Testosterone Nation Article

I didn't realize it was a recycled article. It was the first time that I saw it and was impressed to see something geared toward natural lifters.
But O&G, he mentions mTOR activation! ;-)


Evidently I am working out too much. /borderlinesarcasm

In other words, the workout itself is what puts you in anabolic mode, whereas the enhanced bodybuilder doesn't need to use the workout as a trigger.

Also isn't your recovery the anabolic and all workouts catabolic?
While this is a good write-up for newbies, I have some issues with the article.

1. Frequency is king - disagree. Frequency is important but as we all know, load is king when progressed properly over a period of time. Frequency is finite, load is not.

2. Naturals should always train to hit each muscle group 3 times a week - disagree. Yes, that is a good idea but hitting a muscle group twice a week will work too, as would hitting a muscle group more than three times a week. I've found that as you advance, it is often important to reduce frequency although this often accompanies an increase in number of workouts per week. So we go from full body done 3 times a week to a split where we lift 4 times a week but only hit each muscle group twice each week.

3. Volume = bad... disagree. As your training status progresses, volume becomes more important. While his plan would work for someone on the cusp of beginner to intermediate, for someone who is advanced, it is a mistake to cut volume (and possibly load) in favor of lifting six days a week. There is a minimum amount of volume necessary to grow and this minimum threshold increases over time. A newbie can grow from a single top set but someone who can squat bodyweight x 2 or more is obviously going to need more volume to trigger growth. Also, counting volume based on number of sets rather than total reps is also dumb. Never do this.

What would be better? Balancing load, frequency and volume then adjusting as necessary over time. Having a total rep goal that you try to hit that scales down as load increases would work better. I also feel that using auto-regulation to manage your overall volume is an important skill to develop for more advanced lifters rather than relying on a sets x reps scheme.
For what it is worth... I did not agree with the entire TNation article either, but felt it was ok considering most of the main stream stuff that is written and published is totally geared up for people on anabolic substances. It was a nice change to see something a little more realistic for naturals. I still feel that when you apply HST principles with myo-reps to what this article says, it is relatively a good set up for beginner, intermediate and advanced. I am playing with the TNation routine now and feel that it works fine (as long as HST principles are applied), but my preference will be to go back to Monday - Wednesday - Friday full body routines, because I very much like the day off in between for mental and physical recovery. I could probably drop down to training 2X a week, because hypertrophy is not a huge goal any more (215lbs).

I feel that frequency is important no matter the training level you are at. I have experimented extensively with routines as well as spoken to a Physical Therapist (who advises me that best hypertrophy occurs when a muscle is trained every 48 hours). I am not saying that you won't get results from training 2X a week with more volume, but it seems that 3X a week with less volume is optimal. Hitting a muscle more than 3X a week can work too as you say, but the big factor here is whether your body can handle it due to circumstances such as age, health, sleep, diet...

Increasing load is absolutely important and I feel that that the goal is to be lifting more each HST cycle that you do (a progression). I have done the whole crazy load thing and have since learned that it is best to take it steady. I even think adding a rep here and there as well as controlling the weight more adds to loading while you are aiming to add some more plates to the bar. I didn't really understand the comment about load not being finite. I feel that you do end up hitting a wall with load eventually. Heaving heavy-heavy weight is a young man's game and boy do you need to be smart about it or you just wind up in "snap city" feeling the regret and wondering how the body will be when you turn 65 years of age.

I am probably not a big fan of higher volume and lower frequency and here is why... I have found that with more volume, I just lose mojo or tenacity (whatever you want to call it) as I progress through the routine. In my my opinion, there is nothing worse than being halfway through a chest workout and thinking "How many reps do I have now?". For me, it is much easier to have a higher frequency and lower volume. Training 3X a week seems to work really well for me, really well. I balance out the volume with the frequency and just hit it hard. Training Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are great as it allows that day off in between for both mental and physical recovery.
Was working out 5X a week, upper/lower splits (3 upper, 2 lower), basically just using 10RM loading with no progression. Switched up to GVT for a 6 week bulk, 3X a week, 1 workout per muscle group. Never done a volume workout program before, but I also like having every other day off for a change.
Routine is basically 10X10reps starting at 60% 1RM and I've been able to increase weight every week on each exercise. Love the lactic acid pump I get with this as with my age, I don't go HEAVY on my lifts to stave off any injuries or strains.
Recovery for me needs to be a few days, as I can feel DOMS for 3 or 4 days afterwards, which I also like as I never really got that with HST frequency and low set workouts... Not that DOMS is any indication of growth.
On a bulk with perhaps 300-400 surplus daily calories, minimal fat gain but up 7 lbs now from summer weight. I like that the surplus is there to help fuel my workouts and on off days, the same surplus calories go towards tissue repair, which helps keep it relatively clean.
Highly amused that people still try to categorise squat and deadlift into quads and hamstrings, and therefore push and pull respectively.