One of the things I try to get across about studies and “science” and all of that jazz is that those things are only to serve as guidelines. They aren’t hard facts. And if you actually read through the language from most studies, they will use a lot of “may” type verbiage.
This is because it’s NOT a hard science. It’s not like with physics or math where there’s rules, and there’s outcomes that are factual based on these rules.
Lifting and nutrition offer up soft sciences. To give us a general direction. Not to tell us something factual. If you guys would really start learning this, and start experimenting with your own splits and routines and things like that, then you’d grasp that idea.
So I have a client. Natty. Has struggled for a long time to get his head right because he’s been so paralyzed by all the information.
I looked at all his programs in the past and saw that it was likely that he was training too often, too many sets, too much frequency, etc.
So I pared him back to four days a week, upper / lower split because I wanted to see what would happen.
I scaled back his volume a ton. We focused on movements that really hit him and what his goals were.
He crushed it for about 3.5 weeks. Then in the 4th week he was starting to slide a bit, then hit a wall mentally and emotionally. Just did not want to be in the gym.
As I suspected, even the reduced workload was probably too much.
So, I pared him back even more.
Three days a week. Hitting each muscle once a week.
He freaked out on me. Saying that he knows he needs to hit a muscle twice a week, blah blah blah fuck. The usual shit I constantly read all over the net from all these f’n studies blah blah blah.
But I knew intuitively what he needed.
He trusted me.
That was 6 weeks ago. He’s crushed every PR he ever had by a mile. And has put on 4 pounds and is visibly leaner.
I started this training cycle with ultra low volume, and added a set or two here and there over the weeks. But it’s still super low and where we are at now is pretty much maxed out. For example leg day is 1 set of leg ext, leg curl, leg press, and reverse banded hacks. That’s his whole leg day, done once a week. And he’s moving loads he never thought he’d be able to on the big stuff.
Guys - you have to get it out of your head that you can’t grow on “this split” or “that split” because of some fucking study. There’s no rules here. Sometimes you’re going to need more, and sometimes you’ll need less. There’s no study that is going to tell you this.