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Increasing Volume

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  • Increasing Volume


    I have run the HLM and GPP/Hypertrophy Bias (3 day) templates a few times now. Up to this point my strength has steadily gone up. After 2 runs respectively with little alterations I think it is time to up the volume. I finished HLM2.0 last week and want to start another hypertrophy cycle. I own the 4 day template but for now don't have the time to add another training day. So how would I go about increasing volume (if at all)? My first inclination was just adding one top set for every exercise. This seems to be unproblematic for the upper body lifts, the squat and the supplemental exercises but I am unsure about the deadlift considering the way BBM tends to program it's volume. Then again, my lower body lifts have increased substantially, whereas my upper body lifts are not up to par. So another thought was keeping the volume for squat and deadlift and adding one or two top sets only for the upper body lifts.

    Some context:
    I am 33 years old, weigh 102kg and don't plan on competing for the moment. I want to lose some weight. I have been eating at a caloric deficit for the past week (went down from about 3200Kcal to 2500Kcal).

    Last week I finished HLM2.0 with:
    Squat 217.5kg * [email protected]
    Deadlift 260kg * [email protected]
    Bench press 132.5 * [email protected]
    Press 92.5 * [email protected]

    Development of my e1RMs in that HLM cycle:
    Squat: 222kg --> 241.5kg
    Deadlift: 266kg --> 286kg
    Bench press: 136kg --> 144kg
    Press: 95.5 --> 102kg

  • #2
    If you're looking to increase volume across the board, why would the deadlift be treated any differently than other lifts? Simply add a set to each and life is good. Although, usually when adding a set you do it to backoff sets, not the top sets.


    • #3
      Thanks for the answer. I am not trying to espouse the Starting Strength mantra of the not recoverable deadlift. Still it is conspicious that the deadlift has less overall sets in most if not all templates. I was just looking for input on where to add and where to keep volume and if it is advisable to increase volume across all 9 slots.

      In regards to the additional working sets: the hypertrophy template ramps up to working sets @RPE8 which are supposed to be done with the same weight across. So apart from the heavy singles in the later weeks backoff sets are supposed to be equal to top sets.


      • #4
        The 4 day per week templates deadlift have equal amount of sets and slots as the squat generally. On the 3 day templates they get 1 less slot, but that's mainly because when removing a day you need to make tradeoffs somewhere. Upper body lifts tend to need more sets than the deadlift to progress, so they chose to sacrifice the deadlift a bit to prioritize an upper body slot in most of the 3 day templates. That's really the only reason, a tradeoff needed to happen and that was the lesser of the evils.

        I can't recall off hand how many sets are done @8 in a row on the hypertrophy templates, but I would probably pull 5% off the bar for any of the additional sets that you add. One can only repeat @8 so many times before it becomes a 9.5 or 10. If you want to really jack up the volume, do 1 top set @8 then pull 5% off and repeat that for however many sets. That gives you a bit more room intensity wise to add more sets, and is a very common tactic that they use to really jack up the volume in a balanced manner.
        Last edited by PWard; 02-12-2019, 12:44 PM.


        • #5
          The hypertrophy template programs up to four sets @8.

          You are probably right. If I plan to do one or two additional sets, I might take a little weight off the bar after my initial [email protected] It makes sense to sacrifice a little weight on the bar for extra volume. On Monday I started adding one set for all exercises. Thanks again for the insight.


          • #6
            Yep, it's really just a balancing act. When you add a little volume you generally have to take a way a little intensity. This is especially a good tradeoff if you're in a hypertrophy block, since weight on the bar is not the primary goal at this time.