Optimal Training Volume Made Simple

“Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.” Lee Haney

Determining optimal training volume is not a straight forward proposition. There is no one size fits all solution. I will simplify the process and provide some parameters, but you will have to discover what is optimal for YOU. Scientific studies should guide our training, but ultimately, we must decide what works best for us through trial and error. The primary factor to consider is your ability to recover.

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Strength Training Intensity – How Much is Optimal

The latest issue of Muscle & Fiction and all the High-Intensity zealots would have you believe that if you don’t take a set to absolute muscular failure, you are wasting your time. That just isn’t true. On an effective strength training program for the natural lifter, most sets should stop 1 or 2 repetitions short of failure. We should avoid going to failure on all but the last set of each exercise. A simple, yet effective way to evaluate your rating of perceived exertion (RPE), is using this table developed by respected strength coach and competitive powerlifter Mike Tuchscherer.

RPE Scale (lifting)

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Rest Between Set – What You Need to Know

Forget those 1-minute rest intervals in the muscle magazines. Your performance from set to set will decline quickly. Short rest intervals and training to failure repeatedly will increase human growth hormone levels, but I have not found any studies that correlate it with long-term increases in muscle mass. I have found studies that have concluded just the opposite. [i] [ii]Countless studies have demonstrated that progressive overload is the key to muscle and strength gains.

If you want to build strength and muscle, it is best done naturally by resting 3 to 5 minutes between working sets. The only time I recommend one-minute rest intervals are between low-intensity warm-up sets.  A study conducted by the Kennesaw State University found that subjects that rested 2.5 minutes between sets made substantially greater gains in muscle mass than the subject that only rested 1-minute between sets.[iii]

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90-DAY BOOK PROMOTION (20% off Paperback & FREE DOWNLOAD PROMOTION 19-23 March 2018)

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I want to thank everyone for their support and positive feedback. The purpose of the promotion is to show my appreciation and ask for your continued support (BOOK REVIEWS).

I want to show my appreciation by reducing the price of the PAPERBACK by 20%, offer the KINDLE version for $2.99 (with a FREE Download Promotion beginning Monday, March 19, 2018, through Friday, March 23, 2018. The price of the Audible audiobook is set by Amazon.

You can DOWNLOAD the book’s 20-WEEK PROGRAM, LIST OF EXERCISES (with Video Demonstrations), STARTER GUIDE HERE. Continue reading “90-DAY BOOK PROMOTION (20% off Paperback & FREE DOWNLOAD PROMOTION 19-23 March 2018)”

7 Reasons Why You Should Purchase a Kettlebell instead of a Treadmill

Treadmill image by Sport-Tiedje GmbH

“The kettlebell is an ancient Russian weapon against weakness.” Pavel

Before we go into greater detail, here are the 7 reasons I suggest you purchase a kettlebell instead of a treadmill:

  1. Kettlebells Improve both Muscular Strength and Cardiovascular Condition
  2. Kettlebells are More Cost-Effective
  3. Kettlebells have a Small Footprint and are Portable
  4. Kettlebells are Simple & lend themselves to Quick Workouts
  5. Kettlebells are Quiet
  6. Kettlebells allow for a lot of Exercise Variety
  7. Kettlebells workouts are low impact

#1 Kettlebells Improve both Muscular Strength and Cardiovascular Condition

It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you are losing weight, strength training, not cardio training should be your number one exercise priority. For years we have been indoctrinated to believe that to lose weight you have to eat less and move more, but the main flaw with this approach is that even if you do it properly, you will lose muscle mass. If you don’t challenge your muscles, you will lose calorie-burning muscle mass along with the fat which will lead to a fat loss plateau. Continue reading “7 Reasons Why You Should Purchase a Kettlebell instead of a Treadmill”