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Training Volume

If you didn't care about strength at all, only size, and you were at your prime age, what would your training volume look like? What kind of split would you have? Times per week? Would you train twice a day two muscle groups? Super high reps, forced reps, TUT, stretch, partials, band work? Would you be like RC and say, "Everyone wanna be a bodybuilder but nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weights," or would you be like Arny and Platz doing 20, 30, 40 rep sets? Or maybe a specific style, JM, DC, Shelby, PPL, 5x5...etc

What would you do? (even if in an 'if I had it to do all over zgain' sirta way)


M - Chest/Arms
T - Shoulders/Back
W - Legs/Abs
TH - Chest/Arms
F - Shoulders/Back
Sat - Legs/Abs
Sun - Rest

I did this split in my early twenties for about a year and loved it. Got stronger every day even only eating 2500-2750 calories a day (spun my wheels not eating enough because I was a fatty). I was natty at the time but if I had been eating better, damn I wasted a lot of that.

That being peri workout nutrition was huge for being able to get that volume/frequency in... I used the Biotest products work out fuel and their hydro casein.

They were ridiculously priced but damn they were good. Wish I had been taking gear to make them worth it lol
 
Okay, we're getting off track. My mate Rob here in the NE, we were at the climbnasium in Timonium, MD where this 180lb bastard did 8 one-arm chins. Not hand on the wrist style, just one arm. I did one. And it wasn't pretty. With my right arm. Couldn't come close to even one with my left. Is there a 180lb person on this board who can do a one arm chin? I was 200lbs then. I couldn't even do one with any arm now, even if I sucked weight down to 180. He and I are not constructed the same. No way. I could have started in my youth and still couldn't do 8.
 
We all see kids in the gym lifting the same weights over and over again and being mystified as to why they see no results. Benching 185 every chest day for a year and truly thinking they are an outlier and “cannot grow.” No, you’re not special. You just aren’t understanding stimulus. It’s so weird because guys come onto boards all the time and say, “bodybuilding is easy. Train hard, eat and rest and everything will happen.” Yes, If u understand the basics, it is easy. But the vast majority of people don’t understanding training or food at alllll. It’s is veryyy complicated to them. The idea of doing or adding a little more (reps, sets, calories, cardio) is a completely foreign concept to them. They think doing the same thing will forever elicit a response.
There is definitely a ton of truth here. I mean, really, what has to happen before you realize you need to rearrange your shit? How much time has to pass? Oh, and don't waste any time trying to talk to them. I just keep my earbuds in bc some of them would seriously get me thrown in the clink.
 
I learned that I couldn’t keep getting stronger without losing good form and injuring myself. Only by adding more highly potent steroids into the equation such as anadrol or d-bol could I make some additional, yet limited strength. Those strength gains were short lived because they left immediately upon cessation of using anadrol or d-bol. I learned that I did better using moderately high volume ( approximately 12-20 work sets for major body parts taken to right at failure) to stimulate maximal muscle growth. However, training with too much intensity for every single work sets burned me out both mentally and physically. I learned that working out too frequently burned me out “mentally”, and trying to perform too many work sets in one given training session burned me out “physically”.
The best workout routine for my body was a 4-days per week split working each body part only once per week. Dorian Yates figured out the same for his body.
The split that I would use in my prime would be:
Monday: chest/biceps
Tuesday: back/rear delts
Wednesday: off
Thursday: shoulders/triceps/traps
Friday: legs
Saturday: off
Sunday: off
Monday: Repeat training cycle.
 
Okay, we're getting off track. My mate Rob here in the NE, we were at the climbnasium in Timonium, MD where this 180lb bastard did 8 one-arm chins. Not hand on the wrist style, just one arm. I did one. And it wasn't pretty. With my right arm. Couldn't come close to even one with my left. Is there a 180lb person on this board who can do a one arm chin? I was 200lbs then. I couldn't even do one with any arm now, even if I sucked weight down to 180. He and I are not constructed the same. No way. I could have started in my youth and still couldn't do 8.
Even as someone at 185-190 I wouldn't attempt one. I feel like that would be a high risk to tear a bicep because I probably couldn't. Almost like picking up an 80 and trying to curl it with 1 arm, could pop the tendon
 
