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  1. #1
    Registered User PiperBill's Avatar
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    Volume vs Maxing out. What makes you most "achy"?

    Question for you more mature over 35’ers. What (if anything) gives you the most aches and pains in joints and tendons? Volume, with high rep, medium weight, or maxing out on weight?

    For me it looks like working at close to max weight is hardest on joints. I have been on 531 for over a year now and kind of gotten used to the constant aches. Last week I tried the so called “German Volume” on squats and did 10x10 reps at 60%. Apart from some srs DOMS for a couple of days I have had no knee or hip pain and am a lot less stiff than I have been.

    Just wondering how this is for others around my age?

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    Registered User jdtemple's Avatar
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    I don't know. It all hurts after a while. I beat myself up pretty badly recently doing a lot of high rep sets. I'm finishing up 3 weeks completely off, and it looks like I'm going to have to take at least one more week off to stop hurting.

    I plan on giving 5/3/1 a try when I get back at it.
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    Registered User dmacdonal9's Avatar
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    I suppose whichever you're less accustomed to.
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    Why do you ask? Are you writing a book about me?



    J/K, the heavy stuff makes my muscles sorer, volume makes my joints sorer. That's why I lift heavy.
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  5. #5
    anonymous
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    Maxing out, especially if I grind or fail a lift, is absolute killer for me and always has been. Heavy squats kill my elbows for days, heavy leg press is death to my knees, heavy benching used to have my tricep tendons feeling like sun dried beef jerky and heavy deads have my herniated discs feeling like theyre about to re-rupture

    Volume pains are more 'superficial' and are rumbling warning shots that something might tear if I don't back down on the work so I never ignore a pec tingle or a weird twinge in my bicep when I've been hammering it too much
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  6. #6
    Clearly Irrational blue9steel's Avatar
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    A volume workout makes me feel pumped but exhausted. A strength workout tends to make me feel sore but energized.

    If you're constantly aching I'd say your program or nutrition aren't right as you're likely creating too much training stimulus for your recovery abilities.
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    Has new batteries! DuracellBunny's Avatar
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    It's not that simple a question.

    Do people train that bodypart/lift once, twice or 3 times a week?
    Do people have structured progression built in?
    Do people do microcycles?
    What kind of delta V do people have (how quickly do they change direction or bounce?)
    How big is their range of motion?
    Which phase of the lift is the most difficult for that person?
    Etc
    Etc
    Etc

    Lots of factors effect this, it's not that simple a question.
    Screw nature; my body will do what I DAMN WELL tell it to do!

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    Registered User Tmax55's Avatar
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    I think he is asking each one of us as individuals not looking for a hard rule.

    For me, I train different areas of my body differently right now - I'm doing relatively low rep DL's and medium rep Squats...I'm doing higher rep chest and upper body. Medium rep squats seem to make me most sore - and high rep upper body makes my muscles most sore...low rep upper body wrecks havoc with my elbow joints, which is why I shy away from it.
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    Has new batteries! DuracellBunny's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tmax55 View Post
    I think he is asking each one of us as individuals not looking for a hard rule.
    For most people, it's a chronic issue, not an acute one. Microtrauma accumulates until you get the aches and pains, as opposed to DOMS. Depending on how a programme is structured, the microtrauma is managed by changes due to microphases etc.

    Hypertrophy due to muscular microtrauma can be induced in many different ways and so can aches and pains. Medium weight, max weight or whatever, can be programmed in such a way as to minimise aches and pains. That was my point.

    As a personal example, I can do heavy skull crushers for up to 6 weeks without problems, but I develop tendinitis after that, so I only do them for 6 weeks at a time.
    Screw nature; my body will do what I DAMN WELL tell it to do!

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  10. #10
    Clearly Irrational blue9steel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DuracellBunny View Post
    Hypertrophy due to muscular microtrauma can be induced in many different ways and so can aches and pains. Medium weight, max weight or whatever, can be programmed in such a way as to minimise aches and pains. That was my point.
    For me, alternating between volume and strength solves a lot of problems.
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  11. #11
    psychosomatic quietchef's Avatar
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    Now I'm significantly younger than you, OP, but:

    For joint pain, it usually means that I haven't been taking my daily half dose of joint supplement (osteo biflex, half is enough to keep me pain/ache free).

    Tendon pain comes from volume or movement while extended (Skullcrushers vs cable tri pressdowns).

    Muscle pain only seems to happen when I go to extremes of low/med weights then jump to a max or max for a triple.

    Recovery has a lot to do with all three variables. So between rest, sleep and nutrition, theres plenty to consider in the equation.

    Hope this helps.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by jdtemple View Post
    I don't know. It all hurts after a while.
    my findings also
    have tried out both on deloads to ascertain which causes the most issues
    I have tried volume and nothing heavy and on alternate deloads have tried a few heavy reps and PR attempts
    my findings are inconclusive - either can cause aches and pains if you work hard enough at them.
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  13. #13
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    Both! Doing too much anything will make my shoulders flare up. Doing pullups has done my elbow in twice because I can only do 3 or 4 and I guess its too heavy when I have bad elbow tendons.
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  14. #14
    High Plains Lifter Mark1T's Avatar
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    They both do, but volume makes me hurt more and all over, like Bo Jackson ran me over like he did Brian Bosworth back in the day.

    After reading Half's painful metaphors, I thought that's a good way to describe pain.
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    fat fukc Fishman15's Avatar
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    Good question and I'm sure there are several variables as to why one is more than the other for each person. For me personally...I am much more concerned with lifting something too heavy before I'm ready. I don't mind the volume...I use it to "grease the wheel" so to speak. But if I went into a high percentage of my max weight in a particular exercise as quickly as almost anyone else I see in the gym...I'm in trouble. That's a recipe for disaster for me. My joints/tendons/ligaments just can't take it and I warm up/stretch more than anyone I know in the gym. I also have taken just about every joint supplement there is. I'm wondering if it is because I have only recently within the last couple years begun lifting seriously compared to many here who have been lifting for decades.
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    when i have done a low volume program with heavy weight switching to a high volume program makes me hurt.
    If I am doing a high volume program and then do some lower volume much heavier stuff i hurt then too.
    If I stick to one, high or low volume I adjust pretty quickly within a week.
    If I do both high and low volume I tend to avoid achiness altogether.

    Anyway I don't do any warm up or stretching since that just seems to hurt strength. In fact the last month I did heavy lifting I walked into the gym and would squat 85% of 1 rep max for 4 as my first set every day.
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    Neither and/or both.

    It depends on how much time I've had off between each workout.

    Comebacks hurt like hell no matter what. When I'm constant I usually don't get any DOMs.
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    It's impossible to draw any conclusion on this. That wasn't my point anyway. It looks like everyone has their own experience though I suspect going heavy all the time takes the most toll on joints and tendons. DOMS on the other hand is just part of the deal so I was not concerned with that.

    I get the idea of "I depends what you are used to" but if you are constantly pushing the 1RM upwards then you never really get used to it... or?

    I did the 10x10 Squat and bench workout again yesterday for a total of 11,500kg in 1.5 hours. It's only the second time and today I am way less sore than I was after last time.
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