# Why decrease in volume?

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by Singleton, Sep 19, 2005.

1. ### SingletonNew Member

In the HST principles, I don't see a decrease in volume as one of the principles.

However, during the program, we go from 15's to 10's, decreasing the volume by 30%. Then, when we go from 10s to 5s, we then cut the volume in half, and only increase the weight slightly. The volume is then 33% of the original volume.

I would like to know what reasearch supports the decrease in volume that this program calls for.

2. ### jwbondNew Member

many dont actually decrease the volume. more sets are added like so:

15s - 1 set
10s - 2 sets
5s - 3 sets

Therefore volume is similar. I go more by feel, but try to stay near the same volume from day to day.

3. ### jvroigSuper Moderator

Hey

Well, that's because it isn't. The decrease in volume is simply one way to handle the increasing load.

If you are already doing as much volume as you can, you can't expect yourself to be able to do the same amount of volume after significantly increasing a weight.

Keep the volume constant or not, it's no big deal. As long as the load is progressively increasing throughout the cycle, and you don't overtrain, then you are ok.

Regards,
-JV

4. ### 9to5lifterNew Member

The basic question asked has really been answered, so I'll just grab the opportunity to ask another related question.

Is there a minimum amount of TUL needed to produce the desired effect (microtrauma)?

I acknowledge that there are many parameters (amount of weight used, cadence, level of conditioning etc) and there isn't a simple answer, however I would like to know if there is a minimum &quot;threshold&quot;. The FAQ says something like &quot;10-12 reps in a sufficiently deconditioned muscle are enough to produce measurable anabolic changes&quot;. I can only assume that it refers to light weights (used during the 15's), otherwise there would be no point in doing one set only during the 5's.

5. ### FaustoHST Expert

9 to 5

I think this really depends on the condition of the athlete and RBE maintenance.

I think TUL changes as we increase the weight, the variation will come from the amount of sets one does, so it is somewhat personal.

Although yah, there may be a minimum in research somewhere

6. ### imported_dkm1987Guest

Not that I am aware of, and believe me I have looked, heck I'm still looking.

Speaking of the TTI, there are many that look at different aspects, Protein Kinase, PS, Blood Flow, but not myotrauma per se.

Also let me say that most of them look at it during an isometric contraction not isotonic, that can make a difference.

7. ### HardrockNew Member

I tried maintaining volume with this set scheme after reading Charles Ridgley's e-book section about keeping workload constant throughout the cycle. Darn near killed me- had to take a 3 week SD to recover. Of course I'm older than most of the young buck HST'ers on this forum so my exercise tolerance to volume is lower.

8. ### SingletonNew Member

No, it hasn't.

I would still like to know what reasearch supports the decrease in volume that this program calls for.

9. ### Blaks85New Member

actually, yes it has. sometimes science conflicts with real life capabilities:
imagine doing bench presses 4*10 with 150 thats 40 total reps. now imagine that this was the MOST weight you can do for the prescribed reps and afterwords you thru up (basicly reaching your workload limit)...
now imagine trying to do bench presses 8*5 with 200, thats also 40 total reps. same volume but if you look at it closer the work load has gone WAY UP! because while volume stayed constant, resistance has increased. so if the 1st session i mentioned made someone barf, do you really think that the same person would be able to do the second when the workload has actually increased??? answer: hell no. that is why volume must decrease somewhat to prevent overtraining.

so to keep it simple, just do as much as you can without overtraining and i guarantee you that you will realise my example thru real life experience.

10. ### imported_dkm1987Guest

There is no research saying that the volume has to decrease.

There is nothing saying you have to decrease volume. The volume you use will be dependant on many things.(1)

The research that does exist looks at what is called the Tension Time Integral or TTI for short. Now what has been seen is that is certain molecular events change based on peak tension (2), secondly there is a time that the tension needs to be exhibited (3) but it doesn't correspond to the rate of tension development(3).

Other studies (4,5,6) looking at PS rates show a strong correlation to TTI also. In other words if the tension exhibited is low then the time the tension is exhibited must be increased for matching FSR and molecular signaling. Inversely if the tension is high then the time needed is reduced.

TTI is also implicated in the bodies blood flow dynamic and metabolites.(7,8)

1-HST FAQ, &quot;How much volume and how to determine it&quot;
2-J Appl Physiol. 2001 Aug;91(2):693-702.
3-J Biomech. 2002 May;35(5):657-63.
4-J. Appl. Physiol. 69(5): 1709-1717, 1990.
5-J Physiol 547.P, P16.
6-FASEB J 19, 786–788.
7-J Appl Physiol 96: 2146-2152, 2004
8-J Appl Physiol. 1998 Jun;84(6):1882-8.

11. ### 9to5lifterNew Member

As the FAQ says, the volume doesn't have to drop as the weight increases. It often does though, because of our limited exercise tolerance. So, HST by itself does not call for a reduction in volume, nor is this a prerequisite for muscle growth. Within reason (taking into account CNS fatigue, fiber necrosis due to too much volume too soon etc), the more volume the better. But we have to balance that with other parameters, so we may end up reducing the volume to accommodate the ever increasing load.

About TTI now, it seems that there isn't yet a straight answer and I'm not sure there can be one. Personally I'm keeping what Dan said about the relationship between TTI and the level of tension applied (as the tension increases, less time is needed to achieve the desired effect, which also matches our intuition).

12. ### SingletonNew Member

What will cause more damage to the muscle:

1 set of 10 to failure with 275,
or
1 set of 5 with 285?

It's nice to do 5's after doing 10's because the volume drop gives my body a little break. That doesn't address the scientific part of it though.

That HST FAQ page is useful, though. Link: http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/cgi-bin....=13;t=7

13. ### 9to5lifterNew Member

The primary stimulus for muscle hypertrophy is load (activation of the MAPKp38 pathway). Another mechanism related to hypertrophy involves the MAPKerk1/2 pathway (that feeling of &quot;burn&quot; in the muscle), but this is not as important as the first.

If all other things are equal, an increase either in weight or volume will most probably be effective. 2 sets of 5 at 285 followed by metabolic work sets will be more effective than 1 set of 10 at 275. Given the importance of the p38 pathway, the first option will be preferable (size-wise) even if there are no metabolic work sets after the main work sets.

In short, I don't know the exact answer to your question. For 1 set of 5 to be more effective than 1 set of 10, I guess there should be a substantial increase in weight to compensate for the drop in volume. So, if you currently do 1 set of 10, I would suggest that you choose 2 sets of 5 later in the cycle (provided you can handle it of course).

Neither I nor anyone can tell you how many reps or how many sets you should perform. HST is not about a fixed number of reps and sets. Rather, it is about understanding the principles behind muscle hypertrophy so that you can tailor your routine to your own needs. Increase those factors you know are responsible for growth and you will be ok.

In conclusion, ideally the volume should remain constant or even increase throughout the cycle (not taking into account CNS fatigue). Nevertheless, the primary stimulus is load (how much weight we are using), so we focus on it first. That means that we strive to continually increase the load, even in the expense of reducing the volume sometimes (only when we have to, limited by our exercise tolerance). If you think you can maintain your volume throughout the cycle, then by all means go for it! Hope this helps a bit.