Training Progress during my Winter Break

December 30, 2008

High volume or low volume?

High volume or low volume?

Yesterday I spoke about what I’ve learned training here at home with my friend, but I also mentioned that I’ve realized a lot of gains from training while I’ve been on break too. A little expansion on that was promised, so I am delivering!

Looking to add muscle mass?? Training volume is critical right — thats what many of the books say anyways, but is that all??

Sure you have to get enough calories in (hopefully good ones at that), but is more volume the main answer to our muscle building desires??

I’d argue that lack of volume is just as important, if not more so! Now to bring you out of the fog, I’m not simply referring to designing a training phase (with muscle mass as the main goal) with limited volume instead of high volume. I’m just saying that we need both, at the right time.

Basically about a month before I got finished exams, I switched my training program from 4 days a week to 3 days…and with the stress of exams and whatever else, nothing much happened physically. At first I felt re-energized, but quickly I felt overtrained again. After I got home though — still doing a 3 day template from my friend, I started to really make some progress. I noticed a little more muscle mass when standing in front of the mirror (if that doesn’t sound narcisstic…)

This wasn’t the first time this has happened (experiencing noticeable gains in a short span of time), but for some reason the light came on for me. High volume is great for great stimulating growth, while low volume is great for realizing growth (progress).

Now of course this isn’t a be all end all statement; if you don’t switch to low volume will you not make any progress?? – No. At this time, it was just the right thing for my body.

Before I finish, I just want to add something:

One of the first posts I wrote for my blog was about using low volume to build muscle…basically recommending going complete against the book with regards to training for added size. At the time, I was far less “low-volume” than I was about a year and a half ago when I started training properly and bound myself to the low-volume idea, but I was still had a sort of “either/or” mindset.

This “ah-ha” moment I had while on my break is what I probably was acknowledging in the blog post back in May or June, I just didn’t know it. It isn’t a case of one being better than the other, just that each has it own place in a training program. The key is to listen to your body so that you’ll know when to use one over the other.

(Editor’s note: the last line is NOT limited to those training to get jacked)



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