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Thread: Volume destroys me. Change things up, or train through it?

  1. #1
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    Volume destroys me. Change things up, or train through it?

    I've been trying to build up my volume lately just by working off of Prilepin's Chart, while sticking to the classics on MWF. Generally I treat Tu/Sat as optional days to get a bit of movement down or maybe some light bodybuilding, but mostly I'm doing both classical lifts per day (one the main focus at 70 - 85% for the "optimal" amount of reps, one done lightly at 55 - 70% for 4 or so sets), follow by squats, and pulls (usually about 6 sets).

    So as an example just to make it easier to understand..

    Wednesday (Clean Focus):
    Power Snatch 55-70%, 3/4
    Clean & Jerk 70-85%, 2-3/6-8
    Back Squat 70-85%, 2-4/4-6
    Clean Deadlifts 90-100% 3/6-8
    Bodybuilding (mostly hamstrings/abs).

    Similar done Monday/Friday (Friday's generally a few singles at 85%+ and less work on strength stuff).

    Doesn't seem like anything too crazy, but lately I've noticed that I'm feeling quite drained every 2-3 weeks. My diet hasn't changed, my sleep is still alright, and I'm not doing too much in between days. Still feels like every few weeks I need to scale things back quite drastically and have a deload week. I don't want to change things up too much because my body seems to get the most benefit out of higher volume training (despite it being tiring), yet I'm finding quite often that my squat and pull strength takes a dramatic dive after a two weeks or so.

    Anyone else who cannot handle volume? What did you guys do to improve, just stick to it or plan a GPP phase or what?

  2. #2
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    I am the opposite, I love volume and high reps, can't stay with the low reps for very long.

    Habing said that, your example session is crazy. I would probably pair a snatch/clean + deadlift/squat per session, especially if you are going for volume, rather than all 4. If you are desperate for practise, you could do the psn and cj as writted, and then either squat or deadlift. On the bodybuilding, don't underestimate its impact on recovery compared to its actual returns. Choose 1-2 exercises that work well for you and then do those, don't just add a bunch of instagram fluff.

    Having said all that, you could well do with a deload every 3 weeks, in that you could halve the amount of sets you do and take 5%, maybe even 10%, off your working weights. End that week with a slightly heavier Friday single on the sn and cj.

    Also, I cannot stress how easy life becomes after you do a 'gpp phase', even if during it is horrible. I would consider that a bse building phase of 5s on the WLing and 10s on the strength stuff, with almost no exceptions. The sessions are rough, but your recovery will become much better, once you go to 3s and 2s and stuff, you will be laughing.

    One other thing I will say is that your rep ranges there are extremely vague. 8 sets of 3 at 85% is totally different to 6 sets of 2 at 70% for the CJ. I would refine those a little bit more and give that session's intensity a bit more direction.
    Last edited by CNL; 08-13-2019 at 12:13 PM.

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    for me, its gotten to where when i do volume work (during gpp), i just stopped using %'s and started just going on what i can handle. For the classics, i usually don't do more than triples anyway and a total of maybe 18 reps (range of say 60/3)6 to 80/3)4 )

    what i mean is... when doing LSUS for example, i simply cant handle doing 10's at 70% without some sort of compromise. Generally that compromise would be 1) do 10 as 7, 2, 1 or something or 2) push through and get nagging injuries. So, to fix that, now i just throw the % out the window and do 10's at whatever weight, and just add a couple kg's each week until my form starts getting bad. Additionally, i have to take days off in between sessions. My schedule isn't MTWFS anymore. its MWFSu one week, TThS the next week.

    i figure, when i used to be strong, i got the best results just doing sets of 8-10 (squats for example) and adding a little bit of weight when i felt it fine (generally every week or two). *shrug. This is probably not popular opinion. But i'm 40 so... its not the same as when i was 20 or even 30. Also, i'm not making it to the Olympics anytime soon (re: ever). I have all the time in the world to self experiment and see how it turns out in my competitions. Rinse and repeat

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    It's normal to begin to feel run down after 2-3 weeks of intensive training. It is often recommended every third or fourth week of training to treat as a deload in intensity/volume/both. Everyone should be able to handle volume; as CNL suggested going through an intensive GPP phase for 4-8 weeks really pays off. The important thing here is even if you're doing up to 5 rep snatches or 10 rep squats you do not want to be going so heavy that form and tempo are thrown to the wayside. The intensity will be around 50-70% but you'll be doing over 100 reps per workout 2-4x/week.

    The training plan you have laid out seems okay, volume seems pretty high per session given the number of exercises you are performing per session. If you're going to do 5-8 sets of squats, better to do just 3-4 sets of pulls or vice versa in my opinion. Undulating the volume workout to workout is usually recommended even in the Soviet textbooks (high-low-medium volume for example). In my experience, amateur and drug free lifters are best suited to follow the low and moderate volume recommendations from Prilepin. Those seem to be better effective doses for the vast majority of people.

    What are your best lifts and bodyweight? Years lifting and years spent doing other sports?

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    If you look at the current USAW training model, it's pretty accumulate volume/load for 2 weeks, back off, then up the intensity with low volume that week. Repeat but start lower than where you ended after 2 weeks. Rinse, repeat.

    As for volume, while some people will be better at it than others because of genetic predisposition, if you don't train for it, you don't get good at it. If you train for low volume and singles all the time, you get good at that.

