T Nation

Questions Regarding Fatigue, Junk Volume and Exercise Selection

Hey Paul,
I just finished watching your podcast with Mike Israeli (sp?) and I noticed you guys talk a lot about fatigue to actual muscle workout. I also have followed a lot of your posts regarding exercise selection and etc. and I came into questioning my training methods and programs I use.

Let me explain the problem. I like barbells and compounds - squats, deadlifts, bench, standing OHP, and while my general athleticism has increased while doing them and I can see the benefits, I think I am not working towards my main goal, which is muscle growth and sexier body. As a side effect I also feel beat up and consistency becomes a problem. My guess is fatigue. I feel tired and I rather skip the training than go for a workout.

At the other hand I have a friend whos gains are enormous. Sure he has way more experience than me, but he has no problems with consistency. He rarelly squats, does not do DLs at all. His programming is a bro split and he barely breaks a sweat during a workout. In fact he trains as you propose - two or three warm up sets where he gets the weight up and 1 work set where he kills it.

And here I am questioning exercise selection. Volume, reps and going all out. I have noticed my own mind set. For example when squatting my target is to do 5 sets and 8 reps and I chose a weight which I can do all the 8 reps in all 5 sets. And while I feel I can squat with bigger weight I just know I will not be able to do it for all 5 sets. I start thinking I am doing what you call junk volume and training some kind of muscle endurance rather than growth. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Lastly regarding the exercise selection. What would be your substitutes to and would you sub squats, DL, standing OHP and bench to target muscle growth instead of joint fatigue and feeling beat up. What would be your go to pulling exercises to target upper, lower back and lats.

It definitely sounds like you’re doing a lot of junk volume which would explain why you’re always tired and have little motivation to train. That’s because your nervous system is still taxed by that work, yet there’s not as much muscular stimulation/taxation going on. So …not much gains.

And there’s a million movements to sub in for squats, DL, etc. Not being a dick but dude, that’s not hard to figure out. Leg press, hacks, RDL’s, any chest pressing etc

Hey, Paul. Thank you for getting back to me. I thought I am doing too much junk as well. And no, you are not being an ass, no worries.