Going back to a low volume routine

Going back to a low volume routine

Had to take a week off from the gym I was running myself into the dirt on a 6 day moderate volume routine. I loved the program but I just couldn’t keep it up. Any more than 4 days and I just can’t recover properly, same with higher volume training.

So I switched back to one of my favorites.
Big As Growth Principles for Beginners
It’s a push pull legs 3 day a week low volume high intensity routine focusing on progressive overload and progressive eating. 1 set to failure on each exercise 211 tempo.
I can post it if you’re not familiar with it.

What do you guys prefer and why?
I love training discussions and diet discussions I always learn something. It’s crazy how often I see drugs being at the forefront now and the meat and potatoes stuff that really matters being secondary.


You should post it up im curious to see which version your using

I couldn’t agree more about diet and training almost being non existent when its the most important part.
You can run alot of gear and gain alot of water and you will look good but then you will just shrink to possibly smaller than you were before you started because your levels are all over the place.

I see everyone who is new to cycling just ask about the compounds I believe that if they just ate more and hit it hard they can possibly gain more than if they use compounds. This is for guys 18-23 if you wait longer you will get much bigger.


Here’s the cut and pasted article:
There is gear recommendations however I think you can completely take that out and everything else is great information

This is written by Big A so I take absolutely no credit for anything below:

This is a general guide for beginning and intermediate bodybuilders that don’t know the principles behind muscle growth yet or are not happy with the results that they are currently getting.

We will go through training, diet and gear. I will tell you the principles behind everything that I recommend for you to do, so you can understand why certain things happen, so in the future you can fix problems yourself. Bodybuilding is a very simple and logical endeavour. Everything that you do has to be logical. Only logical actions will give you results. Every time that you come across a new principle, always ask yourself it it makes logical sense. If it does not, dump it!


Why does a muscle grow? Because it has to adapt. When does it have to adapt? When you expose it to something that it has not done before. When is something that it has not done before? When the muscle is taxed 100%. That’s 100% effort. What’s 100% effort? When you train to 100% PHYSICAL, not mental failure. So, to make the muscle grow, you have to train with 100% effort otherwise, the muscle will not adapt/grow.
Now, using the above logic, for a set to be beneficial to your growth, it needs to be 100% effort. So, a 100% effort set of an exercise, will make you grow. Then, what is the point to do a second set of that exercise? You cannot go more than 100%. The muscle already has been taxed by 100% from the first set, so why should you do a second one? You will just eat into your recovery ability. So, you should only do one set to failure per exercise. Later on, I will describe the training program and how exercises and warm-ups are involved.

A muscle will not grow until it’s recovered. The muscle will not begin to recover until the nervous system is Recovered. It takes roughly 24hours for the nervous system to recover from a workout. Only then will the muscle begin to recover and grow. So, you should never train 2 days in a row. Even if you train different bodyparts, you still use the same nervous system. You train 2 days in a row, your nervous system recovers, but by the time the muscles begin to, you train again, so the body has to concentrate again on recovering the nervous system.

A training frequency of 3 days per week (Mon, Wed, Fri) is more than enough. Numerous pros, including myself, train like this offseason for maximum growth. Even if you use streroids, you still have to train like this. Steroids increase your recovery ability, but they also make you stronger at a quicker rate. The extra strength will give you the ability to train harder/tear more muscle tissue, so you will need the extra recovery that the steroids will give you.

The following is a great training program that I recomend:

Mon – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

  • Incline press – warm-up sets, 1 work set
  • Flat flyes – 1 work set
  • Millitary press – 1 warm-up, 1 work set
  • Lateral flyes – 1 work set
  • Rear delt machine – 1 work set
  • Tricep pushdowns – 1 warm-up, 1 work set
  • Lying tricep extensions – 1 work-set

Wed – Quads, Hams, Calves

  • Squats – warm-ups, 1 work set
  • Leg press – work set
  • Leg extension – work set
  • Leg curl – warm-up, work set
  • Stiff leg deadlift – work set
  • Standing calf raise – work set

