T Nation

Volume Workout Splits

Hey Chris

Love your work.
I enjoyed doing your best damn natural workout, but I thoroughly enjoy a high(er) volume approach.
From what i’ve Read/heard from your work, if volume is high then intensity and frequency cannot be high.
If I were to schedule a routine that is based on what enjoy such as volume; and I remember to cap the intensity and moderate the frequency so that I hit a muscle every 5-7 days.

Do you see this being a problem?
I am a type 2B.

It may not be as optimal as your best damn plan for naturals looking for recoup goals. But if I enjoy it more and will therefore stick at it for longer would it be just as effective?

Could I also help limit the negatives of doing a high volume approach by having adequate carbs (especially around the workout) maybe 1-1.5g per lb kind of ballpark.

Any thoughts are appreciated

Yes and no.

No question that if you like the way you train more, you will train harder, be more focused and stick to the plan for longer. It will likely cause a smaller stress response too.

HOWEVER it cannot change physiological rules.

While some people CAN tolerate more volume (some gaining more when volume is higher)… HIGHER volume is relative and there is a limit to how much one can do/add without starting to hurt gains (mostly when they are natural).

The Best Damn Workout is on the extreme low end of the volume scale. Hard to do less volume than that. So it i definitely possible to do more volume and be capable of adapting positively and growing.

And you are right: if volume goes up, frequency must go down. Frequency both in terms of the number of sessions per week and how often you hit a certain muscle. You understand part of the concept when you talked about training a muscle once every 5 to 7 days but I’m not sure that you understand that if you use a high volume approach you will have to decrease the total number of sessions per week (normally to 4-5). Volume has a systemic effect so you can’t just decide to keep training 6 or even 7 days a week, with high volume, and recover properly as a natural.

Furthermore research is pretty clear that for maximal gains you should hit a muscle to some extent at least twice per week. For 2Bs the ideal split is as follow:

CHEST/BICEPS
LOWER BODY (quads emphasis)
BACK/TRICEPS
SHOULDERS/TRAPS & REAR DELTS
LOWER BODY (posterior chain emphasis… must include a deadlift variation)

With tthat split everything gets hit to some extent at least twice per week.

Chest has its own day and is also receiving some stimulation on shoulder day if you do overhead pressing.

Back has its own day and also receive some stimulation from deadlifting on posterior chain day and also on shoulder day when working rear delts and traps

Legs have two days, even though one is quads dominant and one is posterior chain dominant, both receive stimulation if you use mostly compound movements.

Biceps get trained directly on chest day and are also involved when pulling on back day

Triceps get training directly on back day but are also involved when pressing on chest day and shoulder day

Shoulders have their own day and are also involved on chest day.

But that is not a license to do crazy amounts of volume. How high can you go? I can’t say exactly as it will depend on each individual. But I would say around 22-26 sets in a workout at the most (not per body part, for the whole workout).

Only if those carbs are added PRE-WORKOUT (and it needs to be a fast carb like highly branched cyclic dextrin); this will decrease the cortisol production during the session.

BTW your post perfectly illustrated the biggest enemy/issue of 2Bs: they are stimulus addicts. They enjoy doing work more than they do getting results. Which is kind of a good thing in a way, but generally speaking it can easily become destructive because they very often limit their gains because they love doing so much volume. Works GREAT if you are taking performance-enhancing drugs that completely change your physiology (and even then there is a move toward lower volume even in the enhanced bodybuilding circles) but for naturals it can greatly limit your gains.

A thing I often see would be a type 2B who is small but very lean and decent muscle bellies. He loves training because in a tank top he will look really good once pumped. Because of that they do endless sets. These are also the guys who don’t eat enough to grow because they are afraid of losing their leanness because their main motivation is looking good in he mirror when they train. The result of too much volume and too little food is that they do stay lean and defined. But they never add any significant size. They are the guys who are the most likely to start using steroids: they think that they just can’t build muscle even with all the work they put in. In reality it is the excessive volume + insufficient nutrition that limits their gains. These are the guys who will improve a little bit when they start taking steroids, maybe getting an extra 8-10lbs. But after that initial boot they don’t gain anything anymore.

I am NOT saying that it is you. Only took the opportunity to talk about this all too common problem.

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Thank you so much for all of that great information.
The split that you wrote out there is almost identical to what I had written too! With one change; Legs are by far my strongest and biggest bodypart so I limited it to one session. And arms are something I wanted to improve the most so the last day ends up as an arm day which is of course great for my motivation to!
I add deadlifts to one of the back days so part of the legs do get some additional stimulation.

I’ve learnt the wrong way that 5x a week is absolutely my limit, as tempted as I get sometimes to do more!

You hit the nail on the head regarding the steroids and just general gym attitude/ego. I am just coming off of a cycle where I was training each muscle once a week and LOVED it so
much that I didn’t want to change
t.
Thank you for the carb advice! When I have tried some carbs pre workout it makes me feel slightly tired during the workout. Would a good GDA be beneficial here?

You’re absolutely right about resorting to adding MORE and MORE work, which makes me now reluctant to ask this… haha
Would adding in the 10-15 minutes double stimulation workouts be too much?
So for example if on Day 1 I did hit chest and biceps 22-26 total sets with medium intensity.
On Day 2 before I started the legs workout would doing the 3-5 circuits of 8-12 reps for maybe a chest cable crossover and a preacher curl, with the intention of stimulation, pump and stretching the muscles be good (considering now i’m Natural) or again be too much work

Thank you again

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What kind of carbs did you use? Did you use protein with it? When did you have them relative to the workout? What was the amount?

I always take a pre workout mixed with a protein blend 30-40 minutes before I get in the gym. I drink it over maybe 15-20 minutes.

When I tried the carbs I had 20g of karbolyn mixed with that mixture.
I tried it for at least 3 workouts, and noticed a difference, sometimes even resulting in a yawn during the start of the workout.

I have 50g of karbolyn during my workout and it makes me feel great, good energy, pump everything.

Yeah, it is possible that taking the carbs PRE workout decreases your adrenaline response. If you take it during, when adrenaline has already been released it will not have the same negative impact. Types 2A and 2B are dependant on adrenaline. So it is possible that the pre-workout carbs are hurting your performance. Take them during instead.

thats excatly me too!! but i cant understand nyro type cuz my english isnt too good!! but i njoy and goin g to gym donjg 3 lift and leave is not me! can higher voulm work for me!?