    This is really a factor when people step into WL sometimes without any or little prior sports experience. You get some individuals, who have been active all their life since they could walk until young adulthood, then they join the real world and 5 or 10 years later decide to get back into fitness, maybe CF or just the globogym then PL for awhile. Some hop from one sport to another say past puberty, HS or past college.

    I have a similar aged masters buddy who has always bitched and moaned about volume training. Granted he was quite the explosive jumper when he was younger whereas I was not (had about 10" of vert and ht on me, 36-40"). While he did TnF in HS like I did, I think he was mainly a sprinter then went to college and would just practice jumping and pickup basketball and then sort of hipster fitness/personal training while in college. I sprinted in HS but also ran mid distance for 2yrs besides long runs my sr yr since I figured I was going to be going into the military. Still ran quite a bit until about 5yrs after college. Never really got into too crazy volume in my CF years but moreso than what he was doing.

    But anyways, basically never has gotten good at it and I think it's also limited his durability. It's a very chicken and egg scenario.

    Otoh, I'm definitely not very explosive but far more durable as he's always getting hurt or tweaking this. MA and gymnastics in my younger days and adult years was just a lot of reps besides the fact that I also ran mid distances (800-3200). I still was a decent runner until about 2012 though I haven't done the long distance runs since the early 2000s (didn't really train too much between 2003-2007 including running at all).

    All that being said, I do think the very explosive natured WLers have to be trained differently. Chaplin never trained like that until the OTC and got banged up there. Same with a lot of other OTC lifters if you listen to Sean Hutchinson which is something to be thought about given the nature of LSUS.

    We had one explosive strong lifter who got a job at a CFgym but also had to hop onto their volume programming and it pretty much crushed him in no time. That blew up his knees and some rhabdo from a CF seminar really did him in besides training at the gym after he did recover. His previous experience was personal training, TKD Korean stuff-ish and parkour.

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    I'm not doing too much in between days
    do something. walk. or swim but i never get around to swimming though I do end up walking or cycling and feel that it helps. Walking really seemed to help a lot in the past because it was pretty much involuntary.

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    Try to keep volume at 16-24 sets per session. Thats the recommendation in the book Periodization training for sports.

    If you cut all sets to 4 in your examble, like power sn 4 sets, c&j 4 sets ect. ect. You will have a total of 16 sets, thats the minimum. Say you wanna build strength the next 4-6 weeks. So you add 2 more sets to squat and pull, and maybe add 4 sets of press. Now you have a total of 24 sets pr. session. 4 sets of snatch variation, 4 sets of c&j, 6 sets of squats, 6 sets of pulls and 4 sets of press. After your strength cycle, you might wanna go for a new pr in the total. So the next 4-6 weeks, you take out the press, cut squats and pulls back to 4 sets each, and start adding volume to the classics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CNL View Post
    One other thing I will say is that your rep ranges there are extremely vague. 8 sets of 3 at 85% is totally different to 6 sets of 2 at 70% for the CJ. I would refine those a little bit more and give that session's intensity a bit more direction.
    Sorry, I should have specified that IF I do more sets it's generally for triples at the lower percentage. So maybe a week after a deload I'll do 70% 3/8, then a couple of weeks after will be doing 80%-85% 2/6.

    Thanks for the responses everyone! My take aways so far are to do more on my off days, do a GPP phase, and probably aim for the lower end of the recommended volume on Prilepin's chart.
    Last edited by Macca; 08-14-2019 at 12:54 AM.

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    So if you are doing 8 sets of 3 on CJ at 70%, that's either 24 reps if you count a clean and jerk as 1 rep (which you should not), or 48 reps if you count 'clean + jerk + clean + jerk + clean + jerk', or somewhere in between if you are counting a set of 3 as something like clean + fsq + jerk. The total volume is either the absolute top end of Prilepin's recommendations, or double that. Either way, humongous! 6x2 on squats at 80% is also well within range, with 6x2 at 85% being very intense. Halve that amount of sets and maybe you get a lot more out of it.

    What you should try is going off the lowest end of the recommended volumes. This gives you something to build towards over the macrocycle of 2-4 weeks following, but also you just might not need any more than that.

    Try 3x3 at 75% and build up to 3x3 at 85% on the 3rd or 4th week on the day's major exercise. If you cna do 3x3 at 85%, chances are you are going to PB very soon. Why do 8 sets when you can do 3?

    edit: just read main man bdegennaro's reply and your own, you got this.

    I would not worry about doing more on the off days actually, if you do 50 sets of training one day and then nothing the rest it is a little odd for your body, but I don't think that will dramatically make you feel better in the 3rd week. A GPP phase of higher volumes would be good, sure.
    Last edited by CNL; 08-14-2019 at 03:37 AM.

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    If I do C&J I usually do either 2-3+1 or 1+2-3. Prilepin's chart has always confused me a bit for C&J. I don't go 1+1 x3 and count that as a set of 3 though.

    Quote Originally Posted by b_degennaro View Post
    What are your best lifts and bodyweight? Years lifting and years spent doing other sports?
    I fluctuate from 107-109 a bit. Sometimes I chub up to 111. 72/97 are my bests, been lifting 3 years but Weightlifting is quite new (9 months). Spent my teenage years laying a lot of sport but that was over 5 years ago.

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