Q:My training partner and I are both physicians. We recently have started the New Rules of Lifting Program. We’re seeing some of the best gains of our lives — but we are used to doing more sets and reps per bodypart and are concerned that we’re not doing enough work.
A: You’re seeing “the best gains” of your life and you think you’re not doing enough? How did you get through medical school with such an understanding of logic…. 🙂
This reminds me of a story I’ve been meaning to tell. I went to a seminar in November a couple of years ago. Rachel and I were talking to a very smart physical therapist – and he was talking about the interaction between the shoulder, the lat and the opposite hip and saying that he treats them all whenever someone complains of shoulder pain.
The next day I went to the gym with him. As we were walking in he asked me what I was going to do. I told him and asked him. He answered “back”. And that’s what he did. For about 30 mins he pulled a weight from above his head to his collarbone (pulldowns). And for another 30 mins he pulled a weight from arm’s length in front of him to his stomach (rows). Of course he used different grips to really bomb and blitz the back from all angles…
It surprised me that this super-sharp PT knew all about anatomy trains and rehabilitation but his workouts were archaic.
Anyway – I think volume is the least important exercise variable. Intensity is number one and frequency is probably number two.
So don’t worry about the volume. Focus on your results.
BTW- do you know that “bodypart” shows up as a spelling error in Microsoft Word? It’s a made-up word from the bodybuilding world…
Q: Why do you recommend the “as many reps as possible” workout at the end of the first phase in New Rules of Lifting for Women ?
A: Aside from just showing progress – it’s really to show women that they are strong – they can lift heavy loads and shouldn’t be afraid to do so.
I was sent a blog post from a lady who started with 95lbs in the squat for 12 reps.
At the 30 day “test” she performed 35 reps.
Now – the program is good – but there is no way that this lady improved her muscular strength/endurance from 12 reps in the squat to 35 reps with the same load in 30 days. that’s close to a 300% improvement!
(I’ve read of another lady performing 70+ reps!!!)
Looking at the rest of her post – there isn’t a single exercise that she didn’t almost double or triple the reps in the AMRAP workout.
I’d love to say that it’s because my programs got her super-strong super-fast – but in all reality it’s a sign that she didn’t pick a heavy enough weight to start with.
The “special workouts” point out how much females understimate their strength.
Sure, they improve a bit over the first 30 days – but not as much as this.
That’s why it’s such a powerful tool. When females start the second phase – they’ll pick much more appropriate loads and experience great progress.