T Nation

What Training Volume Do You Use?

After reading the Cat’s Lair I was shocked at the insane volume pro’s use. I personally only do about 100 total reps or less per bodypart. What about you guys?

I honestly think you have to be using some sort of drug to keep up a routine like that. Everyone of his examples were Pros who used drugs. Perhaps, not as much as what occurs today, but nonetheless drug enhanced.

If you actually take a good look at what the Pros did prior to the drug scene it is no where near that volume.

In a high volume phase I go with high volume on the reps.
Ex.-Bench press 5 sets 12 reps @ 180lbs.
plus 2 sets 12 reps@ 60lbs on tricep press.

But for low vol, neural end work,
4-5 sets of 1 rep @ 270-280.
I also adjust downward in reps. for the larger muscle groups, or the next day I go into a coma.

p.s. thats without anything for recovery but creatine and food. On the couple of times that I used MAG-10, the sky was the limit, I could have been hit by a truck and got up the next day feeling like a million bucks.

It’s good to see that I’m not the only one who noticed, I read that and thought I would overtrain for sure using something like that! Plus, doin it all in an hour with any sort of intensity would probably kill most people.

I gotta say reading that article I was thinking “WTF, I thought this was T-Nation, the site dedicated to getting us away from stupid Weider magazine routines and 50 set (!) arm routines!”

Also loved the way it was justified with “Let’s take a look at the training routines of some of the past bodybuilding stars before drug use got out of hand.” Um, yeah, ok I realize todays guys are waaaay out of control, but there was plenty of juice going around in the golden era.

My training is biased towards strength and I’m trying to lose fat, so I’m on the lower volume/higher intensity side anyway, but I can’t imagine doing 50 sets of isolation work for arms under any circumstances, I don’t care what my goals were. Seems like a massive waste of time considering all the other exercises I could do instead.

Nick

[quote]CU AeroStallion wrote:
It’s good to see that I’m not the only one who noticed, I read that and thought I would overtrain for sure using something like that! Plus, doin it all in an hour with any sort of intensity would probably kill most people.[/quote]

It really depends on your recover ability, diet, stress, sleep level, ext…

It can be done if the program is properly designed, and only utilized for short periods of time (1-4 week durations, depending on the individual).

I guess we may be overlooking something here: tempo.

I have seen many bodybuilders use 200 reps a week and a tempo of 201, sometimes 10X. The reason why ikt seems to work for them, as well as for beginner who train 2 times a week, with 10-12 sets of 8-12 reps per session is because they end up using the same tempo: 201.

It is simple math, I guess… 100 reps with a 411, 401, 302 or 402 tempo, last 6 seconds, 5 at some moments, so they add up to 500-600 seconds of TUT per week for a given muscle group, like GVT, so 200 reps of a 201 tempo, add up to the same weekly T.U.T. so i guess these guys are adapting a cocnept from Christian Thibaudeau in “Timed Sets” and the high number of sets has actually the same T.U.T. accumulation effect than a routine of 5 or 6 seconds reps, for 100 reps per week.

we also need to take into account how much tension we are producing depending on the magnitude of load and the speed lifted, not just the total time under tension but the TUT x load itself.

A typical worjout for myself will consist of 50-100 reps. rarely will i go above 120 total reps. I’ve been able to blast body parts using compound lifts with as little as 25 reps using high intensity. laters pk

I don’t know about everyone else, but I read T-Nation to find out what works best for me, not what works for Tom, Dick, or Harry or Tom’s hairy dick for that matter.

A lot of people discount high volume programs without having ever tried them. They automatically assume that they’re an average Joe or below average Joe who couldn’t possibly handle the demands of a high volume program.

Well people, the only way to find out is to try it. How do you expect to exploit your genetic potential if you never test its limits. You can argue all you want about the physiology of this or that, but everyone is different. I really don’t give two shits what an appropriate training protocol would be for three-fourths of the population, I’m out to find what will produce the best results for me. The truth is, you won’t find out by reading double-blind studies; you find out by getting under the bar to see what you can do.

I used to do high volume programs when I was younger and I was stronger and leaner than I’ve ever been. Then I quit working out for a couple of years. I got back into lifting in March of '04 and have been training with mainly T-Nation programs with lower volume (with very good results I might add). But after reading this and reflecting a bit, I really don’t know if I could handle a higher volume program or not. I think it’s time for a test run.

What’s the worst that could happen? I find out it doesn’t work for me. Well, that would be a good thing. At least then I would know, and knowing is half the battle. Go Joe!

For me, I normally rotate a heavy week with a light week. What that normally looks like is (per body part over the week)

Heavy 60-80 reps over 12-15 sets
Light 120-150 reps over 10-12 sets

that is per body part. My volume will go down when I am cutting as opposed to bulking.

CW and CT have written some great articles relative to this. I esspecially like CT’s discussion on volume and timed sets.

At the end of the day, I agree with a previous post that you have to experiment and Accuratley track the resutls to determine what to use. The right volume is the smallest amount necessary to produce the maximum resutls.