The bonus benefits of intense high volume training
Training low volume at the gym can be a great way to good results, both when it comes to building muscle mass and developing strength. A progressive approach where one makes sure to regularly increase the weights will, over time, build strong and qualitative muscle.
If you are an ardent reader of fitness articles you will occasionally be told that it is enough to go as low as 3 gym sessions a week, all kept at less than 20 sets each. There is truth to this. It is possible to make progress with such an approach - provided that you train with the outmost intensity and that your diet is well tuned in relation to your goals and ambitions.
All this said, however, there is an aspect of high volume training that doesn´t get enough attention: it doesn´t only build muscle and strength – it also works as conditioning.
“Conditioning” in this case means a lot of different things. Here is a list of factors that comes with this term when I use it:
1. When you go high volume you will burn a lot more fat than when you’re going low volume. The time under tension is much higher. The total workload is much higher. This means that you will spend more energy.
2. High volume will improve your stamina. You will get better at recovering. You will get better at enduring lactic acid.
3. If getting a pump is a priority for you high volume will, more often than not, give you a better result than low volume. It should be noted, though, that if you are advanced and already in possession of a very muscular body low volume will often be enough in order for you to get a good pump.
4. High volume will – if the intensity levels are sufficient – improve your cardiovascular health and performance.
5. If you want fast visual results you are more likely to get those with a high volume approach.
In the end it all comes down to what kind of goals you have. And how much time you want to spend at the gym. Personally I like the training in itself, not only the results. I don’t mind spending 5 full hours a week at the gym – on the contrary, I want to do it. For me, it's an important part of Life. A time and a Place where I find the Power to deal with Life, not only with the weights themselves.