T Nation

Stimulus Training

Before I say anything. This is not a Total Body Training vs. splits question.

Many of the TBT/High Frequency guys will say that you should not rely on stimuli like fatigue and ‘pump’ to gauge your workout.

However, are the rules different for splits/lower frequency training? Is the ‘feeling’ much more important for this approach? Should we rely a lot on feeling in order to gauge things? For example, if you feel like your biceps could use more work, throw in a few more sets? (Assuming biceps were among the muscles that were specifically trained that day)

This is how the many of the strongest and biggest people train, what does that tell you? And by that i mean that they learned to listen to their body more than something on paper.

It depends on why your training. If your training ONLY to look good, and dont care at all how your body functions, then focusing on the “stimulus” is fine. Listen to your body go for the pump, use splits, etc.

But if you care at all how strong, healthy, and fit you are, then you need to focus on performance at least part of the time. In this case, it doesnt matter how your muscles feel, it matters what kind of work, power, force, density, etc you are exerting.

I think the “performance” based approach works best for strength, power, and conditioning. This means all your big compound lifts, for heavier weights, or conditioning like HIIT, or reducing the duration of your rest breaks.

The “mind-muscle”, or “stimulus” based approach works better for “bodybuilding” type training. This means more of your isolation movements, and pump focused training.

And I think for most people, it works best to use both methods.