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  1. #1
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Transitioning from a high volume/frequency routine to a lower vol/freq one

    The eternal question: will I lose my gains?

    Same style routine (U/L). Not low volume, just lower.
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  2. #2
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    If total workload is lower, you are highly likely to plateau

    Actually losing - probably not since maintenance is much easier than gaining
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  3. #3
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    But I’ve been plateauing like crazy on my current routine, hence the switch.

    I can’t find an U/L (need a 4 day routine) with as high a workload as Viking’s, so I kind of feel trapped in this routine even though it’s not working for me anymore.
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  4. #4
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Your choices are
    1. deload / strategic deconditioning - then resume with a lower volume routine.
    2. add more workload

    You can also check that you are eating enough to gain weight and enough protein to build muscle.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    I’ve been averaging maintenance for a few years and made great lean gains doing so. Same weight, more muscle less fat. Enough protein, absolutely. I don’t do bulks... trying to stay on this roll.

    I’m planning a deload once my training cycle refreshes next week, and I’d be down for more workload but I can only do 4 days/wk (and want to lift all 4 days) so... if you have any ideas throw em my way I guess.
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  6. #6
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Well if you reach another plateau without any real advancement then I would consider distinct mass gain phases. Recomping is inefficient and you may reach a point where it's just not adequate to make further progress.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    You mean not even deloading (possibly more frequently) and applying new and more stimuli won’t get me anywhere past a point? There’s no way to keep milking this?
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  8. #8
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I don't know. Everyone reaches the point where progress is not possible by inefficient means. Or at least asymptotes towards such a point. I can't tell exactly where that point is for myself, never mind remotely for someone else over the internet.

    If more effort / volume is possible, try that. If not then calorie levels are about the only remaining bottleneck.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Do you know of any 4 day routines with the volume and effort amped up?
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    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Nope, I always write my own routines. But you could add an extra set per bodypart per week to your existing routine.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    I’ll give that a shot. The program works with a rep goal progression scheme i.e. 32 across 4, should that become 40 across 5?

    How about cycling in and out lifts that stall and replacing them with variations to address weaknesses and cover injuries? I ditched conventional DLs and switched in the trap bar for several months, but I’m back on them now and hitting PRs with good form like nobody’s business.
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  12. #12
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Could be. I don't really like rep goals - I would prefer to be in control of the number of set and the exertion per set.

    Exercise variation does play a part but IMO is some way down the list of things that may help results. I personally change exercises every mesocycle (about every 8 weeks)
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  13. #13
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    Barbell medicine hypertrophy II would be a 4 day with a big step up in effective volume.

    I'd eat more too.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Well, I don’t really wing it with the reps. I go in with a goal of how many I’m aiming to do and how to split it up, and every exercise has individual needs. For example I know that squat set #2 is always easier than the first, so I might do 7 and 9 and 8 for the remainder. Bench press lends itself more to straight sets of 8. I don’t always hit what I aim for, sometimes I do, and sometimes I’ll go beyond. If not for a rep goal, how would I know when to move up?

    That being said about variety, I did replace barbell OHP with Dumbbell yesterday and had a great workout. I was able to go a lot heavier than I anticipated and felt some A+ delt contractions, more than what I can say about the barbell. I want to stick with these guys for a while but DB progression is obviously slower, so... hmm.

    I also knocked some weight off the curl bar with the intention to go to full extention each rep without cheating, cause it was getting kinda ugly. Hoping form tweaks+increased ROM can help me too.

    Edit: Should prolly note that I’ve been on Viking’s for over a year now, doing the same stuff the whole time with some occasional adjustments for injuries.
    Last edited by Xpiro; 12-06-2019 at 04:30 AM.
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  15. #15
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Barbell medicine hypertrophy II would be a 4 day with a big step up in effective volume.

    I'd eat more too.
    That’s the one I can’t afford, lol. Unless someone is willing to share it.

    I don't do bulk/cut cycles bc they’re unsafe for my mental and thereby physical health, so if I want to retain any shred of sanity then progress = limited to a recomp.
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    Registered User Filmbuff81's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    That’s the one I can’t afford, lol. Unless someone is willing to share it.

    I don't do bulk/cut cycles bc they’re unsafe for my mental and thereby physical health, so if I want to retain any shred of sanity then progress = limited to a recomp.
    You may need to switch to a linear periodized model.

    Reps down, weight up week to week for a few week and then deload or repeat.

    It’ll allow you to continue to make progress and cycle your volume a bit.

    Or you could do an RP Male Physique Template which has quite a bit of volume.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    You may need to switch to a linear periodized model.

    Reps down, weight up week to week for a few week and then deload or repeat.

    It’ll allow you to continue to make progress and cycle your volume a bit.

    Or you could do an RP Male Physique Template which has quite a bit of volume.
    Do you know of a 4 day periodized program primarily for hypertrophy?

    I can’t find any of the physique templates for free... I seriously am too broke to pay for a program. I don’t need all of the videos or a book and etc., just the routine...

