T Nation

Poliquin VS King

From reading all of Charles Poliquin’s and Ian King’s articles, they seem to be proponents of different volumes of training. Ian King has stated that to avoid overtraining, you should perform on more than 12 work sets in a workout, whereas Charles Poliquin’s programs frequently consist of 20 worksets per workout! Also, Charles seems to emphasise lower reps, fewer exercises but with more sets each per workout in contrast to Ian whose programs generally consist of higher reps, more exercises but often with fewer sets per exercise. This bias in their programs appears to be related to their personal experiences as I recall Charles saying that Ian can “smoke” him for pretty much any exercise for reps, but that he gets his revenge with lower rep training. The point I am making is: Charles seems to be more of a fast twitch make up than Ian is, and that this difference is reflected in their slightly contrasting training thoeries and programs. Any opinions? It would be good to hear the opinions of the T-staff who know them personally.

Ive come up with my own conclusion when it comes to polquin and king . Polquins trains pro athletes and these athletes have access to excellent recovery methods as well as the money for expert advise on which drugs to take and when , so these athletes can usually recover from the extra volume . Kings programmes are better for the natural athlete or the recovery challenged athlete .thats my theory.

My personal, humble opinion is that CP’s methods come from years of training athletes/bodybuilder’s that were on the gear, which is why his volume tends to be high. When you’re juicin’ you can afford high volume. Ian King on the other hand has been training more natural athlete who cannot handle high volumes because they’ll compromise recovery. I think if you have good recovery abilities and a fairly stress free lifesyle I’d go with CP’s methods. If you have a busy life and average recovery ability go with Ian King. Just my thoughts.

I’ve learned alot from Poliquin and give him his due respect. But honestly, Ian King’s programs have worked much better for me personally. Ian works with elite and Olympic athletes as well, so I’m guessing many of them are using steroids just like Poliquin’s athletes. Still, Ian’s stuff seems to work better for average guys with average recovery abilities.

I have to say that you’re wrong in stating the Ian doesn’t spend as much time on the one exercise, multiple sets approach. But he doesn’t usually go with a standard sets approach, like 3 X 5 or similar like Poliquin does. In other words, if he’s performing more than one set per exercise, there’s something he’s after, whether it’s nervous system potentiation like in the 1-6 principle which they both use, or sometimes wave loading, etc…
About the proposed volume issue, it’s a little more complicated than simply Ian does less work sets. He also places a greater value on intensity (the perceived effort definition) than does Poliquin. From what I understand, Poliquin’s athletes very rarely go to failure in their work sets, so their intensity levels are much lower and can consequently tolerate a higher volume. That’s definitely one area that Charles himself was never very clear about though. Ian has been much better about explaining his approach in this regard.

The reason Poliquin’s volume, per se, is higher is that Poliquin uses supersets for antagonistic muscles more so than does King. See TC’s article about the Poliquin Principles. Personally I see a lot of similarities in both of their training philosophies, there workouts may not alwauys look the same, but if they did that would suck, go look at some of their Q&A’s in which both prescribe a workout for a particulsr body part and you will see more similarities. And with good reason, these two guys are quite possibly the two best at what they do.