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TC's Article -- The Best Way To Build Muscle, According to Science

This was a good read. Regarding the volume consensus of ~10 sets per muscle group per week, I’m wondering if this means total sets or working sets. I’m guessing it is probably the former since I would assume scientific studies count all sets, including warm up or prep sets and not just working sets. 10 total sets per muscle group per week seems low to me if warm ups are counted. Thoughts?

That’s a very big assumption that’d change everything, but it’s easy enough to verify by checking the data. The overwhelming majority of studies I’ve seen, and what I’ve seen in a quick check of a few cited by the study in the article, drew conclusions on working sets only, not including warm-ups.

Studies along these lines often use a general warm-up followed by training with the target sets and reps at a given % max/intensity (typically straight sets unless something specific is being investigated). Including warm-up sets in the final conclusion would require factoring extra variables like extremely sub-max loading and reduced intensity-per-set.

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Thanks! That intuitively makes a whole lot more sense to me than the conclusion I was drawing. I looked at the Shoenfeld paper itself, but didn’t think to check the studies cited in it – I’m slow this morning apparently!

I mean, dude, the paper is 22 pages long followed by 8 pages of references. The thing’s a monster, it’s not an issue of you being slow. :laughing:

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Interesting findings regarding volume and frequency :wink:

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Good read. I guess ill be cutting my volume in half now, lol… Very good :slight_smile:

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IMO, AAS’s allow increased volume because the cortisol has no binding sites to adversely affect muscle growth. Those binding sites are occupied by AAS’s.

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Well, AAS might ALLOW higher volume, but the question is - is it NEEDED? Just because we can survive a grind, doesnt mean we gain from it.
I believe that the amount of sets wouldnt change on aas because aas allows higher intensity as in - more weight on the bar, so the sets themselves become more intense. I have noticed that i can easlily overtrain on high amounts of drugs also, and i believe its because i am lifting much heavier, therefor creating more stress and damage.
But its just my opinion - i have no real clue. But lowering sets would be nice. Its annoying trying to get 20 sets of everything in all the time.

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That’s interesting.

How long does it take for cortisol to bind and mess up my gains?

As I understood the bro-science in the '90’s, when you train (stress the muscle) your body releases cortisol. The more the stress, the more cortisol is released. The cortisol floated through your blood stream looking for a cell to attach itself.

All the cells that cortisol attached were less apt to accept nutrients required for growth. More cells with attached cortisol, less growth potential. That was the beauty of high testosterone levels. The higher your testosterone the more cell binding sites are occupied by a growth accentuated hormone. The cells that are occupied with testosterone have no place for the cortisol to attach.

Any time cortisol is present in your blood system the gains are much slower. Stress causes cortisol release, whether it’s emotional, mental, or physical stress.

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There was discussion in those days that it wasn’t so much the benefits of AAS’s that caused muscle to grow, as it was there was no place for cortisol to attach, thus all training (physical stress) provided muscle growth potential.

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what @readalot @iron_yuppie have to say about this? i am very interested in this topic…