volume vs intensity

Posted: February 11, 2014 in fitness, Muscle Building
Tags: , , , , ,

The never-ending debate refuses to go away; die-hard Mentzerites swear by heavy weights and low volume/frequency all of the time where Arnoldites prefer high volume and frequency with lower intensity.

And then there’s the Tom Platz school of thought which attempts to combine both.

Here are my views on the subject: for a muscle to truly adapt for lasting gains I think using both heavy and moderate weights should be used, but doing about 80% of training within your preferred area of improvement (size or strength).

I’ve found that periodizing by limiting a number of weeks to only one modality is far less effective than doing multiple modalities all the time and just altering the ratio of strength-to-hypertrophy training.

Hormonal action should also be considered. Heavier weights with greater rest intervals has been correlated with increased testosterone while shorter rest periods and slightly lower weights has been correlated with higher growth hormone. This speaks again to my suggestion of including both to try to get the best of everything.

So a typical training day for me might include:

  • BB Bench Press: 5 sets x 7,5,3,3,3 reps w/ 2 min rest between reps
  • DB flyes: 4 sets x 8 reps w/45 sec rest
  • Cable Flyes (from low angle): 3 sets x 15 reps w/30 sec rest
  • When training for strength I might add in a few more heavy sets and take out a couple of the lighter ones, or for hypertrophy I might do the opposite.

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