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    Is this Too Much Volume for a Natural?

    Hey everyone,

    So, I've been trying out high frequency/low volume training for about 5 weeks now, since I was really stalling and maybe even going backwards with a "bro split". I've made decent strength gains, but of course in this short time haven't noticed any hypertrophy. It is a 6 days a week push/pull.

    My simple question is, does my program seem like too much volume for a natural lifter? I've attached an example of two days from my program to give you an idea of what I've been doing (I can't post the entire pdf here yet). This is basically the formula I've been following for the six days, but I slightly increase reps/lower weight through the week, and focus a little bit more on isolation moves on the last two workouts. I would greatly appreciate some feedback and opinion.

    Here are some quick stats for me:

    HT: 6' 2.5", WT: 207, AGE: 38 (trying to put on lean muscle)

    Gains over the last 5 weeks:

    Dead: 295-325 X6, Squat: 195-210 X6, Bench: 200-215 X6, Pull-ups: 10-13, Barbell Curl: 85-100 X10

    Thanks in advance!
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    Last edited by AndyMac499; 12-02-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User KidFreeze's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post
    Hey everyone,

    So, I've been trying out high frequency/low volume training for about 5 weeks now, since I was really stalling and maybe even going backwards with a "bro split". I've made decent strength gains, but of course in this short time haven't noticed any hypertrophy. It is a 6 days a week push/pull.

    My simple question is, does my program seem like too much volume for a natural lifter? I've attached an example of two days from my program to give you an idea of what I've been doing (I can't post the entire pdf here yet). This is basically the formula I've been following for the six days, but I slightly increase reps/lower weight throw the week, and focus a little bit more on isolation moves on the last two workouts. I would greatly appreciate some feedback and opinion.

    Here are some quick stats for me:

    HT: 6' 2.5", WT: 207, AGE: 38 (trying to put on lean muscle)

    Gains over the last 5 weeks:

    Dead: 295-325 X6, Squat: 195-210 X6, Bench: 200-215 X6, Pull-ups: 10-13, Barbell Curl: 85-100 X10

    Thanks in advance!

    How about give legs their own day? I like Push/Pull as well, but I give legs there own day. So it's Push/Pull/Legs
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    Registered User AndyMac499's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KidFreeze View Post
    How about give legs their own day? I like Push/Pull as well, but I give legs there own day. So it's Push/Pull/Legs
    Hi KidFreeze,

    Yeah I've wondered about this. What are the main advantages in giving legs their own day, or is it just personal preference?
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    Registered User KidFreeze's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post
    Hi KidFreeze,

    Yeah I've wondered about this. What are the main advantages in giving legs their own day, or is it just personal preference?
    Hi,

    Just personal reference. For example I like to put deadlifts on back day. Some like to do it on leg day, but squats then deadlifting is too much for me. I just like to concentrate on a good leg day, and that leaves room for my Push/Pull days.
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    Volume doesn’t look to be too much to me. And I personally run a straight push/pull rotation with squats on push day and DL on Pull day. Sure you can isolate legs on their own day, but I don’t think your program is lacking because of that minor detail
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    Originally Posted by Kylehero View Post
    Volume doesn’t look to be too much to me. And I personally run a straight push/pull rotation with squats on push day and DL on Pull day. Sure you can isolate legs on their own day, but I don’t think your program is lacking because of that minor detail
    Ok Kylehero, thanks so much for the input. Yeah, personally I like splitting up legs into multiple days. I seem to take less of a CNS hit, even with doing squats then deads the next day. My deadlift for one has increased more than anything, and I think it's because I can focus all of my energy on that single set per workout. I know I have a long way to go on strength, but of course it would be nice to see a little bit of gains in the mirror along the way

    One issue I'll mention however for me, is the fact that my workouts now take MUCH longer, and I can't figure out exactly why. Maybe it's just because of all of the multiple body part work, or, the fact that with my home gym I'm constantly having to switch plates from barbell to dumbbell and sometimes back again. So this aspect I'm NOT liking at all, because my lunch break, which I use to workout on, is 1 hour. I know some of us only get a 1/2 hr, and I'm thankful for it, but with my bro split I was banging out, say, a high volume shoulder day in less than a 1/2 hr.
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    Registered User Kylehero's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post
    One issue I'll mention however for me, is the fact that my workouts now take MUCH longer, and I can't figure out exactly why. Maybe it's just because of all of the multiple body part work, or, the fact that with my home gym I'm constantly having to switch plates from barbell to dumbbell and sometimes back again. So this aspect I'm NOT liking at all, because my lunch break, which I use to workout on, is 1 hour. I know some of us only get a 1/2 hr, and I'm thankful for it, but with my bro split I was banging out, say, a high volume shoulder day in less than a 1/2 hr.
    I deal with the same issue with my home gym, but I’ve also scaled back the amount of exercises on any given day to accommodate for this. My thought is what I lose in variety, I gain in consistency (convenience of home gym, less likely to miss workouts).
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    Originally Posted by Kylehero View Post
    I deal with the same issue with my home gym, but I’ve also scaled back the amount of exercises on any given day to accommodate for this. My thought is what I lose in variety, I gain in consistency (convenience of home gym, less likely to miss workouts).
    Ok, so if I'm understanding you correctly, are you simplifying everything as much as possible, or reducing volume per workout?

