There are THREE general ways to resistance train.
All can be effective, all of them deliver results, the “best” way is contextual
They all use the same exercises more less, but in different ways
I encourage trying ALL of them…
1. High Intensity, Low Volume
This is training to failure, or beyond failure. One or two working sets per exercise.
Frequency is generally not high, 4 days a week at most.
People that train this way typically keep a logbook. They focus on progressive overload of reps/weight
This style of training is arguably the most scientific. Its efficient, requires data tracking, and usually (but not always) a minimal number of exercises are done per muscle
It undoubtedly works.
@Mangan150 is a great example of this
So was Dorian Yates.
The caveat is that many people don’t LIKE to train this way. They want to do more in the gym, they want more exercises, more sets. They’re not trying to be efficient
That takes us to style 2
2. Moderate volume, moderate intensity
This is the middle of the bell curve. This is 3 sets of 10. Or 4 sets of 8.
Its the 8-12 rep range, its doing 2-3 exercises
Its basically conventional bodybuilding training.
It works for most people, most of the time.
People often critique this as non-functional, but for hypertrophy it 100% WORKS.
And reality check: 99.99% of people are not professional athletes. They simply want to look good naked
It checks the boxes for sufficient physiological stimulus and psychological satisfaction
It also produces increased calorie burn, fat burn, elevated metabolism, and as research shows that higher volume can lead to more muscle growth, in my professional experience it helps beginners grow FASTER
Most of my programs are moderate to high volume for this reason
3. High volume, moderate to low intensity
This is basically doing LOTS of sets, and often lots of reps as well
5×10, 5×20, 4×15, 8×8, 10×10, 8×5
Lots of sets, lots of reps, not training to failure
Some people get great results this way, and love it because… you are typically less likely to injure yourself with lighter weights.
Occasionally some people will try to combine volume training with going “heavy” but heavy is relative, and very few can pull it off without injury
Here is a sample chest workout
Which way is best?
ALL of them can work
All 3 styles are worth experimenting worth, your individuals results will fall somewhere on the bell curve
Obviously there are details to this: sets and reps, percentages, exercise selection