Okay, that makes perfect sense. But what if he had to do 20 reps? What abouzbout PLers who keep the same weight class at 202 and are benching 450 lbs? And increase every year? Can squat a half a ton? What then?
That's the pl learning the movement better in regards to nerve efficiency etc.. they don't do enough reps to induce much in the way of hypertrophy. Now if those powerliters were to increase the repetitions with that new found strength increase the time under tension along with the increased mechanical tension they woukd increase hypertrophy greatly. But that's not what Pl wants.. he wants to have better loads with a increase in nerve efficiency and coordination etc.. so if one is training in the 1 to 4 or 5 range you can well get stronger.. and you will gain muscle through a increase in mechanical tension.. but again, it won't be linear.. but there will be increases..
 
That's the pl learning the movement better in regards to nerve efficiency etc.. they don't do enough reps to induce much in the way of hypertrophy. Now if those powerliters were to increase the repetitions with that new found strength increase the time under tension along with the increased mechanical tension they woukd increase hypertrophy greatly. But that's not what Pl wants.. he wants to have better loads with a increase in nerve efficiency and coordination etc.. so if one is training in the 1 to 4 or 5 range you can well get stronger.. and you will gain muscle through a increase in mechanical tension.. but again, it won't be linear.. but there will be increases..
For Bodybuilding then you have to translate that strenght into maximum effort with least mechanical efficiency.
 
For Bodybuilding then you have to translate that strenght into maximum effort with least mechanical efficiency.
Essentially we need to look at it like this... high loads for reps. We often see former powerlifters ( ronnie Coleman is a example) who are very strong then take that strength into higher , more hypertrophic, reps.. but when ronnie was powerlifting he was still very big. The strength training did provide some hypertrophic benefits.. then he lowered the weight just a bit and did his 10 to 12 reps and we get ronnie the freak.
So if we have someone benching 225 for 19 then increases to 275 for 10 he will have been bigger. Maybe not as much as he'd like but he will be bigger.. again, it's not linear..
Lifter A starts training at 19 years old and immediately starts doing 10 to 15 reps on all exercises..
Lifter B starts training at 19 but does a more strength oriented workout..
Three years later LifterB decides to bodybuild and increases his repetitons and volume.. his sets of 10 are much higher in load than Lifter A.. why? It's harder to increase strength training in higher reps ranges . Lifter B is going to get much bigger than Lifter A all things being equal in terms of genetics etc.

To sum this up is simple..

ITS EASIER TO GET STRONGER IN LOW VOLUME HIGHER LOADS THAN HIGH VOLUME LOWER LOADS. .
Those who bring up platz and arnold as examples of low loads and higher reps ?


Tom platz...former powerlifter
Arnold.. former powerlifter
Ronnie.. former powerlifter

Then they took that strength and moved it to using it for higher reps and volume.. it doesn't work as well the other way around.. having little strength and using low loads for higher volume isn't productive.. having strength in the higher rep ranged is. So get a 350 bench.. then go to 315 for higher reps.. you'll be big. But it's harder to do traini g for high volume from the get go..
 
That's the pl learning the movement better in regards to nerve efficiency etc.. they don't do enough reps to induce much in the way of hypertrophy. Now if those powerliters were to increase the repetitions with that new found strength increase the time under tension along with the increased mechanical tension they woukd increase hypertrophy greatly. But that's not what Pl wants.. he wants to have better loads with a increase in nerve efficiency and coordination etc.. so if one is training in the 1 to 4 or 5 range you can well get stronger.. and you will gain muscle through a increase in mechanical tension.. but again, it won't be linear.. but there will be increases..
For Bodybuilding then you have to translate that strenght into maximum effort with least mechanical efficiency.

Yup. That seems like the ticket. Also recognizing that some people are just genetically gifted (or cursed depending on goals) with mechanical attachments that give them a far better leverage angle. Musculoskeletal leverage in kinesiology is an amazing thing. I think given this thread, I'm going switch up to higher volume. At least higher reps. No matter how low the weight might be. And see how progression happens then. It would certainly be safer on my joints and tendons and form would def be improved. Maybe my CNS could adapt like everything else. Worth a shot.
 
