Benefits With More Volume Re HIT Full Body Workout Once Weekly?

Dr Darden,

I’m experimenting with volume.

In your opinion, are there any added benefits for muscle hypertrophy with more volume (more excercises/sets) - training only once weekly? Where lies the upper threshold?

This considering both the older Nautilus programs as well as your recent M3 program have more volume. Also, other non-HIT programs feature a lot of volume for hypertrophy, in support of recent science. The question also seems relevant in respect of not training til failure.

Unless someone is the Active Lifestyle person, with lots of hiking and biking and the like, I don’t see once/week being a good option. Especially, if you have to crank up the volume to make that work.

Perhaps if you do serious* martial arts, or some other sport, I can see once/week workouts in those instances too — BUT, the weekly workout would be focused on the muscles you DON’T use in those other endeavors! (obviously, off-season would be an entirely different matter…)
(* when I say “serious”, I mean multiple days per week. People with hard physical jobs would fit here too)

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What would the routine look like?

how old are you and what goals are you attempting to achieve with once a week training?

If you are not training to failure, why not utilize the original nautilus routines 3x/week

For sheer variation, once in a while I do a full body workout 2-3 times a week (6-7 exercises for one hard set each) for maybe 6-8 weeks or so.

But most of the time, I use splits.

To Simon’s point, I like to use more volume and exercises…just way too hard with full body. And I find training legs with anything else gets fatiguing.

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Thanks for your input @simon_hecubus @fitafter40 @heavyhitter32

To further explain, I’m experimenting with mini-sets with the same weight throughout (ladders, cluster sets) in a strict form 4-5 sec pos and 4-5 sec neg. This not til failure. Allows for volume and intensity to build up over a prolonged set (consisting of several mini-sets). Autoregulate rest as needed in between mini-sets. As this takes more time to perform, I stick to one excercise for legs, chest, back and shoulders respectively (powerlifting strategy). This workout takes about 40 mins to complete.

Oh. 40 mins for once/week is not too bad. When I go 2/wk, my workouts avg about 25 min ea.
How many reps per mini-set?
How many mini-sets?
Sounds a lot like the 8x3 or 10x3 we were talking about in another thread, except for the Rep Style/Speed. Rhythmic (8x3) vs Almost-SS (yours). My 8x3 rep style is X/1/3/1

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I either do 6x4 (clusters a la Scott Stevenson) or 2-3-5/2-3-5/2-3-5 (that’s 9 minisets, ladders a la Dan John).

Yeah, the 8-10x3 from the other thread got me inspired. My idea was to add more volume and reach enough intensity without sacrificing form. You do get close to failure in some sets, but autoregulate rest/recovery to be able to continue with the same weight. That said, I would never take more than 2 mins rest at most. More often up to 30 secs.

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For the last several years, I’ve been training with more volume. How much more? Ten to 20 percent more exercises.

Instead of doing 8 exercises per workout, I’ll do 10. And occasionally 11 or 12.

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Can you give us a sample of your weekly routine

  1. Leg curl machine, 2) Leg press machine, 3) Calf raise on ME machine, 4) Pullover machine, 5) Rowing machine, 6) Chest press machine, 7) Barbell curl, 8) Overhead press with barbell, 9) Reverse curl with barbell, 10) Ab coaster machine

Love it

curiosity question, and i have noticed this in many early nautilus routines

why leg curls first in the routines, is there a reason or was it just because?

Are you doing one set to failure for each?

I simply like doing the leg curl first. I seldom go to failure during my workouts. Mostly I stop a repetition short.



Yes, sometimes I apply 30-10-30 during my workout. When I do I reduce the number of exercises to 5 or 6.


When you do your 10 to 12 exercises, are you doing slow cadence, i.e 4/4 cadence…or are you performing a 1 sec pos and 2 sec negative?

Two up and 3 to 4 down.


That’s really interesting. If I recall, around the time Tim was pushing the Surge challenge, the thought here was failure was not necessary.

How is this for volume?

Giant set:
Nautilus leg extension
Lying leg curl
Leg press
Calf press

rest 2 minutes

Pec deck
Nautilus chest press or incline

Rest 1 minute

nautilus pullover
Nautilus pulldown or row

rest 1 minute

Nautilus lateral
Nautilus shoulder press

rest 1 minute

nautilus preacher curl
triceps ext machine

rest 1 minute

nautilus ab crunch

all 3X/week
8 to 12 reps
2 to 4 cadence
Stop 1 or 2 reps short of failure

too much???

If I were to this, I’d alternate Push and Pull workouts:

S/S: Naut Leg Ext_________Same
Leg Press
(rest 1 min)

S/S: Floor Flyes__________Pec Deck/
Incline Press____________Chest Press
(rest 45 sec)

Nautilus LR-50% set______Naut LR/Ovh Press
(rest 30 sec)____________(rest 45 secs)

Triceps Ext Machine_______Seated TX (EZ Bar)
CG DB Floor Presses______(5 breaths) Lying TX

Naut Ab Crunch (50% Set)__Interal Rotator Shrug/Crunch