T Nation

Overdoing Volume?

Okay. So, for about a year and half I’ve been doing approximately 30 - 45 sets per body part per workout. Equaling around 800 - 900 reps.

My split is
Sunday - Chest (lagging) (30 sets)
Monday - Back (50 sets)
Tuesday - Arms (48 sets)
Wednesday - Chest (30 sets), Legs (33 sets) (two separate training sessions)
Thursday - Back (50 sets)(to counter doing chest 3x), Shoulders/Traps (30 sets) (two separate training sessions)
Friday - Chest (30 sets)
Saturday - Off

So, my overall question is this. My training volume is at a very extensive level and I’ve been doing this for a very long time. I’m at the gym for around 3 hours a day. Should I cut training volume down? If so, how should I do it? I have a few shows coming up in May and June.

Should I eat more protein?

If it works for you, why change? My guess is that you are doing very light (relative) weights to get that many sets and reps, and for me personally would just lead to tendonitis, overuse injuries. But different strokes for different folks.

I still try and go as heavy as I possibly can on everything. It usually goes 2 sets of 12 (which I try and pick a weight that I’m going to fail at the 12th rep. Then one set of 28 reps with 7 slow reps, 7 fast reps, 7 half up, and 7 half down. On my composite lifts i.e benchpress, deadlift, squats, which I generally start with; I use pyramids followed by a drop set and a set of 28’s. My goal for every set is to fail at the last rep.

Agreeing with Ecchastang, I’m kind of unsure why you’re asking. If you’ve made progress, then don’t change things just to change them. In a previous thread, (last March) you complained about hitting a plateau. So what have you been doing for the last year, and what have the results been?

Considering you have shows coming up in a couple of months, I’d think that you/d have a good idea of what’s been working or not.

S

That routine looks like a mess. Legs 1x a week with everything else getting triple the volume? Chest 3x with triceps the day before? I dont even…

I wouldn’t say you NEED to change anything… but the world of body building has certainly shown that doing 30-50 sets, especially “hard” sets, is completely unnecessary.

On the other end of the spectrum Check out guys like Skip LaCour and Jeff Willet, who use Max OT and only do 6-9 sets. Or Dorian Yates who only did “1 set” (not counting warm ups) on a few different exercises per workout, lasting under an hour easily.

Coach Thib’s from here, even in his high volume body building days, never recommended over 12-16 sets, now a days sticking to fewer than that some times. Search for his “Max Muscle Layer System” on his forum to see an example of just one current implementation.

John Meadows, who many consider one of the greater minds in the sport and a “high volume” guy starts at around 12 sets and build up to 20 before tapering back down.

So again, I dont think you NEED to change anything, but its definitely NOT necessary to be doing 3 hour, 50 set workouts. Heck, you may want to try a more condensed, intense training just to see what it does for you after such a build up of such volume. I hate the word “muscle shock” and “confusion” but hell, a massive switch in stimulus may yield great gains.

Also… I would add a “where do you go from here?” caveat. If something isn’t responding the 50 sets, what is the answer to get it moving again? 70 sets? 90 sets?

Just something to think about.

you are doing nearly as many sets as I do reps.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Agreeing with Ecchastang, I’m kind of unsure why you’re asking. If you’ve made progress, then don’t change things just to change them. In a previous thread, (last March) you complained about hitting a plateau. So what have you been doing for the last year, and what have the results been?

Considering you have shows coming up in a couple of months, I’d think that you/d have a good idea of what’s been working or not.

S[/quote]

It’s definitely “working”. I’ve gained inches in every area and I’ve put on around 20 - 25 lbs of lean mass (not exaggerating) in the past year. My biggest thing that threw me off I guess is I hired a prep coach and my coach told me that my training volume is insane and I need to cut it down dramatically. My results may actually be better?

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
I wouldn’t say you NEED to change anything… but the world of body building has certainly shown that doing 30-50 sets, especially “hard” sets, is completely unnecessary.

On the other end of the spectrum Check out guys like Skip LaCour and Jeff Willet, who use Max OT and only do 6-9 sets. Or Dorian Yates who only did “1 set” (not counting warm ups) on a few different exercises per workout, lasting under an hour easily.

Coach Thib’s from here, even in his high volume body building days, never recommended over 12-16 sets, now a days sticking to fewer than that some times. Search for his “Max Muscle Layer System” on his forum to see an example of just one current implementation.

John Meadows, who many consider one of the greater minds in the sport and a “high volume” guy starts at around 12 sets and build up to 20 before tapering back down.

