Monday, August 23, 2010

Pump up the Volume for Increased Muscle Mass

If you were to take a look at the average workout schedule for most people in the weight room, it would look something like this:

2 Exercises per body part at 3 to 4 sets or 10 to 12 reps

That is the standard, everyday routine that many people never deviate from. While having a schedule and being regular about your workouts is a positive thing, if you get stuck in a rut you'll find it difficult to stay motivated and to continue making gains in muscle mass. In order to really add muscle, you sometimes have to take serious measures to shock your body into growth. Remember that your body will stop reacting to your workouts once your body gets used to a particular workout routine. If you want to break through plateaus in gaining muscle, you have to change a variable in your routine.

Volume Training

One variable that you can change in your workout is the volume, or the total amount of weight that you lift each and every workout. No matter what exercise you do, there is a total amount of weight moved at the end of each session. For example, if you did three sets of ten repetitions using 100 pounds, at the end of that session you would have moved 3,000 pounds. That 3,000 pounds is the total volume that you have moved in terms of weight. Now imagine that you did 10 sets of 10 reps at 70 pounds. At the end of that workout you would have moved 7,000 pounds. That's over double the total volume of weight that you moved in the original workout, and that is the basis of Volume Training.

Here is a typical chest workout, followed by a chest workout using the volume training method.

Bench Press: 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions
Incline Dumbbell Press: 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions
Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions
Dips: 3 sets of 12 reps

Now, here is the Volume Approach to a chest workout.

Bench Press: 10 sets of ten repetitions
Dumbbell Flyes: 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions

That's it! You do one core, compound exercise for 10 sets using a weight that you can do 10 repetitions with. Then you follow up with an isolation movement for the body part being worked and do 4 sets. You are then done for the day. At the end of this workout you will have moved a lot more weight and increased the total volume that you have lifted for your chest workout. This massive increase in volume will shock your muscular system into adapting. When muscles adapt to volume, they do one thing - they get bigger. Volume training is tough and should only be done for a maximum of 6 to 8 weeks at a time, but these workouts are great for increasing muscle mass.

Written by Kevin Adams from the ExtremeHomeWorkout. You can Get Shaun T Insanity today, its 60 days of incredible workouts.

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