    I’m considering eperimenting with making a 5th day fit inside my schedule so I can maybe get on an ULPPL, if that would be a fruitful option, so we’ll see how that goes. Might be able to make it happen.
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    Do you know of a 4 day periodized program primarily for hypertrophy?

    I can’t find any of the physique templates for free... I seriously am too broke to pay for a program. I don’t need all of the videos or a book and etc., just the routine...

    I’m considering eperimenting with making a 5th day fit inside my schedule so I can maybe get on an ULPPL, if that would be a fruitful option, so we’ll see how that goes. Might be able to make it happen.
    Well you could take your current program and just institute that for your compounds and then double progression on isolation movements.

    If you’re open to 5 days, then there’s Eric helms intermediate routine which is L/U/L/P/P

    And that’s a free one in Andy Morgan’s website.

    If you want to know more on the RP stuff just send me a message.

    Edit: Lyle McDonald has his generic bulking routine too, and I believe there’s a higher rep version kicking around too where you’d work 8-12 reps before going down to the usual 6-8.
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    Reminiscent of the search for the Holy Grail)))
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  20. #20
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    Well you could take your current program and just institute that for your compounds and then double progression on isolation movements.

    If you’re open to 5 days, then there’s Eric helms intermediate routine which is L/U/L/P/P

    And that’s a free one in Andy Morgan’s website.

    If you want to know more on the RP stuff just send me a message.

    Edit: Lyle McDonald has his generic bulking routine too, and I believe there’s a higher rep version kicking around too where you’d work 8-12 reps before going down to the usual 6-8.
    I was actually thinking about Lyle’s GBR when I made this thread. The thing about Viking’s too is that once I hit my rep goal (say 8 on 4 sets) I increase the weight and reduce reps and begin the cycle again. I usually work within 6-8 already, it’s just higher volume than Lyle’s.

    I’ll shoot you a message.
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    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Oleg1975K View Post
    Reminiscent of the search for the Holy Grail)))
    Feels like it.
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    @Filmbuff81 I don’t think that I can send a message until I’ve received at least one, DM me first?

    Seriously this place needs an app
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    I’ll give that a shot. The program works with a rep goal progression scheme i.e. 32 across 4, should that become 40 across 5?

    How about cycling in and out lifts that stall and replacing them with variations to address weaknesses and cover injuries? I ditched conventional DLs and switched in the trap bar for several months, but I’m back on them now and hitting PRs with good form like nobody’s business.
    I definitely like the idea of starting with your minimum effective volume and ramping up over time until you overreach, deload then repeat. Basically what Suffolk was suggesting. I just don’t think you’ll get very far doing that on Vikings U/L - an already high volume routine. You’re looking at starting at around 30 sets a workout with 8+ reps each set and then adding additional volume to that, which you won’t be able to do for very long. For reference, I’m running an U/L with similar starting volume to fierce 5 U/L (maybe sightly less) and I end up at a total volume similar to Vikings U/L (maybe slightly more) before needing to deload and then repeating the process.

    An option could be to reset your volume tolerance by deloading (or taking a week off etc) and starting with a program lower in volume, such as F5 U/L, and ramping up from there till you overreach. If you want to stick with Vikings you could reset your volume tolerance and just start with less volume than what he’s prescribed and ramp up from there too.

    Always if you can get away with doing less, do less (unless it’s for enjoyment purposes), otherwise you give yourself less room to work.
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    I definitely like the idea of starting with your minimum effective volume and ramping up over time until you overreach, deload then repeat. Basically what Suffolk was suggesting. I just don’t think you’ll get very far doing that on Vikings U/L - an already high volume routine. You’re looking at starting at around 30 sets a workout with 8+ reps each set and then adding additional volume to that, which you won’t be able to do for very long. For reference, I’m running an U/L with similar starting volume to fierce 5 U/L (maybe sightly less) and I end up at a total volume similar to Vikings U/L (maybe slightly more) before needing to deload and then repeating the process.

    An option could be to reset your volume tolerance by deloading (or taking a week off etc) and starting with a program lower in volume, such as F5 U/L, and ramping up from there till you overreach. If you want to stick with Vikings you could reset your volume tolerance and just start with less volume than what he’s prescribed and ramp up from there too.

    Always if you can get away with doing less, do less (unless it’s for enjoyment purposes), otherwise you give yourself less room to work.
    Maintenance Volume is super low so you could easily do this.
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  25. #25
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    I’m deloading starting Monday, so that’s taken care of. I thought about returning to F5 U/L (I ran it for over a year if not 2, hard to remember) but the progression scheme was too set-in-stone for my capabilities. I couldn’t increase reps/weight as prescribed and ended up resetting constantly and getting nowhere. I’m not a fan of the low compound frequency either, so...

    I was considering Viking’s ULPPL since hey, I’m already on his stuff anyway, but if you guys don’t think it’d be necessary then resetting volume tolerance is an option I didn’t consider. How should I go about it after deloading? Maybe I could replace a 32 across 4 rep goal scheme with like a 25 across 3 before increasing weight? And a 21 across 3 instead of 30 across 3? Then how would I go about building it back up... reset the weight and return to the normal volume scheme?

