Making Density/Volume Training Work for You!

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Question: I can’t get the volume training you described to work for me. I always burn pout and quit before I reach the required reps. There is usually no problem with low reps but with high reps I just burn out and stop. Is there a method to making this work?
Answer: What you are referring to is the Density/Volume training we use here for building mass. The Density training is designed to build muscle through heavy weights and low to moderate rep ranges. This is done usually on the cycle of two density days with different routines followed by one volume day which varies the routine as well.
On Density days the reps may top out at 8 and be as low as 3, but the 3 rep sets are coupled with a variety of rest/pause techniques and descending sets to extend the set.
The volume training which may utilize rep ranges as high as 50 per set, is designed to enhance the capillary network, extend the nervous system and overload the muscles building muscle endurance with rep volume.
These high volume sets are often coupled with heavy sets to enhance the muscle building effect. This is where most people experience problems. If you are used to lower rep ranges which typically don’t exceed 8 or 10 reps and are challenged with a massive number of reps your mind makes the challenge even greater. I emphasize this because you body will perform what ever your mind wills it to do. Both your mind and body will fail before training reaches a point that would cause harm.
The task becomes how do you change your mindset to mentally perform the set, not are you physically capable of fulfilling the challenge. Changing how you approach a set can be done by using the Power of Five. Forget the 20 rep set or the 50 rep set. You can even forget the 8 rep set.
Focus on Five.

  • A set of 20 reps becomes 4 sets of 5. Literally program your mind to do 5 reps setting your mental counter so that the fifth rep becomes 1.
  • Count to 5 again but the fifth rep becomes 2 and continue this 5-count until you are at 4.
  • The other part of this approach is to break the set into parts so if it is a set of 20 then shoot for the first 2 sets of 5 and take a deep breath.
  • Then do the third set of five.
  • By this time everything hurts and you feel like quitting if you have the weight set correctly.
  • The final 5 is broken down into a 3 rep set, then two, 1 rep sets taking a breath between each rep.
  • The breathing is the key. By stopping at programmed intervals you can take what we refer to as a Cleansing Breath. This allows you to mentally stop the build-up in your mind that has begun to scream at you that you have to stop.
  • Taking one or two deep breaths allows you to continue your set to completion.

You have to go back to the old saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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