Among all of the useless discussions that populate the internet lifting space, there is none more brain rotting than the ‘debate’ between HIT cult zealots and… well…. everyone else.
For those not in the know, the cult of High Intensity took two bodybuilding figures out of thousands and decided to hold them up on a pedastal as if their career represents the pinnacle of strength training. I am of course talking about Mike Mentzer and Dorian Yates. Mike was a pro bodybuilder and an extremely well spoken ambassador of the sport. Yates was one of the greatest who brought in a paradigm shifting physique and both trained with some iteration of ‘High Intensity’.
The root of the ideology that gives birth to all of the variations is the belief that a muscle taken to failure has experienced sufficient enough a stress to grow, so every set beyond that is pointless. Doing a thoroughly challenging, all out set for each muscle group is enough, and that allows you to have shorter, more efficient workouts and train each muscle group more frequently throughout the week.
Like any religion, a small bit of truth was taken and used to justify the existence of 9 thousand different denominations. On the list of things that HIT fanatics don’t agree on is how much work is too much (Mike argued that Yates was still doing ‘too much work’, as if the point of training is to do the absolute bare fucking minimum), what constitutes failure (is it not being able to complete a rep or complete, scorched earth exhaustion within the muscle on a chemical level?) and what techniques should be used to reach this level (vicious debate over fatigue techniques like drop sets, tempo, load, etc.).
The current representatives of the Heaven’s Gate Cult of lifting cite Mentzer and Yates routinely as being the shining examples of what the training modality should be, yet they promote training that is substantially different from the strategies that he leaned on. One such guru adamantly argues against the forced reps and drop sets that Mentzer used to reach full exhaustion, calling it unnecessary nonsense. This individual promotes super light weight, super slow tempo lifts that last well over a minute (who wants any pesky strength adaptations to go with their hypertrophy?) and claims that reaching that point of failure is good enough.
Now, High Intensity as an approach has validity, but the movement shows that it has scraped the bottom of the barrel when droves of run-of-the-mill gym goers hop online and proclaim that, in the name of the KING, HIT is the ONLY way to train!
So this is my call to sanity, using methods used for size and strength by LITERALLY EVERY PROFESSIONAL SPORT AND STRENGTH PROGRAM. I don’t mean that a small majority, like 53.4% of football players, bodybuilders and Olympicans utilize volume, “so THERE!”. I mean, like, 95%+ of the best performers in the world utilize volume to grow mass; in some cases it really is 100%.
Here are the 10 reasons why volume is still the granddaddy of all training variables.Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Volume is KING for Size and Strength”