    Something different could be fun too, but I really enjoy this one when I make it work. I subbed out barbell OHP with DB the other day to see if it helps me any and I only had to drop 10% of the weight, love the lift, good idea or nah?
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  26. #26
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Follow up question: I had a low back flareup (chronic issue) and if I’m honest with myself, it may b dangerous for me to perform squats and deadlifts on my deload at all, even with a lower volume. Should I skip them and do everything else as planned or find non painful variations like zerchers (no real spinal loading, even front squats are too painful to do) and like... no clue, light weighted hyperextensions may be my only go-to. I’m real fked up you guys... at this point I’m not only stalling but losing strength in a lot of areas. New or altered program for sure, but damn I’ve been ignoring my body’s recovery needs for years.
    Last edited by Xpiro; 12-08-2019 at 12:24 AM.
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  27. #27
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    I’m deloading starting Monday, so that’s taken care of. I thought about returning to F5 U/L (I ran it for over a year if not 2, hard to remember) but the progression scheme was too set-in-stone for my capabilities. I couldn’t increase reps/weight as prescribed and ended up resetting constantly and getting nowhere. I’m not a fan of the low compound frequency either, so...

    I was considering Viking’s ULPPL since hey, I’m already on his stuff anyway, but if you guys don’t think it’d be necessary then resetting volume tolerance is an option I didn’t consider. How should I go about it after deloading? Maybe I could replace a 32 across 4 rep goal scheme with like a 25 across 3 before increasing weight? And a 21 across 3 instead of 30 across 3? Then how would I go about building it back up... reset the weight and return to the normal volume scheme?

    Something different could be fun too, but I really enjoy this one when I make it work. I subbed out barbell OHP with DB the other day to see if it helps me any and I only had to drop 10% of the weight, love the lift, good idea or nah?
    Sure, you could start with a set less on each exercise as your base sets and add onto that each week. I would advise against ‘resetting’ the weight when increasing volume as that could be counterproductive. Your goal is to increase total workload over time, not just volume. Increasing volume and decreasing intensity is like taking a step forward and another step back. As you probably know, intensity and volume directly affect each other - 4x8 requires a lighter load to maintain reps across than 3x8 when RPE is matched. A good way to increase total workload would be to have base sets at a static, unvaried intensity with volume increases coming in the form of additional sets at a lower intensity (drop sets, back off sets and the like). An example for you in Vikings U/L:

    Week 1: Bench press - 3 sets for 24 reps total (3x8)
    Week 2: Bench press - 3 sets for 24 reps total + back off set at 90% working weight for AMRAP (3x8 + 1xAMRAP @ 90%)
    Week 3: 3x8 + 1xAMRAP @ 90% + 1xAMRAP @ 80%

    And so on...

    Essentially you don’t want to alter your base sets as these are what you measure your progress against. The lower intensity AMRAP sets are not measured for progression and are simply added for increasing total workload.

    Read for more info on this method and a sample routine:
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...6639701&page=1

    As for your back, the obvious answer would be to avoid doing anything that would risk further complications...
    Last edited by leidenesLK; 12-08-2019 at 01:58 AM.
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    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Okay, I see. I incorporate drop sets occasionally on a whim but I like the structure. In terms of Viking’s, do you mean that I should reduce the 32 across 4 scheme to a 24/3 to compensate for the additional/ramped volume?

    What I meant to ask is if it would be useful to implement pain free variations of painful lifts on the deload, but I guess it doesn’t matter all that much as long as workload is low.
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    Okay, I see. I incorporate drop sets occasionally on a whim but I like the structure. In terms of Viking’s, do you mean that I should reduce the 32 across 4 scheme to a 24/3 to compensate for the additional/ramped volume?

    What I meant to ask is if it would be useful to implement pain free variations of painful lifts on the deload, but I guess it doesn’t matter all that much as long as workload is low.
    Not necessarily on a whim. You would either schedule the additional drop sets weekly/fortnightly or whenever you plateau (I prefer the former). The 24/3 was an example, but yes the idea is start on the lower end and work your way up.

    Sure, use pain free variations for the deload, but I don’t see how those issues will disappear when you resume normal training a week later. Might need to check your form.
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    Not necessarily on a whim. You would either schedule the additional drop sets weekly/fortnightly or whenever you plateau (I prefer the former). The 24/3 was an example, but yes the idea is start on the lower end and work your way up.

    Sure, use pain free variations for the deload, but I don’t see how those issues will disappear when you resume normal training a week later. Might need to check your form.
    Do you mean work up to more base set volume (not just drop sets)?At what point do you think it’d be appropriate to add on? Not sure if I should exceed 32 across 4 though.

    I’ve been through a lot of physical therapy and been very attentive and made a lot of changes, so my form is pretty spot on (immaculately vertical squat bar path every single rep? Not quite, but still). I just have chronic low back pain/tissue degeneration/tight hamstrings/some other explanation/diagnosis from a PT that I don’t exactly remember and have occasional flare ups that require me cycling out lifts. I expected it to happen again eventually, might just be in response to overuse. Always video recording and improving though.
    Last edited by Xpiro; 12-08-2019 at 07:34 PM.
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