It’s a volume play

arnold-concentration-curlJust started a new program in the gym this week; a twelve-week, high-volume hypertrophy workout. High is always relative of course, but this program is definitely high volume for me, working all muscle groups two-times per week over six days.

It’s been a long time since I worked out more than five days a week consistently, and truth be told, I am pretty stoked. Not least of which is because training days means carbs! And who doesn’t love carbs?

The challenge for me with this workout will be moderation.

Ideally, every workout for me would be to just go into the gym, hit the weights hard in search of new PRs, and leave it all there; and I have worked out like this in the past with some success. The problem with that style of training is that you burn out real quick, leaving yourself pretty beat-up and in need of extended recovery. In truth, it’s largely this approach to my historical training that has me in the injury-riddled state I am now.

While moderation is not a word we feel entirely comfortable using around the gym, it is a critical factor in the effectiveness of macro-level programming. If we simply leave everything we have in the gym on each workout, not only does tomorrow’s workout suffer, our ability to repeat the same workout later in the week is severely compromised. More over, in a twelve week program, without some degree of moderation, we leave no runway for progression. As we all know, it’s sustained progressive overload that really forces change, not occasional peak overload (although there is a place for that too).

I won’t divulge the specifics of the full program, but here’s the split:

Monday: Legs

Tuesday: Chest/Shoulders

Wednesday: Back

Thursday: Legs alternate

Friday: Back revisited and Arms

Saturday: Chest/Shoulders

Each workout has a mix of low, medium and high-rep work, peppered with some overload principles like weighted eccentrics, iso-holds, forced reps and partials. As I say, the key challenge for me is to achieve exactly the right level of intensity for every set and rep in consideration of the full week’s programming.

I completed the opening leg workout last night and pretty much nailed it! Weight selection was challenging, yet intelligently moderated. Reps were tight and controlled, with slow, steady eccentric movements with good force production on the concentric phase. The whole workout was actually a lot of fun, pain free, and exactly as Adam would have wanted me to perform it.

Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks after all?

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