In order to progress to your full potential, it is essential that you mix up your training routines. Simply plodding out the same old workouts, year in, year out, is a surefire way to find yourself perched on a stagnant training plateau. Volume training is a superb way to blast the muscles with some insane pumps and shift your training up a gear.
It’s easy to get stuck in a training rut. You devise a routine that works for you. You gain in strength and size, your physique changes for the better, you feel great, you look great, everything’s perfect. Then the results start to wane. Things just aren’t moving as fast as they once were.
So what’s the solution?
All too often the course of action is simply to up the food intake and lower the reps. This is a big mistake.
You must listen to your body. When you find yourself on a stubborn training plateau, the best course of action is to first take some time out from the gym. Get total rest for a week, two if you need it. The body needs some time off every now and then. Weight training is extremely stressful on the muscles and joints. Taking some quality down time is a tried and tested rejuvenation method used by virtually every top bodybuilder and strength athlete. The great Dorian Yates used to take a week or two off every three months or so.
Don’t worry, you won’t immediately shrink. The timeout will allow the body to recover and regenerate before you hit the weights room again with renewed vigor. But don’t just steam right back into the same old routines. Mix it up. Stimulate the fibers in a new and exciting way. Add volume to your training.
If you’re trying to build muscle and forge an impressively sculpted physique, volume is your friend.
Stacking on the beef is all about cell volumization and stimulation. While progressive overload is a must, gorging the tissues with nutrient-rich blood, is equally essential.
The great man, Arnold himself, was a huge advocate of the pump, sending blood surging into the working muscles until your skin feels like it’s about to split.
The five core components of any muscle-building workout are: the warm-up, perfect form, the pump, total failure, and the cool-down. If you roll all of these elements into each and every session, you are onto a winner.
The way to achieve the optimum shirt-splitting pump, is to perform perfectly controlled high rep sets with little rest between exertions. This will fill the muscles with blood, essentially teaching the fibers to stretch and grow.
The pump is brought about by physiological adaptations to intense resistance exercise. Firstly, blood is diverted away from other areas of the body, such as the digestive system and other muscles, to be used by the working tissues. In order to increase blood flow further, the vessels dilate, allowing more blood to pass through and into the muscles.
This dilating effect is facilitated by the release of nitric acid, which acts by relaxing the vessel walls. The great news is that nitric oxide can be further enhanced by using a booster. Sheer N.O. has been engineered to skyrocket your nitric oxide secretion, leading to mind-blowing pumps and greater gains. Containing two forms of the potent ingredient arginine, Sheer N.O. is sure to give your training an impressive boost.
Intensity is the key to stacking on muscle mass. There’s no sense in strolling into the gym and casually yawning your way through a bunch of soulless, ineffective sets, with huge gaps between. Similarly there’s no point in spending hours in the weights room churning out dozens of half-hearted efforts.
The key to successful weight training is to hit the gym running, get your workout done with maximum intensity, then get out and refuel. It’s all about training smart. High intensity training naturally boosts testosterone levels, and testosterone equals strength and muscle. High volume training is an excellent way to increase intensity and place the tissues under effective, intense strain.
A Note On Failure
If you’re going to embark on a muscle shocking, high volume training regime, you quite simply cannot go to failure on every set, or even anywhere near half of them, for that matter.
To hit failure on every set would be the perfect way to push yourself firmly into the realms of overtraining and pick up a serious injury. Volume training is all about glutting the muscles with fuel, then finishing them in style when the time is right.
Intense anaerobic physical exercise places huge strain on the muscles and their energy reserves. The body first works its way through the free fuels in the bloodstream, mainly sugars and free fatty acids, before moving on to the fuel stores within the muscles and organs. When these stock levels get low, and the tensing, swollen muscles start to restrict the distribution of energy, the working tissues must start looking closer to home in order to perform the tasks at hand.
This new fuel invariably comes in the form of muscle tissue. As the muscles work, becoming extremely warm, pliable, and even damaged, the building blocks begin to break away. These free amino acids are readily used by the straining muscles. Taking branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) floods the bloodstream with the protein fragments necessary to provide energy while preserving your hard earned gains. Sheer BCAA is an ultra pure supplement that has been scientifically engineered for optimum performance and recovery. Take Sheer BCAA before, during, and after your workouts for the best results.
Some Volume Training Regimes…
German Volume Training
German Volume Training (GVT) has received a lot of attention recently.
That’s because it works.
GVT is based around the principle of 10×10. That is, ten sets of ten reps per exercise. There’s no messing around here, you pick one big, compound movement, and you smash out ten big sets, with just enough rest (approximately 45 seconds) between. You can then finish with two or three quality isolation sets to really find exhaustion.
Here’s the real kicker…
Every rep must be done at a slow tempo, 4-0-2 to be precise. That is 4 seconds in the negative phase, then two seconds to grind the weight upwards again. Can you feel the burn already?
Here’s an example of an upper body push/pull GVT routine…
FST-7 stands for Fascia Stretch Training 7. It is based on the principle that all muscles are contained within sheaths and/or are covered by a protective fascia, and the stretching of these tissues allows the muscles to grow more effectively. This is a sound scientific mode of thought.
FST-7 is all about achieving the maximum pump, engorging the working muscles with blood in order to stretch the surrounding tissues, bringing about growth (and a whole lot of soreness!).
The 7 comes in on the final exercise of each body part, where you choose a suitable lift to perform 7 skin-splitting sets of, leaving you pumped and wrecked.
Here’s an FST-7 example quad workout…
Good luck climbing the stairs in the morning!!
King of the Gym
The so-called King of the Gym routine is a fairly new idea, but one that is yielding great results when performed correctly. Similarly to FST-7, King of the Gym (KOTG) is all about achieving the biggest pump possible, but via slightly different means.
In a KotG workout, the reps stay fairly constant, while the weights continuously change. Failure is used only on the final sets, while the vast majority are working well within your comfort zone. The idea is to send blood coursing deep into the tissues, stretching and fuelling the muscles.
Here is an example shoulder workout (warning: BIG VOLUME!)
Then repeat this process for the following-
Now, this certainly is a lot of sets, 48 to be exact, but remember that only 6 of those will be to failure, and over half will be very easy indeed. Rest times should increase as the sets progress, with barely any rest between sets one and two, and 90 seconds between set 7 and set 8 (failure set).
Volume training is extremely strenuous on the body, and you will be in pain at first. Body parts should only be trained once every 5- 6 days at maximum, and the routines detailed above should only be used for a few weeks at a time to avoid overtraining.
Performing huge volumes of lifts is a great way to burn calories. Add Sheer Thermo to your pre-workout stack and make sure that burned energy comes from body fat.