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Increased Body Part Volume for Specialization?

hello mr darden, here’s one that has always puzzled me a little. generally speaking, with HIT proponents such as yourself and ken leistner, intensity trumps volume and your routines reflect this. so why, when wanting to bring about improvements in a specific body part e.g. arms, shoulders, etc, do the routines involve increasing volume for the targeted muscles?

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Great question. Yes, the volume may increase for a specific muscle group, but the other body parts are usually decreased in number.

With specialized routines, I usually have the desired muscle groups at 6 exercises and the rest of the body would be in the neighborhood of 4 or 5 exercises. So the overall number in the entire routine would be 11.

Perhaps sometimes I might go up to 14 exercises in a routine, but that would involve some smaller muscle groups.

Sometimes increasing the volume would also be a way to add the unexpected to a workout . . . as it would not be anticipated by the trainee.

So, in order to elicit a (greater) growth response, the volume is increased. Just seems a contradiction.

It’s increased for only a short while: two or three weeks.

Dr. Darden,

Have you found that trainees are able to maintain those gains produced by intensity tactics/greater volume for 2-3 weeks…once they return to their regular one set per muscle routine? Or is the gain a short term phenomenon?

Most of the trainees maintain their gains. A few lose them.

Once again, as you become stronger and more advanced, you must do slightly less in overall amount.

so, if increasing the volume works for increasing growth, it is easy to see why (a lot) of people extrapolate this and do more volume for more body parts!