I see so many questions on training protocols on this forum, (with all due respect to King, Poliquin, Staley, Tate, etc) I think people are making it more complicated than it needs to be. So let’s review the basics: It is more useful to think in terms
of all the variables of a wkot (or “total work
effort”) including # sets, # reps per set, TUT, intensity and rest intervals, than it is to focus on any single variable alone. As someone else wrote “every training
program is only as good as it takes your
body to adapt.”
Training programs should follow an
optimal “rate of change.” That is, you don’t
want to change your program too frequently
that you don’t get the full benefit from it,
yet you don’t want to change too slowly or
your adaptation will stagnate. This rate differs from individual to individual depending on the the program, genetics, and experience.
The previous point means you need to
periodize (and plan) your training.
For optimal gains (IMO - as a bodybuilder) you should rotate between neurological focus, hypertrophy
focus and fat loss focus.
Training for strength/neurological = 1-5 reps (approx)
Training for hypertrophy = 6-10 reps (approx)
Training for fat loss = 11-15 reps (approx)
Training volume and training intensity are inversely related. (The heavier the weight, the less reps you can do. Or, the more volume you do, the less weight you will be able to lift.)
Natural lifters should do 10-15 work sets (excluding warm up) per wkot. With 3-4 wkots per week. With 2-3 body parts per wkot. (IMO)
Rep volume should have an inverse
relationship to set volume. In other words,
the more reps you do per set, the fewer sets
you should do and vice versa. (It is probably
worthwhile to think in terms of total number
or reps per wkot, and how they are spaced
relative to rest periods. )
The greater the intensity (heavier
weight) the more rest you need in between
sets and vice versa. Sets with weight that
allows for 1-5 reps should have 3-5 min rest.
Sets that allow 6-10 reps should have 2 min
rest. Sets with 11-15 reps should have 1 min
rest. (IMO) (This is due to the type of muscle
fibers being recruited in each rep range, and their respective recovery rate.)
TUT is important. TUT and rep volume per set are inversely related. In other words, the greater TUT each rep has, the less reps you can/should do per set. King and Poliquin
have specific recommendations as to what optimal TUT per set is for different goals,
(ie strength or hypertrophy) but I don’t remember what they are at the moment.
I think that covers it. Let me know if I forgot anything, or screwed anything up...