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Low Volume Training concern

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:26 pm
by bodmerocity
First off, hi everyone!

I dunno how, but I've only just found this site today, and man is there a lot of good info here. I think this might be my workout bible.

Anyway: I read the Weight Training Guidelines and Low Volume Training pages, and I think the argument for Low Volume Training is pretty convincing, and I want it to be right for me coz I'm all about having a time efficient routine. The one concern I have is that (correct me if I'm wrong) low volume training seems like it would you require to go to absolute, full-on muscle failure for each movement to really be effective, whereas as with multiple sets you probably have more room to be like "yeah, I'm pretty sure I can't do this last rep, so I'm going to stop here before I drop a weight on my foot or something." Right? I'm working out at home by myself with dumbbells, so I want to avoid the level of fatigue that would cause me to drop the weights and maybe hurt myself (or the floor.)

Whadda y'all think? Legitimate concern? Any suggestions?

Re: Low Volume Training concern

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:54 pm
by Crow
How long have you been training? (Which program?) What is your (main) goal? (something measurable)

What are your (calculated) 1RM in Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press and Press? (Barbell)

Depending on your answers... It`s not productive to go to failure on every set, in every excercise in every training session. (Of course it can happen, but it shouldn`t be planned in every workout.) It needs to be heavy enough (how heavy, compared to your 1RM, depends on your training level) and you will have to progress in your training (more weight, sets, reps...).

Re: Low Volume Training concern

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:29 pm
by bodmerocity
How long: I'm just starting again, but I've been lifting on and off for about five years. I consider myself a novice. I've had trouble sticking with a routine, because I have ADHD and it's difficult for me to build any kind of a positive habit, and the routines I've tried so far have been too long and/or complicated for me to stick with. So, simplicity and efficiency are important to me.

Which program:
I designed my own routine to address the simplicity thing, but it turns out it's basically the two day push/pull split on this site. Three days a week (so ABA / BAB.)

A (Push): Squat > Bench Press > Arnold Press > Calf Raise > Triceps Extension > Side Bend
B (Pull): Deadlift > Pull Up > Bent Over Row > Upright Row > Preacher Curl > Hanging Leg Raise

So far I've been going 3x8 for the first three movements of each routine and 2x12 for the rest. More-or-less failure for every set. More weight when I can execute the prescribed reps.

Main goals:
1.) Successfully integrate a lifting routine into my life (by itself a big deal for me) with the equipment I have at home (spin-lock dumbbells / bench / pull up bar.)
2.) Get stronger.


30 M 5'10'' 200lbs


These are probably pretty low estimates. I'm plugging my first set of my last at-home dumbbell sessions into the calculator on this site.
Squat - 124 lbs
Deadlift - 100 lbs
Bench Press - 124 lbs
Press - Do you mean Shoulder Press? 74 lbs.

Re: Low Volume Training concern

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:37 am
by Crow
If you are a novice, I would advise to stay away from failure and concentrate on learning/executing the lifts with perfect technique.

How heavy are your dumbbells? I would guess they will get too light for squats and deadlifts soon... (Bulgarian) Split-Squats and One-leg-deadlifts could be good altenatives, when this happens.

Your plan looks fine... I would stay with it and work on progressing with good technique (more weight, reps or sets and/or less rest between sets). Staying consistent with training and nutrition will be the most important thing right now. If you get the feeling you need to change something (just for the sake of changing), use the "same but different" principle... Change the grip or the stance but stay with the movements... like keeping the "vertical pull" (pull-ups) and change to chins. Lateral Raise instead of Upright Rows, Barbell Curls instead of Preacher Curls, DB Benchpress instead of BB Benchpress...

Good luck!

Re: Low Volume Training concern

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:02 pm
by bodmerocity
I think that's probably good advice. Thanks!

I have enough plates to load two dumbbells with 100 lbs each, so I think I'm good for a while.

Thanks again for taking the time, I appreciate it.