T Nation

intensity AND volume?

In Joel Marion’s RR&D article it says that 8-12 reps will fill you out, while 7 or less will “improve muscle density through growth of the contractile proteins myosin and actin.” Now I box and I’m trying to move up a weight class, but I can’t afford to put on any “useless” weight, that is, that doesn’t contribute to my power/speed. Before boxing, only high volume programs, like 6x10, worked to put on mass.

So what if I did something like German Volume Training, but with sets of 6 and a heavier weight, like 10RM? Would this encourage growth of the contractile proteins from the weight/reps, but at a higher scale because of the volume? Or just overtraining…

How many pounds are you trying to gain, and how much time do you have? If you keep your calories up, you will see some mass gain using 5x5.

Did 5x5 all summer, got a little leaner (I’m at about 9% bf) and my weight stayed the same. I’d like to gain about 7 pounds, so I’d be comfortable in light heavyweight and not have to worry so much about cutting weight. Correction: “based on Bill Starr’s Only The Strong Survive with a Bulgarian loading principle,” so I ended up doing triple and doubles, along with a good number of O-lifts. I was eating about 600cal above maintenance every day, HIIT 2x a week

Check out Coach Davies renegade bodybuilding at this link:


You may also want to contact Coach Davies himself. His programs have more focus on functionality and strength, not just cosmetics.

A high volume workout with heavier weights would work well (i.e. Pavel’s Russian Bear Program, GVT with 5 reps per set, etc.)

You may want to look into a specialized, sport specific program. Check out Coach Davies stuff here at T-mag.


boxing is a full body sport. you need to construct a routine that puts lean mass on all parts of the body. You need to also maintain your speed and flexibility. I would experiment with some mixed routines consisting of heavy weight and strict eccentric motion mixed with some lighter weight speed motion. That way you would maintain your speed while also putting on mass. A lot of people do the 5X5 but i don’t know how much emphasis they put on the negatives. A mixed routine of 3 heavy sets with slow eccentrics, 3 medium intensity sets for 8 reps and 3 light sets with accelerative motion seems good. You got to pick and choose which excercises are right for which grouping. This was just an idea of mine. food for thought. laters pk

Hey John P,
In my opinion, if you are training for a specific sport, I’d get guidance from somebody who works primarily for athletes( that’s what they get paid big bucks for, so you can get paid big bucks). Getting strong in the gym does guarantee optimum improvement in the ring. Knowing how to bridge the weight room and the ring is what is needed. But as a possible direction, how much/well do you row and pull-up/chin? Also how much weighted ab work do you do? Do you do reverse hyperextensions or glute-ham raises?
Peace, Tmofa

Thanks for all the advice, lotta good ideas. Tmofa my max pullups is 12, I barbell rowed 185 for 5 last week, no reverse hyper machine just reg. hyperextensions, and with a machine I can do 20+ glute ham raises.

Hey JohnP
Just so you are aware I have no special training or knowledge. So I recommend you seek specialized help. Like I said though if you want to try it on your own, some ideas would be to look at improving your barbell rows and alternate grips. Get the weight up to be close to that of your bench. Try doing dumbell work for your bench in the mean time. I’d do weighted lat pull-up/chins. The reasoning and I can’t remember where I read it is that speed can be improved by strengthening the antagonist muscle groupin this case the bi’s, post delts and lats as the tri’s ant delts and pecs are contracting. I think it has to do withthe stretch reflex the stronger the biceps and lats the more force they can take from the lengthening during a punch. Which would equal a more powerful and fast punch. I would do this westside style dynamic days and maximal strength days in the same week refer to Dave Tates articles for guidelines.
For reverse Hypers, if you have an elevated ring, hang your legs off it and have someone stand where you can hold their ankles, then rep away. Or you can use the back of a pick-up or a kids platform at a local playground. These may help transfer more power from the step when you step forward to throw a punch. Sledge hammer work 2-3 times a week would help also. I also think you would benefit from weighted hip mobility drills, bob and weaves, low hooks to the bod and any punches thrown coming out of the bob and weave could be improved.
I can’t guarantee this will work, and I’m sure people can come up with something better, but this is what I might try.
With the above exercises and the new training style 7 lbs to the hips, waist, lats arms and shoulders should be doable.
The other reason I think the lat work could help is (purely opinion) look at the thickness of Tysons back early in his career, and the power he had then verses what it looked like later, and though still powerful, not as powerful though. Granted he has other problems too.
Peace, Tmofa (Sorry so long)

the motto is not exactly true in practice. take the westside guys. they work in the 4-6 or 8-10 rep range on assistance excercises like for the triceps. they choose this not on arbitrary principle, but on “what makes you stronger”

Again, thanks for the advice. The thing is, I DO have boxing programs…rope pulls, rows/pullups, o-lifts, complexes a la Bompa, medicine ball drills, k-bell complexes, woodchopping/sledgehammer work, shitload of rotational work. After I got KTFO a couple weeks ago (during SPARRING no less) I decided to take a long time off from the ring to really work on my skills and muscle up a bit. 12 weeks is about right for me to peak before a fight, so now is pretty much the only time I can step back from sport-specific training and actually get bigger (plus my gym is getting redone and the platforms where I can clean and snatch are in the closet for a month).

I did Renegade Training with elements of Westside, which helped enormously in the ring, especially when I started dabbling in NHB. Again, even with a much higher caloric intake I failed to put on weight.

And yes, my diet is in order. I just normally do a huge amount of work between lifting, 20ish rounds a week, GPP and HIIT.

If you got KTFO’d during sparring, maybe you should look at improving your neck strength. I know that it used to be my weakness while playing rugby, (KO’d twice) but since I fixed the problem with neck bridges and isometric holds, BRING ON TYSON! Well, maybe I should get my ears pinned back first. :slight_smile: If you don’t know what neck bridges are, check out mattfurey.com/

dude, I wish I had your problem, my problem is that Im trying to loose lbm because I weigh 151lbs. and need to fight at 147 because of height. But if I barely look at a weight my muscle actually look bigger and I seem to not drop weight. It sucks I diet and restrict protein but nope, I seem to get ripped and heavier. I guess my genetics are just that damn great, for some.