INBA Classic Physique competitor Joshua dives into why doing more sets isn’t always better for more muscle.
Many lifters focus more on the volume–sets, reps, and exercises–of their workouts than they do their intensity. Although volume is essential to good muscle growth, how hard you perform your workouts is paramount. International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) Classic Physique competitor and coach Joshua explains why.
According to Joshua, despite their questioning, he starts all of his clients with low volume. The theory is that he wants his clients to focus on quality and recovery. Joshua believes that if your intensity is high and your workout form is good, you won’t benefit from any more volume. Joshua stated (translated from Dutch to English):
“FIRST MAKE SURE YOUR EXECUTION IS GOOD, THEN MAKE SURE YOU TRAIN INTENSIVELY ENOUGH AND MILK THIS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, YOU WILL SEE THAT YOU NEED LESS THAN YOU THINK WHEN THESE ARE ON-POINT.”
Nevertheless, Joshua says if you feel like you have room for more volume after perfecting your form and pushing yourself to high intensity, then you can add more volume.
Volume Vs. Intensity for More Muscle
Both volume and intensity are essential for muscle growth. However, once you perform enough volume to stimulate the muscle-building process, keeping your exertion high is more important than adding more volume. Now, that’s not to say that higher volume won’t yield additional results. On the contrary, many advanced lifters, especially bodybuilders, add more volume to their workouts to maximize muscle mass.
That said, keeping your workout intensity high is necessary before adding more volume to your workouts. Otherwise, you will only hurt your recovery by adding more volume. Recovery is vital to building muscle, so you want to ensure you avoid overtraining.
Moreover, how strong you are is strongly correlated with how much muscle you have. Typically, the heavier the weight you can lift, the more muscle mass you have. Therefore, your focus should be on using the heaviest weight you can do in a given rep range before adding more sets and exercises to your plan.
2022 INBA PNBA International Battle Against Cancer
This upcoming Saturday, May 28, 2022, will be the INBA PNBA’s next bodybuilding show, the INBA PNBA Pro/Am International Battle Against Cancer. The show is presented by Diana Kakos, the CEO of the INBA PNBA, and will take place in Corona, CA. The event transpired among INBA PNBA athletes who have battled cancer, survived cancer, or have loved ones diagnosed with cancer. Generation Iron will cover the show and highlight some of the athletes’ inspirational stories.
The volume and intensity of your workouts are essential to reaching your physique’s full potential. However, it’s more important to push yourself on your exercises via using a heavy weight and doing the most reps you can do in a given rep range with that weight before adding volume to your workouts.