Saturday, November 11, 2006

Volume kills!

Like any tool - Volume- must be applied correctly.

I was speaking with a trainer at the gym where I lift and he was saying that after 10 years in personal training that his joints were not doing well and after telling him that I have been in and around the fitness industry for 17+ years - he was sure that I would be a hurting unit. Well - to his surprise I had to relate to him that not was I doing quite well joint wise even after back surgery and other injuries -but that I was competing in powerlifting and feeling great.

Volume is a tool like any other and it can be applied well or applied poorly. I have used the Russian Squat Routine for my deadllift (twice) - this is a volume routine designed for the squat and most people don't do well on it for the deadlift - I put 100 pounds on my deadlift performing near back to back RSR cycles. Other powerlifting routines use volume - Shieko, Smolov, and others use enough volume to nearly kill most people that attempt them.

So - Volume works - right? Yes - but there is a price to be paid.

A previous blog evaluates the long term impact of exercises - volume is a piece of the puzzle. It is a form of chronic stress on the body. When you look at the fact that form can deteriorate during high rep/high volume work it should come as no surprise that any stress - no matter how good it is supposed to be for you - can have a negative impact.

Volume can be used periodically as an overload but is should be used sparingly - maybe one or two cycles a year at the most.
Otherwise- training should be low rep and low volume.

My deadlift routine today - Three work reps - 515 x 1, 535 x 1, 515 x 1 - finished with an easy set of three and that was it for the deadlift. I will usually accumulate between 3 - 10 work reps on a given exercise and I usually only perform three exercises per workout - sometimes 4 or 5.

Proper cycling of intensity, volume and exercise selection will take care of progression and health. I tend to lift heavy but low in volume - balancing the volume and intensity.

How is your volume?


Anonymous said...

brett, good post. I think a lot of the volume routines revolve around adding muscle mass as well into the equation. i.e takes mass to move mass.

if one is not interested in increasing weight classes than the idea of higher intensity and lower volume training makes a lot of sense. again, up to the sticking point where you can no longer makes gains at that level.

and also, absolute numbers play a part here as well. when your top end is 600-800 plus the game is very different and continual use of those loads, regardless of volume takes its toll.

good stuff.

Anonymous said...

ITS RIF. I hadnt signed out of tracys blog. gotta get used to that!LOL!

Brett Jones said...

We will see about that sticking point - but that may be the area where a volume routine (like the RSR) is applied the back to low volume. And a big yes to big weights having a toll regardless of volume. And that is where proper cycling comes in.

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