Fri – Abs, Back, Bis

  • Rope crunches – warm up, work set
  • Lat pull down – warm-ups, work set
  • Deadlift – warm-up, work set
  • Bent-over rows – work set
  • Shrugs – work set
  • Standing BB curls – warm up, work set
  • Concentration curl – work set

You do a lot of warm-ups for your first exercise of the day. You do one warm-up for the first exercise of each bodypart, only to optimise the firing of the neuropathways.
Let’s use chest as an example – if for example your max (work set) in the incline press is 3 plates, then you do 2 warm-ups with the bar, 2 warm-ups with one plate, 1 warm-up with 2 plates and then your work set with 3 plates. The work set is a set where you fail at about 6 reps. Every workout, you have to do more reps or increase the weight in that work set (remember, the muscle has to do something that it has not done before). So if one work out you fail with 6 reps, the following nothing less than 7. When you reach 8 reps, the following workout you should do (increase) a weight where you can do minimum 4 reps. Then increase your reps again every workout until you reach 8 again, and so on. Each rep has a tempo of 2-1-1. That is 2 seconds in the negative, one second in the contraction
and 1 second in the positive. Then, after you fail in the incline press, you move straight to flat flyes. You do not need a warmp now because your chest is more than warm after you failed on presses. And that’s it for chest. The basic routine stays the same. If you want variety, small changes as using DB’s instead of BB or doing flat presse and incline flyes for example, is mor ethan enough variety to keep the muscle ‘confused’.


VERY simple. Very important that you try to get as close to 500g of protein per day. Easiest way to do that is to have a whey protein shake in water with every meal. Fats and carbs don’t matter. Calories don’t count, macro nutrients (protein, fat, carb) do. If you get to add fat on, just cut out the fats and keep your carbs bellow 300g/day. That’s all it is! Very simple, but hard to stick to, so not many people get results. On gear, the more protein you eat, the more you grow. Is as simple as that. Gear maximises protein synthesis.


You need a testosterone base. 750mg/week is plenty. You need an anabolic – deca or Eq at 400mg/week is plenty. You need for optimum growth, a good oral like d-bol at 30mg/d or A-50 50mg/d. You use the test and the anabolic non stop. The oral is 4 weeks on 4 weeks off. Every 6th week (the half way point between the off oral period – so 2 weeks after you finish the oral) you have a blood test. If the blood test is OK, then you can begin your next 4 weeks on oral. There is no reason for you to come off. The only 2 reasons are health or your receptors are saturated. If the regular blood test is OK, your health is OK. If you are still making progress, your receptors are OK. Coming off, will just sabotage your gains. That’s why I do not believe in set time frames for cycles. Listen to your body. When you use the oral, you need to use all the liver aids available – Synthergine, Milk Thistle, L-methionine, Liv-52, etc. Of course you cannot drink or do rec drugs during that time. Using these precautions, your blood tests will be OK.
You also need to use an anti estrogen like Nolvadex at 10mg/d throughout the whole time. Also, you have a choice between HCG every 4 weeks at 5000IU or Clomid at 50mg EOD. These will make sure that your balls will stay at a decent size and they will not forget how to function. The blood tests that you need are: full blood count, liver and kidney function tests, FSH, LH, TSH, cholesterol. If the Total protein test in the liver tests is high, that is because of your diet. You need to keep an eye on the Billirubin and Urea test results. Your FSH and LH will be suppressed – that’s normal because of the gear. If the TSH is low, add 20mcg/d T3. If the kidney function is off, then drink more. Protein stresses the kidneys, so you need more fluids. When you eventually come off the gear, you make sure that you are off the orals. Then cut out the anabolic over 2 weeks. Then the testosterone over 3 weeks. One week after that, you need to add primo tabs or anavar (oxandrin) for 3 weeks. That will ensure that you will keep your gains.
Ideally do a gainkeeper’s formula that is outlined in another article.

These are the basic principles behind muscle growth. You do the above you will GROW, no matter what.


I can agree with 98% of that but

This is the part that I don’t totally agree with just because AAS is taken for recovery why lose the extra time. I don’t agree with 7 days a week but 5 is my way nowadays.

