TLDR: When people limit volume to say, 16 sets per week per muscle/muscle group, do they mean per muscle (for example lats) or back muscles as a whole? And if I do Mon-Tue,Thu-Fri (back/bicep/chest - legs/shoulders/triceps) split with approximately 8 sets per work out PER MAJOR MUSCLEs of the muscle group (so not group as a whole), does that translate to 16 sets of volume in a week, or 24? So, is it full 7 days while counting volume (so the new monday of the week is included, or 6 days?)
And would this mean a overtrained state?
I’ve been working out for a year now and I’ve seen very little gains. I read from Brad Schoenfeld’s book that some people are non-responders and those may need to increase volume.
So the general conception is that you should do 10-20 sets per week per muscle group (or muscle) not sure. So I had devised a program where I’d go to the gym 4 times a week and do a 2-day split where I’d train back, chest and biceps on one day and legs, shoulders and triceps on another day.
For my back I’d do 4 sets of anykind of row variation and 4 sets of vertical pulls, with the rep range of 12-15 depending on the weight and resting 1-2 minutes in between sets, if I wanted to increase the weight, I’d go to the rep range of 6-10 and rest upto 3 minutes. In addition to the aforementioned vertical pulls and rows, I’d also add some shrugs and back extensions there (also 3-4 sets).
For my chest I would do cable chest press, pec/dec flies and cable crossovers with the same volume and for biceps I’d do 3-4 sets of curls (with dumbbells) and preacher or incline curls. All at the same rep range. This would be what I’d do on a Monday and then I’d do the same things on Thursday. So I’d revolve the same movements twice per week. The general pattern of volume and rep ranges apply to legs and shoulders as well here. I tended to do 3-4 sets of shoulder presses and 3-4 sets of lateral raises (focusing on hypertrophy range for these so short rests with lots of reps with light weights) and also rear delt exercises with the volume of 3-4 sets as well.
I feel like I didn’t make much strength or hypertrophy gains. Only about 2-3kg of muscle mass and equal amount of fat in like let’s say, 8-9 months. And now I have bicep tendonitis, so that makes me think if I’ve been overtraining (or maybe I was undertraining, and I just happened to mess up my tendon)
I tended to use machines or dumbbells while training. Now I see that barbells maybe better for loading. I feel like I’m such a non-responder that even a single gram of extra weight adds up to me a lot so a 2.5kg increase in dumbbells comes out too much to me. So at that case maybe going for barbells may be better to increase the weight, because the jump for that one isn’t as sharp as the one in dbs.
My training program also doesn’t consist of any of the main 4 lifts, namely the squat, deadlift, bench press and ohp. I do squats but not with a barbell, because I’ve struggled with finding balance,so I’d use dumbbells instead or the smith machine. Bench press never felt like it was good for me, and I felt like OHP or deadlifts required too much effort to keep form (hence risky)
I am kind of lost, and everyone has a different opinion. I read like so much stuff about hypertrophy training, as a neuroscientist myself I am acquainted with physiology to some extent, so I’m actually happy learning these, but now with all this and everything I tried (even a trainer) I feel stuck.