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    Banned metallick's Avatar
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    How much volume is too much for most trainees?

    I was reading an article by Jim Wendler and he was once stuck bench pressing 410 lbs. Within two months, it rose to 440 lbs and another month later, it went to 455 lbs. He attributed the strength increase from doing five sets of 10 with the OHP as assistance work.

    Outside this lift, Wendler recommended doing 50-100 reps as assistance work. Would this type of training philosophy (whether you do 531 or not) be beneficial for most trainees? Is there a cutoff point to whether or not you can recover? I don't see this sort of things recommended to beginners to early intermediates
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    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    It's really intensity dependent.

    Wendler likes fast low rpe work, though he wouldn't call it that.
    You can easily do 10 sets @5-6.

    If you lack the capacity to control your intensity and stop before failure you're going to run into issues doing 10 sets in a session for sure.
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    I strongly disagree with trying to set up these types of generalized perameters for "most trainees" because ultimately volume is something that is an individual need / preference.

    The best way in my opinion to determine what the appropriate amount of volume is for yourself is not to go based off studies / research, but to actually try different things out in the gym and evaluate your results. Studies are just that, studies, and they don't replace gaining actual training experience and learning how your body responds to training, recovers, make progress, etc. Now don't get me wrong I am not discounting what research says, I'm suggesting that a certain amount of trial and error comes into play here in addition to whatever knowledge you gain from looking at research. But the results provided by studies aren't guaranteed to apply to every trainee, keep in mind.

    You can't be afraid of straying outside the waters of what is "usually recommended" and maybe experiment with some out of the norm training methods because who knows, you may just find it works really well for you.

    The answer to your question is, there is no way to determine what kind of results you would get doing something until you actually try it for a period of time and then evaluate your results in comparison with other training methods. It's as simple as that.
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Most people do well with 10-15 hard sets a week...
    Some can do more
    Same can't do that

    A good STARTING point is 10sets per group. Then you see what's up. Could go either way but likely up over 10—15
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    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    depends

    if all your sets are basically high reps to failure, you probably aren't going to tolerate as much volume (as in hard sets). if all your sets are RPE 5-6 you could probably do these sets forever (exaggerating here, but you get the point) in one session.

    I like to think of it in terms of inter and intra workout volume. For example, how much volume I can do or tolerate per session, and volume I can sustain over a longer period of time before little aches/pains start creeping in, lifts stagnate/going down.

    There is also the cost/benefit to account for. At a certain point there is large diminishing returns in terms of time invested, the amount of gains you could theoretically see, and possible exposure to overuse type injuries and longer recovery periods down the road.

    Now all of this is hard to measure but a pretty good starting point if you are a complete beginner is maybe 8 hard sets for big muscle groups, a little less than that maybe for smaller ones or ones that get worked along with the big muscle groups. Go from there and assess for yourself the results.
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    For hypertrophy or strength? The priority matters.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Most people do well with 10-15 hard sets a week...
    Some can do more
    Same can't do that

    A good STARTING point is 10sets per group. Then you see what's up. Could go either way but likely up over 10—15
    Pretty much. I think we know what works for novices but for some reason they all want to hammer junk volume. If you have a guy benching 150 lbs for a max id say volume is not his problem, lack of progression is. On the other extreme how much more volume can a guy add that benches 400?. Its difficult to define "most" people because most are at novice level strength. Go to any commercial gym and a 315 squat is considered amazing lol. Also I'm not sure about Wendler's claims. You never know what supplements someone is taking. Someone at that level, increasing strength that fast...
    Last edited by TAWS6; 02-03-2021 at 10:39 AM.
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    Banned metallick's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TAWS6 View Post
    Pretty much. I think we know what works for novices but for some reason they all want to hammer junk volume. If you have a guy benching 150 lbs for a max id say volume is not his problem, lack of progression is. On the other extreme how much more volume can a guy add that benches 400?. Its difficult to define "most" people because most are at novice level strength. Go to any commercial gym and a 315 squat is considered amazing lol. Also I'm not sure about Wendler's claims. You never know what supplements someone is taking. Someone at that level, increasing strength that fast...
    I've got a cousin who progresses constantly on his row and squats but plateaued as early as 145 lbs for bench for like a year even when he did LP; deloading didn't do a thing supposedly. His squat/dead must've been more than double the weight for reps. I guess he has chit genetics since his form was decent and he definitely ate at a surplus before getting too fat.

    Wendler's claims do seem dubious since he added a decent chunk of weight within months. Maybe he drank the orange juice.
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