T Nation

Less = More?


I am here to open a debate about the philosophy that less work often leads to better gains. Whether it be low volume/max effort lifts, HIIT cardio, or simply taking days off from the gym, what is your less = more story?



Less has no set definition. Less than 1000 could be 999 or 2 it all depends and the same goes for training. If someone is doing crazy amounts of volume and not progressing at all, yes less could be more, but if someone is doing 2 sets per bodypart each week that is too little and more is needed. My whole point is less does not equal more, but instead we need to find that middle point that produces the maimum amount of muscle are bodys can grow. Too little would equal less than optimal growth, too much would lead to a burn out and less than optimal growth.


Less work often leads to better gains? Sorry, that hasn't been my experience.

For me, less work usually leads to less gains.


Too much volume with too little weight can cripple your gains.

Too little rest can hurt you BIG time.


I think it depends on what you've been doing. That's why accumulation/intensification setups work so well. If you're been doing a lot of work, doing less, more intense work less frequently will indeed work very well, and vice versa.


Like austin has said your "less" has no definition. The concept of "less" means that you are doing less work, no shit right, but because I do 3x5 squat and my body building buddy is doing 4x8 bench. Who is going to reap the benefits? By your rationale my bench buddy is because he is doing 24 reps whereas I am doing 15.

Let's say for training I am doing HiiT 20 minutes and my friend is doing steady state, 75% 40 minutes, who wins? Well we both do I get more time in my day but my friend gets fitter.

Your "less" is wrong because it should be "different".

The caveat is that if you are starting out then 'less' ie lower volume same tonnage is more because like a most recent thread if you try to do too much you blow out.


You seem to be confusing less TIME working with less work overall. Go for a nice and easy one hour walk and then do 20 minutes of all out, balls to the wall, brick shitting HIIT and tell me which one is less work.

There is a balance between intensity and volume you have to respecet, and this level is different for every individual. Obviously you cant train with 100% intensity for 5 hours straight, so in that case less would be more. But going into the gym for 6 minutes likely wont do a damn thing either.


No offense, but maybe you should just open the search engine window instead of a debate.


I think what your really considering is the difference between HIT, and single set training vs. newer higher volume multiple set training.

Your best bet is going to be doing some research on your own, both on the net and in the gym, because most people now are biased towards the newer styles of training.

I will say though, that more intensive training can be VERY effective if you know how to use it.


Less can sometimes mean more, in rare cases where you push so hard you injure yourself or physically burn out.

In my experience though, less usually means less.


More effort will always get more results.

More consistency will always get more results.

More progression will always work better than less.

I don't care about other things that people do... if they have those 3 things in line they can do 50 sets 2x aweek if they want, consistently kick ass and get better and you'll figure it out eventually.


I remember Dave Palumbo saying that if you want to improve a muscle to train it less.

That is one drug addled old man...some great advice but some HORRIBLE advice as well...especially when it comes to AAS use imo.



If you are talking about less time in the gym, then yes, natural trainers will benefit by decreasing the time spent in the gym, but the intensity has to be very high, with moderate volume to produce muscle gains.
If you are talking about less intesity, and less time, then that will produce virtually no gains.


I think HIT is the best system of bodybuilding.


is this the Homer Simpson theory?


Again, you have to be careful here. Like I said earlier, 6 minutes in the gym wont do a damn thing, but if you have training for 90-120 minutes perhaps jacking up the intensity and dialing back to 50-70 minutes is just what the doctor ordered.

Or maybe if you have been going for 6 days, cutting down to 5 might help with the recovery aspect of things.


Palumbo says a lot of bizarre shit.