[quote]pwolves17 wrote: OP, I know what you mean about wanting to feel like you destroyed your target muscle(s) in the gym, but to echo many of the other posters in the thread, don’t let the clock dictate your workout. Rest time is a variable to manipulate and use to gauge progress in the same manner as weight, sets, reps, etc. If you can perform 3 sets of an exercise with a weight using 45 second rest periods for what used to take 1:20 rest, that’s an increased work capacity right there! I tend to notice a point in my workouts where I feel like I reach a point of diminishing returns if I train for much over an hour and 15 mins by myself; that said, if I’m training with a partner, the workout can take 2 hours and I still am getting after it on my sets
Training to get maximum results is not the same as training a lot. If anybody was all about doing more and more volume it was me. I always took great pride in outworking everyone. I distinctively remember one day while in Colorado where I did 70 bench press sets in the morning and50 in the evening!
HOWEVER I will say that doing too much work can kill your progress.
First let’s understand something: there is a significant difference between training in a natural state and training when using performance-enhancing drugs.
I talked about it in the past. Your body has a finite capacity to handle, grow and adapt to hard physical work. The former Soviet sport-scientists called it “adaptation reserve”. I like to refer it as training money!
Everybody has his own amount of training money to spend on training. See it as a form of investing.
The more money you invest (or the better your investments) the greater your return is (growth, strength gains). However if you exceed the amount of training money you have to spend (contract a debt) you will eventually hit the wall and will go backwards (have to pay back the debt with interests).
Now, the thing is that performance-enhancing drugs artificially increase your capacity to perform, recover from and grow from hard physical training; it increases the amount of training money you have. If someone already believes that the more you do, the more you grow (a lot of peoples have that mindset) and turn to drugs because they are disatisfied with their progress (likely because they are doing too much for what their body can handle) and then suddenly do more work to “take advantage of the drugs” and can grow great from doing too much work (because the drugs allows them to handle the recovery), they do not think “hey, drugs made me grow”… they think “I was right all along, it IS about doing more work”.
Just because XYZ big guy can train hard and do tons of volume, 30, 40, 50 sets per workout doesn’t mean that it is something smart to do for someone who doesn’t have the same advantage. I’ve seen some people who are stimulus addicts (are addicted to training) take drugs not necessarily to grow more, but to be able to do more work and recover from it.
I have worked with enough pro and high level amateur bodybuilders to know that they themselves do not realize how much money they artificially have and thus do not realize how it is like to train on a “normal” body.
Furthermore not everybody has the same amount of “training money” as naturals. Just because someone can tolerate and grow from doing 30-40 sets in a workout doesn’t mean that everybody can. We all have our own physiology to live with as well as our own athletic background, which influences our capacity to perform and recover from hard work.
What I’m saying is that everybody can handle a different workload and grow from it. Some can recover from a lot more work than others (either because of drug use, their own natural physiology or their background) so even if someone successfully does 50 sets every workout and grow doesn’t mean that YOU can do it too., unless you share a similar physiological situation.
Then there is the issue of isolation vs. compound and light vs. heavy. Big compound lifts are superior to build overall strength and size. But that comes at a cost. The impact on both the nervous system and energy expenditure is much greater than when doing isolation work. As a result doing 50 sets of deadlift and clean & press will be a zillion time more draining than doing the same 50 sets in biceps curls, triceps extensions and lateral raises!
Similarly, heavier work drain the nervous system much more. Ask a sprinter to run 60m sprints at 90% intensity and he can easily do 12-20 sets in a workout. Ask him to run at 100% and if he does more than 4 or 5 he will be neurologically fried for 2-3 days and performance will suffer. Same thing goes with lifting… if you like to lift heavy for 3-5 reps per set you will burn out more easily than if you prefer sets of 8-12 reps.
And if you go to total failure you can tolerate much less volume than if you stop 1-2 reps short. So 50 sets is not 50 sets… other variables have to be included in the analysis.
We were raised to think that if you do more, you get more back… study more and you will get better grades… work more and you will earn more money… etc. But it doesn’t always work like that. You can invest 2 millions dollars… if it’s all on sh*tty investments you will not grow rich… someone could invest only 100 000% in the right places and earn a lot more than you did!