********Quantified training for Hypertrophy and Strength (Part 2)*********

Aditi Gupta
Kshitij Roy

|1 minute to read
Exercise Science

I’m back again with my next article of the series, which is continuation to the last discussion about Training Volume variable and it’s requirements. For people who did not get to read the first article the link to it is below. You might have to read that to understand this article. https://www.facebook.com/groups/squatsjc/permalink/2587752047950758/ Before we discuss anything further, you should know that volume is the primary driver for muscle growth (hypertrophy). But this doesn’t mean you can do any number of sets in the gym to maximize your muscle growth (if you are that guy who spends endless hours in the gym busting 50 or 100 sets for a muscle, I’m sorry, you’ll not progress). We have discussed two definitions in the last article, one was Training Volume Load ( load * sets * reps) and the set volume ( no. of sets performed per muscle per week). Your intention should be to maximize the training volume load and keep a check on your overall set volume for progressing in terms of hypertrophy. Let’s discuss set volume requirements first, then we’ll learn about training volume load (because training volume load needs a little bit of understanding about Motor Unit recruitment at different exertion levels). So there has been this question in my mind for a long time on how many sets should I perform per muscle per week (which is nothing but the set volume). And Brad Schoenfeld and James Krieger has done a Meta-Analysis to find out the same, which is the dose response relationship between the weekly resistance training volume and increases in muscle mass (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27433992). So what they tried to do here is, they tried to find out how an individual’s hypertrophy (muscle growth) levels were affected when they performed 5 sets per week, 10 sets per week, 20 sets per week and so on per muscle group. And what they observed is on an average case all muscle groups did get almost maximal hypertrophy response when they performed 10-15 sets per muscle per week. And there was only slight improvement in hypertrophy levels when they reached 20 sets per muscle per week. There was another research from James Krieger where he found out that as long as the individual performed around 30 sets per muscle per week, they still got similar hypertrophy response (close to maximal levels of muscle growth) without any negative effects of Overtraining. There is however one study by Brad Schoenfeld (8 weeks study) where individuals have shown better results with 45 sets per week per muscle in Quadriceps when compared to 27 sets per week (outlier). For now, just keep in mind that If you over train, you might lose muscle or might injure yourself because we are not giving enough time for the connective tissue of the joints to recover. We still need evidence/research to find out to what extent an individual can go(how many sets an individual has to perform) to maintain that maximal hypertrophy response before they starts losing muscle because of overtraining. And these volume recommendations will differ between muscle groups. In my opinion, the sweet spot for an individual to maximize muscle growth is to perform 20-30 sets per muscle per week. And anything beyond this set volume is most probably not going to significantly contribute towards your muscle growth and might even affect your progress in a negative way. (PS: The volume recommendations might change between different muscles and individuals by small or big values) References: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303131/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27433992 https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4663/6/1/7 https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2019/01000/Resistance_Training_Volume_Enhances_Muscle.13.aspx

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