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Question to You Guys: What Do You THINK is the Main Driver for Muscle Growth?

Just wondering since we are discussing your training, what exactly are your goals these days? I know you have been at this for a long time so what you do and why will be different from 99% of the people reading this.

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I have some goals in terms of weight x reps I want to hit on certain movements within the year.

None of course are the big three. I have some sumo leg press, RDL, hack squat, barbell row, hip thrust, and a few other movement based goals.

Right now I’m dieting my ass off along with my better half just for summer. Normally I wouldn’t care but she’s trying to get into peak condition for summer so I’m doing it with her.

My conditioning is ridiculous right now. I did 15 100-yard sprints the other day at basically full speed with only the 100 yard walk back as the rest, and could talk normally the whole time. Getting back into that kind of condition beats anything in the weight room. Not even close.


Do you train to be able to do this basically by just doing it and working up? I know, crazy right?

Nah I get into condition like that really fast. My normal steady state pace is borderline jogging for most people so I literally did four internal sessions before that one. But my ability to recover from all out high rep sets in the gym benefits from this a lot. Which means my workouts take like 35-40 minutes max. Which I like. No reason to be in there for hours.

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Is there any benefit to lowering the weight and getting more reps in if you’ve already got a solid 3-4 sets of your working weight in? As in couldn’t do any more complete sets with working weight.

Like have you read through this whole thread?

How are you doing 4 “working sets” of a movement, then have the energy to do a back off set for high reps?

You’re not working hard enough if that’s the case.

Admittedly I haven’t read the whole thread. I’ve read a good bit and a lot of it I’m having trouble tracking.

Also, I never mentioned high rep. I just wanted to know if I get my 4x10 set of C exercise, and there’s no way I could get a 5th set of 10, but could lower weight or get partial set… would it be worth it

I don’t know what “worth it” means.

Did you not stimulate growth with the four preceding sets???

That’s what I thought. There’s so much different information on the web and I was just curious about that. It’s hard now days to find what works, what’s good enough, and what’s too much. I’m guessing time spent in the gym and trial and error are the sure fire way to tell.

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I’ve loved reading this whole thread. It’s great to hear the different opinions and passions.

So my take home message from this thread has been (I hope I’ve got this right) is that 1 set to complete failure is better than your 3 x 10.

There’s a certain programme called Guaranteed Muscle Mass that fits the bill of that methodology.

I think the whole point of the thread is to push yourself on your lifts and let that effort dictate how much you do vs. trying to presuppose the “perfect” amount of volume and then match your effort to that.

Probably what all of us would intuitively do if we’d never found the internet.

I remember a friend in college that could never run fast enough to do well on our various tests. He just kept running “more.” I went out with him a couple times and could tell him immediately he wasn’t working very hard. I ran probably 1/3 as much as him, but went hard. It made easy sense because we couldn’t analyze it from 600 angles.

Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed this discussion.


BTW guys, if I had to settle on a range for number of “growth sets” per week, it would be between 6-10. That’s per muscle in a given training week.

I think I said 8-12 earlier but the more I think about this, and the more I look at the research and talk to other advanced lifters, it’s probably 6-10, and yeah I think 8 might be the sweet spot.

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Paul for additional clarity, when you say “group,” are you referring to major groups push/pull/legs or specific muscles i.e. quads, biceps, chest, etc.

Muscle groups, i.e. chest, delts, quads, hams, etc.

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Does that line of thinking apply to all levels of lifters?

The answer to that is in this thread.

This thread is FULL of information and a huge pet peeve of mine is people glossing over tons of information, then asking questions.

Read the thread.


@Paul_Carter I’ve been reading through not all but most of the 450 posts in this thread.
I want to thank you, and all other participants in here. I’m going to go over my routine and slowly change it.
It’s hard to change it. BUT I will do it. Or at least try…

I was wondering have you worked with “old” people I’m 55 and I think I’m working hard (not really) and I’m not gaining any muscle. Last year I gained about 25 lbs of mostly fat, which I’ve cut away and is back to where I was.

With this I mean should I do something different? (if I was to answer it myself, I would say probably not, but you know your shit)

I’m lifting 4 times a week and I am using 531 for main lift I did BBB I’m ditching that and will do something a little different for muscle growth like rest pause, mTor, drop sets, forced reps, oh and your 350 sets love them and the 50% sets I like as well.

Hi Paul,
I am also going to adapt my training to reflect this information. I did a Back and Bi session today which I think adheres very well but was hoping if you could provide some feedback if you see any.
A) TBar Row 38 ramp then a 18-12 +50% set
B) Rack Chin 2 prep sets then a 1*AMAP + 2 rest pauses
C) DB Row 350 method
D) Circuit 3sets * 8-12. All to failure.

  1. Lat Pulldown 2) Preacher Curl 3) Hammer Curl

If anyone has feedback as to how this came better reflect the great info here I’m all ears!

What are your goals? And why did you chose those movements?

Today’s chest, shoulders, triceps -

Hammer Incline Press - 50% set x 1

Incline Side Laterals - 1 cluster set (5 sets of 4 reps, 10 seconds between each, then the 6th set was to total failure)

1 Arm Cable Crossover - 2 sets of 8 each arm

Supinated Rear Delt Row - 2 x 15 each arm

Press Behind the Neck - 1 x 8

Seated Db French Press - 1 x18

That’s it.