T Nation

Quality vs. Quantity In Training

ok so lately ive been reading articles heere on T-Nation which are suggesting to do 10x3rep lifts to achieve optimum hypertrohpy. now the articles have really only been saying to do them with things like squats, deadlifts, chins, etc. but ive been doing every exercise that way lately, however, the problem of time is becoming an issue.

if you do 10 sets and have a 90 second rest inbetween youre going to have 15 minutes of rest per exercise, 2 exercises and youre already at a half hour, which is half the time most use for a workout.

so i suppose i could cut the rest/reps down to provide more time but more importantly: is doing a few quality exercises going to better than doing say 5 or 6 exercises that are of lesser quality (by comparison to the claims of 10x3 training) even if its only doing 1 exercise per muscle?

I have not done any 10x3 training but if I had to guess I would say that the rationale behind it is because olympic lifters usually do quite a few sets of very low reps. Obviously these guys are exceptionally strong and explosive and pretty muscular.

When doing the 10x3 method the route by which you are achieving your gains in strength and adding muscle are somewhat different than say a workout for a football player, and very different than a workout for a bodybuilder. It sounds like your goals are mainly for hypertrophy in which case you are going to want a mix of different styles, 10x3 just being one way to skin the cat.

For maximal hypertrophy 10x3 is definitely not the best way to go. Having a mix of heavy work along with higher rep longer TUT work is the best way to go with this. However, doing the higher rep work definitely comes with some unwanted side effects.

For example, personally I do not like doing almost any high rep leg exercises. Very occasionally I will do 20 rep squats but this is just for a change of pace, and I almost think about it as more of a conditioning exercise. Besides that, I like to run jump play sports and doing high rep leg work is fucking aweful when you want to be fast and explosive.

For upper body I will do some higher TUT (more exercises) to keep more muscle on…

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:

is doing a few quality exercises going to better than doing say 5 or 6 exercises that are of lesser quality (by comparison to the claims of 10x3 training) even if its only doing 1 exercise per muscle?[/quote]

Short answer: Yes.

Quality.

i should rephrase, or atleast clearify. by “lesser quality” i dont mean doing 5 shitty exercises, i just mean doing more exercises but not at 10x3 maybe say 3x8 or something along those lines, so im really asking if 1 10x3 exercise per muscle is going to be better than say 2 3x8 exercises per muscle, this is assuming 10x3 is already an improvement over 3x8.

The body can only handle so much, before it becomes to much… We can’t say how much, because everybody is differant, but to much is never good. Not to much quality, not to much quantity.

Ok lets say you pick a great leg exercise. I have been harping on this one for awhile, Front Squats down to the pins in the hole, great exercise. If you were to do 10x3 of that exercise for quads then yes. If you were to do olympic high bar back squats same deal.

Regular front squats are also great obviously. IMO only these 2 exercises for quads are solid enough to use them as your only quad exercises. However, like I was saying you are going to need to do some higher TUT exercises for optimal muscle growth.

Now, another thing to consider is your training age. You will be at the point when you begin (and for a long time) where you will not get anything out of adding more volume, especially where legs are concerned IMO. If anything it will hurt you much more than it will help you.

So you need to be pretty advanced to reap the benefits of a very high volume workout because #1 you will not need to do a high volume workout, and #2 you will have enough residual fatigue after your first exercise or two that the rest of your exercises will be done with a weight that is much less than you could have done fresh.

As you get stronger and more experienced you will have the endurance to make it longer using challenging weights.

yeah i do front suqats@ 10x3 and dealifts too, yesterday i did 10x3 for regular standing bicep curls and flat d-flys but it felt like i was really getting everything out of them, which is why i think its worth just doing a 10x3 or maybe even 8x4 as oppose to 2 3x8 or something

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
yeah i do front suqats@ 10x3 and dealifts too, yesterday i did 10x3 for regular standing bicep curls and flat d-flys but it felt like i was really getting everything out of them, which is why i think its worth just doing a 10x3 or maybe even 8x4 as oppose to 2 3x8 or something [/quote]

Good thing you brought this up. Now 10x3 works great as I said for front and back squats etc. But using them across the board is thinking 10x3 is some miracle number. There are some exercises that do not work well using that rep scheme. IMO it is ridiculous to use reps that low for arm work.

Also people will use them for overhand wide grip pulldowns. This is another poor decision. Poliquin has talked about there being certain exercises that do better at certain rep ranges. One being hip extension hamstring exercises like Romanian Deads and Goodmornings.

Another being upper lat work. These muscles respond better to higher rep ranges. Supinated grip pulldowns would work better at low rep ranges.

I cannot emphasize what a mistake it is to use 10x3 across the board. That rep scheme is best for squatting and upper body pressing. IMO it is much less effective for any other movement pattern.

Also flat dumbell flyes are not a strength exercise. They are a time under tension exercise, I know some people might come down on me for trying to pigeon hole exercises but that exercise is not a good choice for 10x3.

oh sorry, i meant dumbell “press” i get flys and press mixed up sometimes.

ok, ill still keep the rep TOTAL near 30 though, probaly lower. yet instead of 10x3, for smaller muscle groups ill go with say 4x6, 5x5, 6x5, etc etc