For anyone starting out at the gym or who has hit a plateau, there’s one old school technique that Arnold Schwarzenegger used that helped him get some serious gains.
Unlike many newbies at the gym today, he didn’t do a few push ups, text for a while and then take selfies in the mirror. He put blood sweat and tears into forging the world’s greatest body.
He did something called volume training, where you try to exhaust the muscle and get a ‘pump’ (where the muscles become engorged with blood) by hitting a moderate to high amount of reps for multiple sets.
But while hitting a high volume of reps in his training helped forge his famous physique, one of Schwarzenegger’s most famous followers Cory Gregory says it’s something many people these days ignore.
In an interview with Barbell Shrugged, he said people aren’t working hard enough to force the muscle to grow by sticking with 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
But Gregory insists that volume training is the best way to stress the muscle:
What’s happening is these guys have read all these bodybuilding magazines for all these years, and Arnold and those guys had it right, I believe.
That’s what changes the body. When people are reading stuff now 3 sets of 8 isn’t going to change your body. It’s not happening.
For me it’s the volume and the supersets. When I first met Arnold I was like ‘we’ve got to bring it back’ kids don’t even know what a superset is. That stuff burns me to the core.
You have to stress the body if you want to grow.
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So if you’ve reached a plateau and are looking to grow your muscles, add in some volume training to your programme. You’ll need to do high reps on a medium to light weight with lots and lots of sets and short rest periods to keep the intensity high.
If you want to go for an even more intense work out, you can throw in some drop sets or even go for supersets where you do two different exercises, one straight after the other.