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  1. #1
    iron addict is offline New Member
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    A simple experiment regarding training volume

    I absolutely know from experience that many of the guys reading this are flat out stuck. Progress is marginal at best and oftentimes totally lacking. A step forward is often followed by two steps backwards, and frustration mounts. Many times diet is the issue. If you don't fuel the growth process it will never happen. But let's assume of the diet is fairly on and the trainee is consuming at least 1.5 g of protein per pound of body weight and at least enough calories to slowly add either fat or muscle. Now it's time to look it training volume. While many do absolutely wonderful on high workloads many do not. Most people are mesmerized by the routines of the pros, and assume that the muscle must be worked from all angles at every session to coax growth into occurring. And while that approach is fine if you are at least reasonably big and strong, it's not the fastest way to get big and strong for most trainees.

    Most trainees lack size simply because they lack strength. I don't care how many angles you hit the muscle with, and how many exercises or sets you do as long issue are doing them with girl waits you're going to have a girl body—THAT SIMPLE!!

    Just because the pros do things in a certain fashion, doesn't mean the average trainee that is still working on foundational strength should do those same things. Joe average trainee needs strength-- bottom line, and the best way to build strength is on a strength based routine, which are typically lower volume than traditional bodybuilding size type routines.

    I will just say this and then get to the experiment; if you are truly stuck right now you have nothing to lose. If you follow this experiment in 12 weeks you will have a much better understanding of the workload that a suitable for YOU, not your friend, not other lifters on a bodybuilding forum, but for YOU! No, you won't have all the answers about what optimal training is for your body type, but you will definitely be pointed in the right direction in regards to overall volume and frequency.

    A couple of things to make this experiment work. Take a week off prior to starting both routines. This will ensure your starting from a clean slate and are not bringing with you CNS, and overall metabolic fatigue from the last routine.

    It doesn't really make much difference which order you do these routines in. Pick which one appeals to you best and run it for five weeks, optimally you would run it for eight weeks a piece, but I know many of you have little patience and if I ask you to potentially wasted eight weeks training period, you would balk. Never mind the fact that many of you have been training for months on end with little or no progress. After the first one, take a week off and start the second.

    The first routine will be a traditional bodybuilding type volume routine. I won't stack the deck by including a 16 to 20 set volume routine. It will be 12 sets for big body-parts, and 9 sets for smaller parts.

    The second routine will be a lower volume a strength based routine. Here is what they will look like:

    Volume
    Day one:
    Chest/triceps
    Bench press 3 x 6-8
    Incline press 3 x 8-10
    Decline press 3 x 8-10
    Flat or incline fly 3 x 10-12
    Dips 3 x 10
    Tricep Pushdowns 3 x 10
    Skull Crushers 3 x 10

    Day Two
    Back/Biceps/Abs
    Deadlifts 3 x 8
    Wide Grip Pull-Downs/Chins 3 x 8-10
    Bent Rows 3 x 10-12
    Cable Rows 3 x 8-10
    Barbell Curls 3 x 10
    Dumbell Curls 3 x 10
    Hammer Curls 3 x 10
    Hanging leg raises 3 x 10
    Incline situps 3 x 15
    Crunches 3 x 15

    Day Three
    Legs
    Squats 3 x 8
    Leg Presses 3 x 8
    Leg Extensions 3 x 10
    Laying Leg Curls 3 x 10
    Standing Calf raises 3 x 20
    Seated Calf Raises 3 x 15
    Leg-Press Calfs 3 x 15

    Day four
    Shoulders/Abs
    Military Press 3 x 8-10
    Dumbell Press 3 x 8-10
    Lateral Raise 3 x 12
    Hanging leg raises 3 x 10
    Incline situps 3 x 15
    Crunches 3 x 15

    Pretty standard 4 day volume .And yes, you can sub exercises for some of the isolation lifts, but you cannot for instance sub lunges or machine squats for squats, or hyper extensions for deadlifts.

    Now a low volume strength routine:

    Day one
    Chest/Shoulders/triceps
    Bench press 1 max set of 3 reps
    Skull Crushers 2 x 10
    Dumbell bench press 2 x 10
    Lateral raise 3 x 10
    Abs, HEAVY 2 x 10

    Day two
    Back/Biceps
    Wide Grip Pulldown/Pull-Up 3 x 8
    Bent Row 3 x 8
    Babell Curl 2 x 8

    Day Three
    Legs
    Squats, 1 x 5, 1 x 10
    SLDL 2 x 10
    Pull Throughs 3 x 10, here iis how to do a pull-thru:
    Starting posistion: http://www.ironaddicts.com/pics/gpullthru-mid.jpg
    Top Posistion: http://www.ironaddicts.com/pics/pulltrutop1.jpg
    Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 10

    OK, there is your experiment for anyone that will take the challenge. What are my predictions? Eight out of 10 people will do better on the lower volume version. Two out of 10 will do better on the higher volume version. For most trainees strength will go up on every left every week on the lower volume version. Don't take my word for it though, try it! If you are currently stuck you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And by the way I don't think the low volume version is anywhere near optimal as a strength base program and is not how I write them normally, but for simplicity stake I wrote it that way to make easy to understand and implement for all trainees. And much more suited to trainees that I know nothing about. Again, this won't tell you everything you know about the volume and frequency and correct exercise selection, but will point you in the right direction.

    Iron Addict

  2. #2
    homeboybonanza's Avatar
    homeboybonanza is offline Associate Member
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    Yes!

    I agree.

    I've been dieting and increasing my cardio. I also have been rehabing a torn rotator cuff. I decided to take some time off from all shoulder related training for a break. After over 2 weeks, I hit a workout and was warming up on the bench. The weights felt SOOOO light...I just kept adding weight. I ended up working with the heaviest poundage I've used in 8 months!

    I am now benching and deadlifting only every 2 weeks with the off week being used for legs and arms.

    Mentzer was a genious.

  3. #3
    iron addict is offline New Member
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    You definately don't need to gao as Low as Mentzer reccomeded (but some do very well on it) but when in search of strength high volume/frequency workloads are not the answer for MOST people.

    Iron Addict

  4. #4
    Hypertrophy's Avatar
    Hypertrophy is offline Senior Member
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    . . . And that's why I feel that Periodization is significantly better than traditional resistance training~

  5. #5
    iron addict is offline New Member
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    Agreed!, And conjugated periodization is better yet!

    Iron Addict

  6. #6
    Hypertrophy's Avatar
    Hypertrophy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iron addict
    Agreed!, And conjugated periodization is better yet!

    Iron Addict
    Indeed, the combination of speed training and max strength is extremely effective~

  7. #7
    BDTR's Avatar
    BDTR is offline Retired
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    bump.

  8. #8
    seanw's Avatar
    seanw is offline Banned
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    This is good sh!t. I have recently torn a rotator cuff and have an elbow injury all on the left side. I have just got back into the gym after a three week layoff. My strength has gone to sh!t. Almost half what I was lifting before. I have decided to do just this kind of workout. I am glad to see it doesnt look like I will be wasting my time.

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