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The blurred line between volume and HIT

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Like most things in life,  people tend to fall somewhere in the middle between polar opposites.
Let me explain.
Let's say you are going to bench press and you decided that you want to use a weight that will allow you to get around 8 reps per set.

The HIT approach: You are planning to do one all out set with 275. So you do a brief warm up, something like 135x8, 185x3, 225x2. The warm up is very brief because your focus is the one all out set with 275.

The volume approach (the textbook volume approach). You are going to do 4 sets of 8 with the same weight. Now if your best set of 8 is 275lbs, you know you won't be able to use that weight  for all 4 sets. So your workout might look  something like this: 135x8, 185x5, 225x8,8,8,8.

The blurred line : You are going to pyramid up in the 6-9 rep range. So your workout might look like this: 135x9, 185x9, 225x6-9, 275x6-9 . This isn't HIT, because there is fatigue being accumulated during the work up sets.  It's really not volume since you are not repeating any sets. And you are really working up instead of just warming up.

The third approach is generally what people gravitate toward to once they have been training for several years and have reached the intermediate stage ( squat 1.75xbw, bench 1.5xbw, deadlift 2xbw,standing overhead press 1xbw, weighted chin up/pull up bw+50%).

The one draw back of this approach is that it's difficult to see where the warm up sets end and work sets begin, this is more than just a minor detail, because the overall workout volume and training load is affected by what weights you are using for your work up sets.

Sometimes we can make things complicated. Jeff Everson once wrote an article titled something like,You don't have to be a scientist  to be a bodybuilder. Some really good bodybuilders couldn't tell you what they did for chest the day before.

So in effect what you are saying is that you have a pure hit trainer, a volume trainer and one that uses both systems to an extent. I would say use all three from time to time.

I warm up with one set..then the next three are with my max weight . I may drop reps on the last set but the weight stays the same .

There have been a lot of threads lately about HIT vs volume. I wanted to start one dedicated to this sort of in-between approach. While many people would classify this as a volume type style of training, I wanted to show the fundamental difference between the two.
Obviously this is nothing new or ground breaking, as I said earlier I feel like most people tend to gravitate toward this type of approach after some years of training. But I did put a twist on it that I have not seen before. I organized it  in a way that will encourage progressive overload but in the BB style rep ranges. As well as paying careful attention to total volume.

WARNING! Not for the mathematically impared

3 rep ranges of ascending pyramid sets, pick one rep range for an excercise to use during your workout.

3x8-12   60%x12   80%x8-12   100%x8-12=(8-12rp max)     ( total reps 24-36 )

4x6-9     55%x9     70%x9        85%x6-9    100%x6-9=(6-9rp max)       ( total reps 24-36 )

6x4-6     50%x6     60%x6        70%x6        80%x6      90%x4-6     100%x4-6=(4-6rp max)  (total reps 24-36)

So let's say your target weight for the workout is squatting 405 for 6-9 reps

Your workout would look like this:
135x5 warm up (if you feel like you need it)
225x9 work set
285x9 work set
345x9 work set
405x6-9 work set

You can also use this to organize your training by 3 week waves, I have found this to work really well actually

Week 1 3x8-12
Week 2 4x6-9
Week 3 6x4-6

I don't use this approach with every single excercise, just the big compound ones that I will use first in a workout.

way to complex for me to even try


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