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I was biggest (273lbs, no AAS) when I trained 3 days a week in PL. Squat 5x5monday, Bench 5x5 Wed, and Dead 5x5 Friday. And lots of assistance exercises and abs and such. I was strong as hell and grew like a weed. But it sure looked different.

Now, I listen to my body (this is a recent innovation LOL), do more volume (sets, but reps may vary) and look and feel better. Im only 225, but I look like I want to, generally. Or, at least Im on the right track.

I change the routine a lot, different movements but always about 10 sets per BP.

If I go in and feel weaker than the last workout, I just use the same weight, same number of sets for fewer reps, but not to failure. It helps me recover and when I come back, Im stronger the next time. If I try to do the same workout and push to failure when Im not ready, I just get weaker and burn out. Of course if I feel like shit, I do fewer sets and if Im feeling good, I may do a couple extra.

By varying it like this, progress has been the best in years. I lost a lot of weight, down to 187 at one point and had a hard time putting it back on. This has me growing again. Not there yet, but getting there.

I used to think it takes discipline to push hard every time, but for me, it takes more discipline to listen to my body rather than my mind/ego and try to push it to the limit when my body is saying, "No!".

Training 3-4 times a week (EOD), cca 10 sets per part, always changing the workout (while leaving in some staples for me, that always work).
 
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dr intensity

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lets look at it this way,

TRAINING TYPE A;- if 1 all out intense set/exercise to 100 percent failure creates 10units of muscle damage...and you do 3 different exercises so a total of 30 units of muscle damage

TRAINING TYPE B:- 6 intense set/exercise creates 50 units of muscle damage...and then you do 5 different exercises so the total muscle damage = 250 units

then from which kind of training can you recover faster...? TRAINING TYPE A.

we as bodybuilder need to ENSURE RECOVERY...

overtraining occurs only when you don`t recover.
which can occur
if you create too much muscle damage that its just not possible for your body to recover from.

DC training goes one step ahead... it says you create as less as possible muscle damage(so just 1 exersise/bodypart), so lesser the muscle damage faster the recovery, and this made it possible to increase the frequency of training a particular bodypart.

DORIAN YATES TRAINING OR DC TRAINING OR BIG A`s TRAINING, they have one thing in common ie. to outperform you previous performance either more reps or more weight...... now why do they stress at this point so much?

because if a person who "thinks" has trained to 100 percent failure, but in reality has not trained to 100 percent failure.... now in order to outperform his previous performance, sooner or later will have to train 100 percent failure.

The reason why every two champions train differently because, they all have discovered their OPTIMAL MUSCLE DAMAGE/RECOVERY RATIO.(ie sweet spot)
for example ronnie coleman never trained like dorian yates, jay cutler trains in an absolutely different way than dave henry.
 
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Wonton

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Ive found my best gains have came from a low to moderate range of sets.
My workouts are like tweaked version of HIT and DC style training. I think you should be in and out of a gym in less than 1hour.
exactly less then an hour!!

I prefer 30 to 45 min..the faster you go with good form - = win win
Less is more when done right.

Its like someone that eats to live or lives to eat.

But some people might respond better to more sets..reps etc so maybe they cant make it out.
 

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