Essentially we need to look at it like this... high loads for reps. We often see former powerlifters ( ronnie Coleman is a example) who are very strong then take that strength into higher , more hypertrophic, reps.. but when ronnie was powerlifting he was still very big. The strength training did provide some hypertrophic benefits.. then he lowered the weight just a bit and did his 10 to 12 reps and we get ronnie the freak.
So if we have someone benching 225 for 19 then increases to 275 for 10 he will have been bigger. Maybe not as much as he'd like but he will be bigger.. again, it's not linear..
Lifter A starts training at 19 years old and immediately starts doing 10 to 15 reps on all exercises..
Lifter B starts training at 19 but does a more strength oriented workout..
Three years later LifterB decides to bodybuild and increases his repetitons and volume.. his sets of 10 are much higher in load than Lifter A.. why? It's harder to increase strength training in higher reps ranges . Lifter B is going to get much bigger than Lifter A all things being equal in terms of genetics etc.

To sum this up is simple..

ITS EASIER TO GET STRONGER IN LOW VOLUME HIGHER LOADS THAN HIGH VOLUME LOWER LOADS. .
Those who bring up platz and arnold as examples of low loads and higher reps ?


Tom platz...former powerlifter
Arnold.. former powerlifter
Ronnie.. former powerlifter

Then they took that strength and moved it to using it for higher reps and volume.. it doesn't work as well the other way around.. having little strength and using low loads for higher volume isn't productive.. having strength in the higher rep ranged is. So get a 350 bench.. then go to 315 for higher reps.. you'll be big. But it's harder to do traini g for high volume from the get go..
You are the goods brother!
 
What i was doing in my prime. Was not what i was doing to get to my prime. Whether something else could have got me there better or sooner in just a guess. The only real thing that may have held me back were the injuries i had along the way. Avoiding those would have been the best thing i change if i could change anything.
 
LATS essentially ended the thread with his posts. You are just not going to put on the size you want without also getting stronger. The most impressive jacked dudes Ive met were all strong af. OFC you cant perpetually get stronger forever. Theres a limit. And this is where the bad faith arguments against strength enter the conversation as it pertains to putting on muscle.

I can guarantee for most that the brosplit long term is a guaranteed track to stale workouts and stagnation in gains. Sure we see these old school Weider principals in action in the golden era (by design...) but we completely ignore the background in strength training the golden era guys had. It's easier and more approachable to tell guys that more reps is better and it's probably safer from a legal liability standpoint as well.

If I could start over again, I would spend the first 3-4 years working on strength training (not PL'ing). I would tell myself to throw away that bodybuilding bible and tell myself to never forget that theres always someone trying to sell you something whether it's Ostrich eggs or a training plan. There's always some "secret" or "hack". What's inside those flex and Muscular Development magazines is a severely watered down version of the truth...if youre lucky and it's not straight up bullshit.

Progressive overload. Increase in dosages overtime. Increased protein and food intake. And this is just my opinion because theres a lot of guys who do it and are successful....dont get fat.

No debate sir. Not trying to challenge your question at all.

And I’m saying this as someone who spent the first half of my career powerlifting before thennn chasing size. And this question is useful because the average gym bro truly has no idea what he’s doing. We all see kids in the gym lifting the same weights over and over again and being mystified as to why they see no results. Benching 185 every chest day for a year and truly thinking they are an outlier and “cannot grow.” No, you’re not special. You just aren’t understanding stimulus. It’s so weird because guys come onto boards all the time and say, “bodybuilding is easy. Train hard, eat and rest and everything will happen.” Yes, If u understand the basics, it is easy. But the vast majority of people don’t understanding training or food at alllll. It’s is veryyy complicated to them. The idea of doing or adding a little more (reps, sets, calories, cardio) is a completely foreign concept to them. They think doing the same thing will forever elicit a response.
 
