Is volume not the main driver of hypertrophy?

HypertrophyCoach Joe Bennett Forums Training Is volume not the main driver of hypertrophy?

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  • #223770
    Robbie Totten
    Participant

    Hi Joe, new to your fantastic app and really hoping you can shed some light on this.

    I have been listening to the old Revive Stronger podcast episode with Dr Mike Israetel and Jordan Peters.

    Mike is often quoted saying that volume is the main driver of hypertrophy yet training low volume to failure (think top set/back off set) seems to work really well as coached by yourself, JP and many others.

    I guess I’m just confused as to why Mike is fairly adamant that volume is the main driver. If that was true and irrefutable, would you all not be using RIR and increasing sets each week of a mesocycle?

    Volume is important of course but it seems like more of a manipulative rather than apex of the pyramid.

    Please help my confusion haha

    #223872
    Simo Matikainen
    Participant

    Saying volume is driver of hypertrophy assumes that intensity is high or high enough to make progress. Mechanical tension is and will always be the most important factor, after that everything else comes in.
    But to be fair there isnt one without the other as just one set is volume but just low amount. Im not sure if Mike says that volume is the main driver, but even if he says that, what I think he means by that is higher volume is way better than low volume for hypertrophy.

    #223965
    BryceBahm
    Participant
    #224019
    Robbie Totten
    Participant

    Cheers for the reply – I appreciate it. I understand diminishing returns and progressing volume of sets per sesh/week beyond your max recoverable volume is going to lead to regression if anything. I wasn’t suggesting an endless run at increasing sets on sets.

    I’m still no clearer on the argument of higher volume (working sets per session and week) with RIR of say 3 making its way to 0 RIR on the last week of a meso before a deload Versus training with low volume (with respect to working sets per
    session/week) on the potential outcomes for hypertrophy for intermediate to advanced lifters (assuming a level of skill development that isn’t a limiting factor that comes with experience that you were referring to).

    In essence: high volume RIR Versus low volume every set failure. Which is better and why? Or is it personal preference (I appreciate there may not be a definitive answer here but the research does seem to lend itself to higher volume according to the likes of Dr Mike).

    Thanks in advance!

    #224376
    BryceBahm
    Participant
    #224439
    Robbie Totten
    Participant

    Interesting points Bryce and I guess there is no definitive answer other than try it all in application. I too have been training upward of 13 years and done it all and there isn’t really one or other than leads to a dramatically different set of results. Your points at the end about being stronger and thus almost forcing you down in total volume because of the systemic fatigue. That could of course be mitigated with RIR and allow for more total work across a meso. That being said, would it lead to better gains, probably nothing statistically significant I think you would agree. To summarise, the nuances are probably only important for that extra fractional percentage. In the grand scheme, train hard across multiple rep ranges in close proximity to failure regularly and progress volume over time (volume being sets x reps x weight – so something in there weekly) and the rest is history as they say. Great convo – appreciate your time.

    #224621
    Michael DeBlois
    Participant

    Also, don’t get caught up in the hype about what is better. In my opinion, consistency is more important than volume or intensity. Choose a program that you enjoy, stick with it for a period of time, document the results and then don’t be afraid to experiment. Only by doing that will you learn what your own body will better respond to

    #224686
    Robbie Totten
    Participant

    Great input Michael. 100% agree. Zooming out on all things fitness can sometimes be the best idea too.

    #227443
    Joe
    Keymaster
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