    Of course with my bro split I would try to "work all of the angles" and do multiple variations for a given body part, but now that's not really possible with the PP program. I do try to keep it simple, but as you know, the back for example is made up of multiple muscles. So, just doing deads one day and rows the next, or lat pulldowns another, doesn't seem to be enough. Thoughts?

    And of course these may be getting off topic, but I know there are also things like shorter rest times and supersetting if you want, which I know can speed up a workout. However, it seems like most of the literature keeps saying "Keep things simple, lift heavy, rest up to 2 minutes between sets".
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    u havent mentioned the most important thing. are u eating to show gains on the scale? You probably want to be seeing like .5% gain per week on the scale or else all of the above discussion may be pointless

    luckily the math is easy for you being around 200lbs...u want to gain about a lb per week
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    Originally Posted by John Prophet View Post
    u havent mentioned the most important thing. are u eating to show gains on the scale? You probably want to be seeing like .5% gain per week on the scale or else all of the above discussion may be pointless

    luckily the math is easy for you being around 200lbs...u want to gain about a lb per week
    My bad. The macros I try to follow are:

    350g carbs, 240g protein, 90g fat.
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    Definitely not too much volume for anyone lifting more than a few months. It seems strange to add "for a natural" onto your title, the vast majority of us are naturals.

    Also I like doing legs along with other upper body lifts. Since I lift at my home gym the main options for legs are different variations of squats so don't need a separate day for that.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post
    My bad. The macros I try to follow are:

    350g carbs, 240g protein, 90g fat.
    ok, but what i was getting at is.....is the scale moving? if not, then isnt it hard to expect to gain mass? I would have wanted to gain like 4-5lbs over those 5 weeks. If the scale is about the same then those 3100-3200 cals might just be your "maintenance" calories. if i werent moving the scale id bump up the cals. It easier to burn fat than to gain muscle so go ahead and gain that .5%/week while your trying to add muscle. If/when u add some fat, lose it later and end up with a net muscle gain
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    Definitely not too much volume for anyone lifting more than a few months. It seems strange to add "for a natural" onto your title, the vast majority of us are naturals.

    Also I like doing legs along with other upper body lifts. Since I lift at my home gym the main options for legs are different variations of squats so don't need a separate day for that.
    Well, as you might know there is a pretty distinct difference in how naturals and enhanced lifters need to train, so I just want to be crystal clear with my title so to better help you all get the facts . And you know what we are when we assume. Lol.
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    Originally Posted by John Prophet View Post
    ok, but what i was getting at is.....is the scale moving? if not, then isnt it hard to expect to gain mass? I would have wanted to gain like 4-5lbs over those 5 weeks. If the scale is about the same then those 3100-3200 cals might just be your "maintenance" calories. if i werent moving the scale id bump up the cals. It easier to burn fat than to gain muscle so go ahead and gain that .5%/week while your trying to add muscle. If/when u add some fat, lose it later and end up with a net muscle gain
    Oh it's moving alright. I was 196 at the end of my cut, toward the end of September. 207 now. I went back to my "bro split" training for a few weeks, then decided I wasn't seeing any real strength gains and it was time for an overall change.
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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post
    Ok, so if I'm understanding you correctly, are you simplifying everything as much as possible, or reducing volume per workout?

    Of course with my bro split I would try to "work all of the angles" and do multiple variations for a given body part, but now that's not really possible with the PP program. I do try to keep it simple, but as you know, the back for example is made up of multiple muscles. So, just doing deads one day and rows the next, or lat pulldowns another, doesn't seem to be enough. Thoughts?

    And of course these may be getting off topic, but I know there are also things like shorter rest times and supersetting if you want, which I know can speed up a workout. However, it seems like most of the literature keeps saying "Keep things simple, lift heavy, rest up to 2 minutes between sets".
    Every movement incorporates multiple muscles, so unless your goal is to be a hard-core bodybuilder (in which case you wouldn’t be looking to spend less time in the gym, you’d be wanting to spend a lot more) a good program of compound lifts can give you nearly everything you need. Then, on days when you DO have more time, you can add in some more specific isolation exercises as accessories.

    And to confirm what others have said about your total volume, if most of your lifting is taking place on your lunch hour, it would be very difficult for you to be overdoing it.
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