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BendtheBar 05-29-2011 10:32 PM

About Training Volume
As a general guideline I advocate 9 to 12 weekly sets for large muscle groups, and about 3 to 6 weekly sets for smaller muscle groups.
  • Large Muscle Groups - 9 to 12 Weekly Sets.
  • Small Muscle Groups - 3 to 6 Weekly Sets.

Is this enough volume?

Is this enough volume? Let's take a look at several possible scenarios. Keep in mind that Dungeon Training recommends no more than 3-4 weekly training sessions, so all examples will be framed using that training frequency.

Before we look at these examples, let's take a peek at muscle groups.

Large Muscle Groups
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Quads

Small Muscle Groups
  • Traps
  • Abs
  • Obliques
  • Lower Back
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Rear Delts
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Forearms

Maximum Volume. Using my guidelines for sets per week, if you performed the maximum number of set for every possible bodypart, your training would entail:
  • Large Muscle Groups - 48 Sets.
  • Small Muscle Groups - 60 Sets.

Maximum training when using my recommendations would equate to 108 sets per week. If you trained 3 days per week this would equal 36 sets per day, which is an insane amount of volume. I would never advocate this amount of daily volume. It's extreme overkill.

If you trained 4 days per week, this would equate to 27 sets per training day. Though not as bad as 36 sets per day, this is still overkill, and nothing I personally would ever recommend for a beginner to early intermediate.

Minimal Volume. Obviously, very few of us work every bodypart. So, let's look at an example involving a minimal amount of sets per week.
  • Large Muscle Groups - 36 Sets.
  • Small Muscle Groups - 36 Sets.

* For small muscle groups we will work hamstrings, biceps, triceps, calves and abs for 6 sets each week. Rear delts and traps will be worked 3 sets each, and all other muscle groups will not be trained. (Remember, this is not a guideline, but merely a minimalistic example)

Our minimum example involves 72 sets per week. This works out to:

3 Days Per Week - 24 sets per day
4 Days Per Week - 18 sets per day


My weekly set recommendations provide plenty of training volume for natural lifters. If fact, they land a tad bit on the high side. Most of the workouts I recommend involve fewer sets than even the minimal example.

When structuring programs, focus on your major muscle groups first, and then add in volume for minor muscle groups - as needed, and as appropriate.

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