So again, I dont think you NEED to change anything, but its definitely NOT necessary to be doing 3 hour, 50 set workouts. Heck, you may want to try a more condensed, intense training just to see what it does for you after such a build up of such volume. I hate the word “muscle shock” and “confusion” but hell, a massive switch in stimulus may yield great gains.[/quote]

I definitely love this idea A LOT! I think you are going to be completely correct. I’m afraid to change my training volume drastically during a cut and 11 weeks out from a show though…seems a bit risky

[quote]aspengc8 wrote:
That routine looks like a mess. Legs 1x a week with everything else getting triple the volume? Chest 3x with triceps the day before? I dont even…[/quote]

My legs don’t need any extra work. My chest is my weakest part. With an extra day of back to counter doing chest 3x

Here…this should clear up quite a few things. This is my routine I follow. Every x3 is two sets of 12 and 1 set of 28 with 7 negative reps, 7 fast reps, 7 half reps up, 7 half reps down. My pyramids are 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, and a set of 28s.

Chest
Pyramid bench
Flyes x3
Incline bench x3
Dips x3
Decline bench x3
Around the world x3
Reverse grip bench x3
Cable Flyes Upper x3
Cable Flyes Lower x3

Legs
Pyramid Squats
Leg Extensions x3
Hamstring Pulldowns x3
Wall squats x3
Calf raises x3 dumbells
Calf raise machine x3 28s
Standing Barbell Calf Raises x3
Front Lunges x3
Step Back Lunges x3
Side lunges x3
Leg press x3

Back
Pyramid dead lifts
Pyramid bent over row
Pyramid lat pulls
Reverse grip bent over row x3
Seated low row x3
Wide pull ups x3
Dumbbell rows x3
Chin ups x3
Elbow out rows x3
Corn cob pull ups x3
Back flyes x3
Close pull ups x3
Hyper extensions x3
Superman x5
Straight arm Pulldowns x3
Last set of pullups 21’s

Arms
Pyramid barbell curl
Pyramid skull crushers
Zottman curls x3
Dips x3
Concentration curls x3
Push downs x3
Inclined curls x3
Overhead extensions x3
Reverse curls x3
Kickbacks / reverse x3
Curl up hammer down x3
Tricep machine x3
Open arm/static arm x3
28s
Side tri rise

Forearms
Forearm curls x3
Rope w/ plate x3
Wrist curls on bench x3

Shoulders
Pyramid Shoulder Press
Pyramid Shrugs
In out shoulder flys x3
Dumbell shrugs 28s x3
Reverse deltoid machine x3
Weighted arm circles x3
Ball dribble
Reverse delt raise x3
TRX Shoulder Push ups x3
TRX Y x3
TRX X x3
TRX one up one down x3

Intensity, volume, frequency. Pick two, the third goes down. A lot of your exercise selection seems over redundant.

You have a few “shows” coming up with that routine??

It seems like you would have a better handle on the fundamentals if that’s the case.

It looks like you added in an “x3” of every exercise you ever heard of to your routine :wink:

I dont know how much I would change going into a show, but honestly I think you could LEARN a lot by running a 3-6 month trial of Max-OT after and seeing just how LITTLE you can get away with if the intensity is high enough. It may be game changing for you.

[quote]Brett620 wrote:
You have a few “shows” coming up with that routine??

It seems like you would have a better handle on the fundamentals if that’s the case. [/quote]

Uh yes. I don’t know why that’s so hard to believe. I’m doing WBFF Muscular Model and NPC Physique. Both within the next 11 weeks. My “fundamentals” seem to be doing a peachy job of getting me ready. Considering I’m 220lbs and 12% body fat.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
It looks like you added in an “x3” of every exercise you ever heard of to your routine :wink:

I dont know how much I would change going into a show, but honestly I think you could LEARN a lot by running a 3-6 month trial of Max-OT after and seeing just how LITTLE you can get away with if the intensity is high enough. It may be game changing for you.[/quote]

LOL I’m a perfectionist. I like to hit every aspect of everything as perfect as I possible can. My coach wants me to change it right now, but I don’t feel like that’s a good idea considering that’s what my body is accustomed to. I might end up losing some mass since I’m in a cut. However, afterward I am totally switching it up.

And I am definitely in the camp of thinking that over training is a complete joke. Who cares if you hit biceps the day before back? It’s complete nonsense to think that your body is not going to grow because of this. Do benchpress every single day and see what happens for example. It’s definitely not going to make you not grow in the chest and make your strength in benchpress go down. That’s a fact. (presuming you are eating correctly, otherwise toss what I just said out the window)

[quote]jjj720 wrote:

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
It looks like you added in an “x3” of every exercise you ever heard of to your routine :wink:

I dont know how much I would change going into a show, but honestly I think you could LEARN a lot by running a 3-6 month trial of Max-OT after and seeing just how LITTLE you can get away with if the intensity is high enough. It may be game changing for you.[/quote]

LOL I’m a perfectionist. I like to hit every aspect of everything as perfect as I possible can. My coach wants me to change it right now, but I don’t feel like that’s a good idea considering that’s what my body is accustomed to. I might end up losing some mass since I’m in a cut. However, afterward I am totally switching it up.[/quote]

Why even pay a coach if your not going to listen? Throw some pics up and im sure some of the vets here can help point to some stuff you should focus on before the comp.