T Nation

Is 8 Sets Enough Volume?

Yes, I know…keep it simple. Everything works but nothing works forever…etc

But I have been thinking lately about my splits and I believe I made a change for the better recently.

One example is Monday Chest/Back day

I used to do a balls out 3x8 incline db press, 3x8 decline DB flyes, then 3x8 1 and half reps with much lighter weight incline bench to finish off

after that…I’d switch to back with a similar scheme 2 main heavy compound lifts and 1 lighter finisher

The change I’ve made is to do more volume on my first compound movement for each body part and save the “finishers” until the very end.

So if I did 5x8 incline DB and 3x8 decline flyes…do you think that’s enough volume for hypertrophy? It certainly feels like it is…and it leaves me with more energy when I start on my back. People have a tendency to do more than 2 movements per bodypart…but is there a real NEED? I don’t think so.

Another question I have is…Is it even worth it or effective to do a final chest finisher having done heavy chest and full back routine? Say like 2 or 3 sets of pushups to failure?

Thanks in advance for your ideas

It sounds like a good idea to me. The fewer exercises you do, the more you can concentrate on getting stronger on them.

My training partner likes to do about five exercises for chest and also back. I feel like my concentration just diminishes after a while and the efficiency of the workout goes away.

I don’t understand whether you are asking a question or patting yourself on the back for doing something you feel is productively getting you closer to your closest goal?

Your topic is vague in comparison to this in depth 8set routine you got with a chest/back split.

Given that each training sets intensity is adequate, I would agree that it should be enough.

It depends on several factors.

  1. as Da Vinci mentioned above, how intense your training is. If you can really push yourself you don’t even need to do 8 sets (often times 3, 2, or even 1 “work” set is enough).

  2. Whether we are talking “straight sets” (multiple sets at the same “working” weight), or “ramping sets” (where you gradually add weight until you reach your final “working” weight on the final set and try to get as many reps as possible with it).

  3. Whether you are progressing (adding weight to the bar, or performing more reps every time you do the same workout) adequately. If your strength gains are at a snail’s pace, you’re probably doing too much volume.

  4. Your split/frequency. If you are doing a traditional body part split, then generally more volume is used as your muscles have more time for recovery between workouts. If you are doing a higher frequency split (upper/lower, Push/Pull, Westside, etc…) then generally less volume is used as your muscles don’t have as much time for recovery.

As to your question about the “finisher”. Again, if it doesn’t hinder your ability to progress in terms of strength on the other movements, it’s not hurting you. If it does, then I’d suggest dropping it.

[quote]kinein wrote:
I don’t understand whether you are asking a question or patting yourself on the back for doing something you feel is productively getting you closer to your closest goal?

Your topic is vague in comparison to this in depth 8set routine you got with a chest/back split. [/quote]

I agree. Especially since the TOTAL volume hasn’t changed. An increase in volume on one exercise is compensated by a lower volume on another.

OP, is your question about the of changing your set allotment, or if it’s enough overall?

Edit: Are you dropping the incline bench at the end? I’m asking because if you aren’t, then I wrote my post misinterpreting what you were saying. (Post lunch coma.)

Just look at HIT and GVT. They both work, and are VERY different. But at the same time, they can both fail muserably. There are a lot of things that go into making a program successful, and the number of sets, whether it be 8, or 10, or 20 is only a small factor.