I would definitely do more volume because I have intuitively used low volume training with top and back off set most of my life - I got really strong at some point (something like 2x220kg bench , 5x340k deads or 2x280kg squat) but size didn't follow strength as I increased volume I started again grow
 
Lats said this earlier and I think it probably fits your case as well given you too are an alien. "when ronnie was powerlifting he was still very big. The strength training did provide some hypertrophic benefits.. then he lowered the weight just a bit and did his 10 to 12 reps and we get ronnie the freak."

What do you think?

I would definitely do more volume because I have intuitively used low volume training with top and back off set most of my life - I got really strong at some point (something like 2x220kg bench , 5x340k deads or 2x280kg squat) but size didn't follow strength as I increased volume I started again grow
 
Eddie Hall…WSM competitor….made MANY comments on 6-7 rep range. Still building raw strength, but good for strength athletes moving up weight classes.

As @LATS has stated, moving from 225 to 315 for a single won’t necessarily translate to a bigger human, but if that guy moved from 225x7, to 315x7 on ANY barbell lift…tissue HAD to come. And yes, we can’t indefinitely add load. But what if that guy many many moons later did 3x7 with 315 with 90 seconds rest? That’s three totally different sized humans
 
I would definitely do more volume because I have intuitively used low volume training with top and back off set most of my life - I got really strong at some point (something like 2x220kg bench , 5x340k deads or 2x280kg squat) but size didn't follow strength as I increased volume I started again grow
LATS essentially ended the thread with his posts. You are just not going to put on the size you want without also getting stronger. The most impressive jacked dudes Ive met were all strong af. OFC you cant perpetually get stronger forever. Theres a limit. And this is where the bad faith arguments against strength enter the conversation as it pertains to putting on muscle.

I can guarantee for most that the brosplit long term is a guaranteed track to stale workouts and stagnation in gains. Sure we see these old school Weider principals in action in the golden era (by design...) but we completely ignore the background in strength training the golden era guys had. It's easier and more approachable to tell guys that more reps is better and it's probably safer from a legal liability standpoint as well.

If I could start over again, I would spend the first 3-4 years working on strength training (not PL'ing). I would tell myself to throw away that bodybuilding bible and tell myself to never forget that theres always someone trying to sell you something whether it's Ostrich eggs or a training plan. There's always some "secret" or "hack". What's inside those flex and Muscular Development magazines is a severely watered down version of the truth...if youre lucky and it's not straight up bullshit.

Progressive overload. Increase in dosages overtime. Increased protein and food intake. And this is just my opinion because theres a lot of guys who do it and are successful....dont get fat.
Yeah. For so many years, my high volume was going from my 5 x 4rps to 5 sets of 6-7rps. I need to make major changes. I just got my shoulders repaired a few years ago and going heavy feels great. Honestly, I love it. I love the fear of getting under that bar or picking up dumbells that on your lap come up to eye level. That adrenaline rush. But those days are gone. At least this way, I can stay rounded for years to come. And safer too.
 
Lats said this earlier and I think it probably fits your case as well given you too are an alien. "when ronnie was powerlifting he was still very big. The strength training did provide some hypertrophic benefits.. then he lowered the weight just a bit and did his 10 to 12 reps and we get ronnie the freak."

What do you think?
I think there is definitely some truth to it - the greatest bodybuilders I know started with powerlifting
 
I would definitely do more volume because I have intuitively used low volume training with top and back off set most of my life - I got really strong at some point (something like 2x220kg bench , 5x340k deads or 2x280kg squat) but size didn't follow strength as I increased volume I started again grow
Like I said.. get the strength... then use that for higher volume.. the high volume your doing now wouldnt be near as effective if you didn't have that strength base..
 
Like I said.. get the strength... then use that for higher volume.. the high volume your doing now wouldnt be near as effective if you didn't have that strength base..
you are 100% right but I would introduce a high volume earlier because in fact it was only about 2 years ago that I increased the volume strongly and I had strength 7-8 years ago
 
Thats why I said if I could go back and tell myself how to do it, Id probably spend 3 -4 years strength training and then switch. Not sure what the ideal time would be. Probably different for everyone. 7 - 8 years is a long time for sure.


you are 100% right but I would introduce a high volume earlier because in fact it was only about 2 years ago that I increased the volume strongly and I had strength 7-8 years ago
 

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