Wed Jun 27 2018
The question can only be answered if you know what you want, and if you are in it for the long run.
From experience, and from many discussions I have had with top level coaches, here is what I believe works in terms of volume:
If maximal strength is the goal, then you will be dopamine dominant.
- 12 to 18 workouts per month. Twenty being the maximum.
- I can already hear you say that is too little.
- World class powerlifters follow this rule and are capable bench pressing over three times their bodyweight
- These dopamine dominant athletes work to the extremes in every workout, hence make deep inroads in their recovery ability. Therefore, varying the overload point in the strength curve is critical to both performance and longevity.
If your goal is hypertrophy training (muscle gain)
- You can make 80% of the maximal muscle growth potential by training just 18 workouts a month.
- 24 workouts per month being optimal. Can you gain significant muscles on lower volumes? Yes, for sure. It is the remaining 20% in muscle growth that can only be achieved by those extreme volumes. However, the question asked if for MAXIMAL results.
- The neural demands of hypertrophy are low compared to strength building. Muscles recover far faster than the nervous system.
- In hypertrophy training, you want to knock off as many motor units as possible.
- You are not interested in function, you are just interested in display.
More important than anything:
- Volume is a function of YOUR recovery ability.
- Train with as little volume to make gains.
- It is highly individual, if you grow more on 3 than 4, stick to 3.
- Volume is pointless if the overload principle is not applied.
Effective training is based on mastering the loading parameters. Volume being one of them.
Enjoy the progress,