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  1. #1
    Registered User doubletake11's Avatar
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    Chest progression

    Ive been training for 3 years and currently do 26 sets of chest and back each week, and my back has been progressing in both size and strength but my strength hasn’t improved much at all for chest. I know I am eating enough so I’m thinking about dropping to 22 sets of chest and do:

    Flat bench 4x6-8
    Incline DB 4x8-12
    Flat Cable flies 3x12-15

    Then the opposite for my second push workout (swapping incline and flat movements)


    Does this sound like a better idea?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Brandon2576's Avatar
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    If what you were doing wasn’t working before, I see no reason why not to try this. Go for it. Maybe it’ll work for you.
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    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    So what is your goal with chest training?
    It looks to be like a basic bodybuilding type program.
    To find what works for you personally you need to experiment with different exercises,angles,equipment,and training protocols.
    This can take some time as you need to give each program you try a fair amount of time say at least three months.
    Then determine if you benefited from the program.
    Before and after pictures can be helpful.
    A training log is a must to show exactly what your doing and if it helped you.
    Good luck.
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    Registered User leidenesLK's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by doubletake11 View Post
    Ive been training for 3 years and currently do 26 sets of chest and back each week, and my back has been progressing in both size and strength but my strength hasn’t improved much at all for chest. I know I am eating enough so I’m thinking about dropping to 22 sets of chest and do:

    Flat bench 4x6-8
    Incline DB 4x8-12
    Flat Cable flies 3x12-15

    Then the opposite for my second push workout (swapping incline and flat movements)


    Does this sound like a better idea?
    Volume and intensity are correlated. One goes up, the other goes down. No surprise that strength gains are hard to come by on 26 sets of chest a week. Reducing workload without detraining won’t do anything and could even cause regression. I’d take time off to reset your volume tolerance and come back at the lower end of the 10-20 set recommendation and add volume only as you stall.

    This is why it’s important to start off on as little volume as you need. Physiologically, it allows for sustained progress as you have greater room to increase workload adaptions without hitting your fatigue limit, but it’s the psychological benefits that go unnoticed. It’s common for someone to use excessive volume, prematurely stall, swap to a lower program based on correct advice, psychologically feel like they aren’t getting proper stimulus because they only know the feeling of high volume training and then proceed to waste time program hopping/tinkering with things that are either futile or counterproductive. All to emulate their clouded perception of what proper stimulus should feel like because they started off on too much.

    Always do as little as you need unless it’s for enjoyment, which adherence relies on.
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    Registered User Beaver2345's Avatar
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    nice thread
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    Registered User egsiue's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    Volume and intensity are correlated. One goes up, the other goes down. No surprise that strength gains are hard to come by on 26 sets of chest a week. Reducing workload without detraining won’t do anything and could even cause regression. I’d take time off to reset your volume tolerance and come back at the lower end of the 10-20 set recommendation and add volume only as you stall.

    This is why it’s important to start off on as little volume as you need. Physiologically, it allows for sustained progress as you have greater room to increase workload adaptions without hitting your fatigue limit, but it’s the psychological benefits that go unnoticed. It’s common for someone to use excessive volume, prematurely stall, swap to a lower program based on correct advice, psychologically feel like they aren’t getting proper stimulus because they only know the feeling of high volume training and then proceed to waste time program hopping/tinkering with things that are either futile or counterproductive. All to emulate their clouded perception of what proper stimulus should feel like because they started off on too much.

    Always do as little as you need unless it’s for enjoyment, which adherence relies on.
    I had a similar question with reducing volume, but What difference would it make if you just slightly reduced the amount of volume you are doing, and didn’t take time off before making the change. Wouldn’t this allow you to gain more muscle since recovery and progressive overload is better? I’m just confused why your saying op could potentially regress. Obviously if volume and intensity dropped then gains could be lost, but if intensity is increased due to better recovery from less volume, wouldn’t that allow for better muscle/strength gains?
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  7. #7
    Registered User leidenesLK's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by egsiue View Post
    I had a similar question with reducing volume, but What difference would it make if you just slightly reduced the amount of volume you are doing, and didn’t take time off before making the change. Wouldn’t this allow you to gain more muscle since recovery and progressive overload is better? I’m just confused why your saying op could potentially regress. Obviously if volume and intensity dropped then gains could be lost, but if intensity is increased due to better recovery from less volume, wouldn’t that allow for better muscle/strength gains?
    It’s a great question. You typically need greater workload each session to keep progressive overload going. Whether that’s a rep, a set, extra lbs etc - it’s all increased workload.

    How I see it is like this - when people add sets to increase workload, they make the mistake of attaching it to their ‘base’ sets, which directly affects intensity. 4x8 requires a lighter load to hit all reps each set than 3x8. This is one step forward (added set) and a potential step back (lower intensity than before for each set) in the pursuit of increasing total workload.

    OP is reducing the sets without detraining and keeping the intensity the same. He’s now subjecting himself to a lower workload than before. So while he has less reps to hit to increase weight, he’s receiving a weaker stimulus, meaning there’s less chance for new adaptations to occur so rep increases won’t be as easy (affects progressive overload). So, theoretically, OP could stall. Regression is actually unlikely with such little volume reduction.

    Resetting your volume tolerance and then coming back to lower volume will always be the most conducive to progressive overload in cases like these. At that point, your body requires little workload for a growth response. Keep in mind, adding reps and lbs takes precedence over adding sets. Sets should be a last resort because they induce the most fatigue. But when you get to the point where you do need more sets, my recommendation is to not attach these to your base sets. Keep them separate. Don’t increase 3x8 to 4x8. Instead, keep 3x8 as your ‘base’ and use the additional 4th set as an extra set, perhaps as a drop set etc. That way intensity is never compromised to accommodate the additional set, which ensures a true workload increase.

    Anyway, just MO on the matter.
    Last edited by leidenesLK; 12-29-2020 at 06:45 PM.
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  8. #8
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by egsiue View Post
    I had a similar question with reducing volume, but What difference would it make if you just slightly reduced the amount of volume you are doing, and didn’t take time off before making the change. Wouldn’t this allow you to gain more muscle since recovery and progressive overload is better? I’m just confused why your saying op could potentially regress. Obviously if volume and intensity dropped then gains could be lost, but if intensity is increased due to better recovery from less volume, wouldn’t that allow for better muscle/strength gains?
    Progressive overload is more the result of hypertrophy rather than the driver.
    You also don't have to increase intensity just because you dropped a set or 2 here and there.
    There's every chance that if what you are doing is tipping the stimulus-fatigue scale to far in the fatigue direction, that reducing workload and NOT trying to compensate by upping intensity will result in more consistent progress.
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