I read these forums alot and most of you say to people they do to much volume, too many sets, etc. For chest right now im doing about 15-18 sets does anyone else do that much? Most of you would probally say overtrain blah blah way too much. But the thing is I've been doing this many sets for months and after every workout the next day i get the best soreness and I'm getting stronger/bigger. Should i keep doing it? I've tried doing less volume like 9-12 sets and i felt like I didn't even do anything...For the past 6 months i've been progressing amazingly what do you guys think? I talked to my trainer and he believes 15-18 sets is perfect for chest also we do it once a week.
You're right that most people would consider that overtraining, but if it's working for you, keep it up. I do think that is an awful lot of sets though. To each his own.
as long as your getting to the gym u'll be making gains probably.
The question becomes how quickly will you overtrain and could you make MORE gains on a lower volume routine.
Here is a great article that goes into the high/low volume ideas:
here are some excerpts (the last two paragraphs should speak to your concerns directly):
The ACSM Weight Training Guidelines state more than one set may elicit slightly greater strength gains but additional improvement is relatively small (ACSM 1995). Studies demonstrating marginal improvements in strength with more sets typically use one exercise per muscle. Split programs performed by experienced weight trainers typically incorporate two or more exercises per muscle group. Fleck and Kramer's review of the literature suggest the optimal number of total sets are between 2 and 5 sets (Fleck & Kraemer, 1997).
Many scientific studies demonstrate one set is almost effective as multiple sets, if not just as effective in strength and muscle hypertrophy (Starkey, Pollock, et. al. 1996).
By performing an additional set (50% to 100% more sets) only 0 to 5% more progress will be observed. Each additional set yields even less progress to a point of diminishing return. The time saved with an abbreviated weight training program can often be used more wisely elsewhere in a program
Those who are used to a program implementing multiple sets and/or a many exercises are usually skeptical about performing so few sets. Veterans of the old school may not feel confident they will experience gains with less sets and exercises. They had been introduced and grown accustom to traditional training. Some may even react violently at the proposition of incorporating such a abbreviated method of training. They may defend their quaint methods to justify all the time and effort they had spent training at higher volumes throughout the years.
If an individual is accustom to a high volume program it may be very difficult psychologically to perform only a warm up set and one workout set. It may take months until the veteran is use to the low volume, progressively intense training. The individual who is used to performing multiple sets and many exercises for each muscle group is initially unable to perform a workout set at a great intensity. They have taught themselves, almost unconsciously, to hold back since they are used to performing many exercises and sets. It may require months to teach the body to push itself more intensely. In addition, the type of fatigue experienced after the high intense, low volume training is different than the traditional high volume training. Until they are able to generate more intensity in their workouts, many may feel they are not achieving a productive workout based on this initial lack of fatigue.
It just seems like everyone on here is too quick to say overtraining. Right now I'm 18 and have been working out since I was 15. I've never done less then 12 sets on any muscle and usually 15 sets on the big muscles. I havent stopped getting bigger, or stronger? I would like to see the size of some of the people on here who do 6 sets for triceps, or shoulder, or any muscle. I'm not trying to be rude it just seems like everyone that I workout at my gym (people that compete, do shows, etc) all do the high volume workouts that I do. And there all huge?
beachmuscles, do what's right for you. If you're making great gains, you're not overtraining. Some people would not be able to make gains on that routine, but you can. It's your body and evidently, your body can benefit out of that kind of routine.
Out of my experience in the gym working out for less than 90 mins, I found it very difficult to overtrain any body part other than legs and back.
why do more if you dont have to. Train smarter not harder but train hard as well haha
Last edited by ryuage; 06-08-2004 at 04:21 PM.
thats because you are in the prime of your testosterone/growing years...u could sit on ur butt and still grow...Originally Posted by beachmuscles
if ur on gear you can do umpteen sets and recuperate that much fasterOriginally Posted by beachmuscles
Studies that show lower sets do just as much benefit as high w/o carrying the risk of overtraining:
(Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Supplement 30(5): S163, 1998) focused on increases in knee-extension strength in three different modes: one-rep max, isometric peak torque and training weight. Again, there was no significant difference between the one-set and three-set groups. One-rep max increased 33.3% and 31.6% for 1 set and 3 sets, respectively; isometric increases were 35.4% versus 32.1%; and training weight increases were 25.6% compared to 14.7%
note that the one-set group gained slightly more strength in the first two modes and substantially more in training weight (25.6% versus 14.7%).(Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 11(3): 148-154, 1997) Thirty-five males, with one to four years weight-training experience, were assigned to one of three training groups: one-set, two-sets, or four sets. All participants did what I would call a periodized routine; they changed the rep range every few weeks. They did free-weight exercises four times a week for ten weeks using 12 reps maximum (week 1-4), 7 reps max (week 5-7) and 9 reps (week 8-10). All sets were performed to muscular fatigue with three minutes rest between sets. The only difference between the three programs was the number of sets.
As in the Pollock group studies, no significant differences in results were found. The authors concluded: "...A low volume program ... [one set of each exercise] ... results in increases in muscle size and function similar to programs with two to four times as much volume."
Significantly, regarding hormone output, they concluded: "High volume [four sets of each exercise] may result in a shift in the testosterone/cortisol (anabolic/catabolic) ratio in some individuals, suggesting the possibility of overtraining." In other words, high-volume training not only doesn't produce better results, it may also lead to overtraining.
(Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Supplement 30(5): S115, 1998) addresses the training experience issue. As you'll recall, some have suggested that experienced trainers might benefit from higher volume. In other words, after you've been training for a while, you need increased volume to continue progressing - more is better. According to this study, those people should think anew.