Maybe someone else who is an actual bber can tell us if this is the way you guys are getting it done?


I agree with you on this one. I don’t 100% agree with the logic or reasoning behind the whole article however I do like the basics of it.
I think some of it like the cns stuff is very out dated. I think someone could use the basics here and turn it into a great 4day split which I’m actually thinking about with an a/b rotation of each day.
2 on 1 off 2 on 2 off
So week one would be
Push pull legs push
Week 2
Pull legs push pull
Week 3
Legs push pull legs
And so on so you’re hitting everything with more frequency.

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We enjoy all knowledge here even some things that don’t relate to bbing lol
This is a good post.
Your right definitely outdated im going to guess he wrote it 6yrs ago?
I like your split I do the every 2 days during my maintenance work out is what I call it lol works well especially if you keep your diet up. The first time I ran skipping multiple days I was freaking out but my buddy convinced me it was the way. In my first 3wks I was thinking that I was getting fat so I upped my cardio boom week 4 I just lost the extra weight I was running test e npp tbol the extra weight I felt like my body just sucked it in as energy because after I was always hungry I couldn’t stop eating. When I did feed I felt like an animal but a hungry one lol

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It was written about 16 years ago, 2004.

What did your maintenance phase workout look like?

Maintenance is what I call a workout every 2 days I sometimes will workout eod but its mostly during my cruise or pct when im trying to keep gains but let myself heal up from what I put my body through.Not reccomended
I run for 40wks out of the year usually so that time off really helps

What’s your current workout and diet look like? Or any advice you might have?
Appreciate the replies

What’s interesting is I just read this article from Ric Drasin Over Training Back In The Day.
Guys from the 70s 80s and even the 90s probably over trained. There are stories which support those guys typically training twice a day sometimes seven days a week.

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How long you spending in the gym each session? Do you burn out on longer sessions. Me personally I’m in and out in 45 mins - 1hr, but I’m giving it 110% the whole time, the reason I ask is if I was to go any longer then my time frame I’d be slacking I’m some way shape or form. I always tell my self " don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself"


Awesome. Love the bodybuilding history. I think a lot of younger guys could benefit from the less is more mentality.
It’s interesting how he said they were over trained. I wonder if that’s part of the reason guys are bigger now? I know that’s obviously not the only reason.

Did he ever post the article on diet?

The first routine I ever had a friend had me doing 6 days a week chest back, shoulders and legs, biceps and triceps, repeat. Its the only thing I knew so I spun my wheels for about 3 years and ended up hurting my right shoulder. I think he pulled it out of Arnold’s old book.

Usually with warm ups, workout and stretching maybe an hour and 45 minutes. Try and stretch for about 20-30 minutes everyday. Leg day might be longer because it takes me so long to recover after each exercise.
Tuesday when I did legs I used the tru squat because I can no longer do free weight squats and it took me about 5 minutes before I could make myself get up to go over to the leg press. I was stuck on the leg press having to talk myself into doing anything else.

If you wouldn’t mind post up your current routine and any tips you might have.

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I hear ya on not being able to recover training 6 days a week. I did it for many years but my elbows, wrists, delts, knees, just can’t recover now. If I force out this type of training I hurt too much to lift as heavy or do as many reps. I’m finding eod or 4 days a week training works well and I grow if I get all the calories in. Food is half the battle.
I was a very high volume guy for many years throughout my 40’s. I’m talking 50 sets per workout. These days I keep it at 12-17 sets, depending on how things feel that day.


I personally feel low volume can be quite effective, IF and only if one can truly push the limits on those all out sets.


I like my workout somewhere in the middle, for example I might do my first three or four sets in the 6-8 rep range, but I like to finish up with dropsets or supersets. I try not to go to failure more than one set per exercise. It also depends on the part of the body part I’m working that day. I’ve had to do higher volume on back day to see growth, same for my delts, where legs do great with lower volume as long as the I’m going as hard as I should.

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Speaking of intensity how many of you remember the old Trevor Smith Beyond Failure Training?
I can post that up to if anybody is interested.

That’s another guy that had I read everything by about that I could I find.

I train high volume and high frequency.

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