The researchers recruited 40 adults who had been performing one set to muscular fatigue, using nine exercises, for a minimum of one year; average training time was six years. The participants were randomly assigned to either a one-set or three-set group; both groups did 8-12 reps to failure three days per week for 13 weeks.
Both groups significantly increased their one-rep maximum strength and endurance. There was no significant difference in the gains made by the two groups in the leg extension, leg curl, bench press, overhead press and arm curl. The researchers concluded: "These data indicate that 1 set of [resistance training] is equally as beneficial as 3 sets in experienced resistance trained adults."http://www.cbass.com/NEWEVIDE.HTM(Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Supplement 30(5): S274, 1998), also 6 months long, showed significant increases in circulating insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in both one-set (34%) and three-set (30%) groups. Dr. Carpinelli, who teaches the neuromuscular aspects of strength training at Adelphi University (Long Island, New York), says, "IGFs are multifunctional protein hormones, whose production in the liver and other tissues is stimulated by growth hormones." They are important because, "They stimulate glucose and amino acid uptake, protein and DNA synthesis, and growth of bones, cartilage, and soft tissue."
The researchers concluded: "The elevation of IGFs is no greater with high- than low-volume resistance training." That's noteworthy, because it's generally believed that high-set training results in more growth hormone secretion. (See Growth Hormone Synergism by Douglas M. Crist, Ph.D., 2nd Edition, 1991.
so if 12 sets are enough to cause an overtraining trend after 10 weeks imagine what ur 18 sets are doing...THE EFFECT OF WEIGHT TRAINING VOLUME ON HORMONAL OUTPUT AND MUSCULAR SIZE AND FUNCTION
27 experienced male college-aged subjects
three groups: a low volume group (3 sets per muscle group, each muscle group trained once a week)
medium volume group (6 sets per muscle group, each muscle group trained once a week)
high volume group (12 sets per muscle group, each muscle group trained once a week).
The only difference in the training protocols between the groups was the number of sets per exercise
Study lasted 10 weeks.
All three groups significantly improved in all measures except for vertical jump, but there were no significant differences between groups for any measure. Urinary testosterone/cortisol ratio showed a trend towards overtraining as training volume increased.
While the high volume group showed a hormonal trend towards overtraining, these results should be viewed with caution, because urinary concentrations of hormones were measured, which may not reflect blood levels.
ask ur trainer/big friends to come up with any kinda data or studies that support high volume....
Last edited by geoffgarcia; 06-08-2004 at 05:12 PM.
well, volume wise i do workouts that would make some people puke half the way through them. but they key is that i dont neccesarily go to failure on every set. usually only on my last two exercises or so i go to failure. most of the time im lifting as much weight as i can for a few reps, then at teh end il choose an exercise to where i fail each set at around 10 reps and perform 3 to 4 sets of that. my workouts average 20 to 25set a workout..
but thats 20 to 25 sets for legs and there are 2 large muscle groups and one small one that can take alot of punishment.
then 20 to 25 sets for back and the back consist of 3 large muscles primarily ill also work my biceps too
and then i do about 20 sets for chest triceps and shoulders. those are my 3 main workouts and they have been working wonders for me.
so its all a matter of what ur body can handle
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lol damn...all these sets, up the intensity. Basically you have a choice: low(er) intensity high volume workouts, and high intensity low volume workouts. I'd rather take the more efficient route.
There are plenty of big guys who use few sets, the biggest on this forum as far as I know.
and who would that be
Well it's been a while since I've been around a lot, and I don't check the pics sections unless I am extremely bored. But, chris mason would be a case in point.
I'd consider my workout today high intensity high volume...Originally Posted by ace dogg
This is what we did today...I'm working out with someone competing for a show. And has won many local shows in the past...
135x12 (warm up)
Don't you think that you could cut out a lot of those sets and lift more? If so, don't you feel then you'd be lifting more intensely?
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well, to me everything up to 315 looks like the warmup, your actual working sets I would only count 315x5, 335x1, 345x1 and the other stuff would be for a pump and cooldown type thing (something you like to do, but dont have to do everyday)Originally Posted by beachmuscles
so to me that would count as three sets.
again, loits of warmup here.....I would only call 95x6, 105x4 as wroking sets and 80x7, 90x5 as working....Originally Posted by beachmuscles
so I really only see 7 working sets here, with a lot of extra warming up that you might not need, and some cool down sets for a pump on flat bench that is good for flushing the muscle with blood and releasing toxins and such.
I would think if you wamred up a bit differently you could be doing MUCH more weight on your working sets.
I use about 7 working sets on a bulk myself, so we train pretty similiar, but you are using a LOT of wamups bro'
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How about this:Originally Posted by beachmuscles
warmup: 135x10, 225x8, 275x6
Just because you don't feel sore the next day, doesn't mean you didn't work your muscles. Lifting for soreness is not the best way to go about lifting.
I know Geoff always backs up his stuff and always has sources, but.. I have read the lower volume/high intensity thing before and tried it. For atleast 3 months I did a routine where I would only do one set on each exercise I did, up to 4 lifts per body part. I saw results, but not satisfactory. A month or two ago I stayed with the same lifts and changed to 3 sets on every lift. I have seen very good gains since then. Just by looking in the mirror I can see a difference and my biceps have grown about a half inch in the last month or two. I guess it's just to each his own.
hey beach, no offense but IMHO i think that you're
A: wearing your muscles out and depleting them of energy before working sets
B: depleting them of crucial glycogen that helps them repair bigger and faster
this of course is assuming that u r going for size and strength in your workout.
if not, ignore this
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