Intensity vs Volume


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High Intensity Training vs Volume Training

The two big prime approaches in training are intensity and volume. Each is the main factor in how a person works out. And a few people (very few) combine the two into one approach.

The combination of intensity and volume requires a stout constitution. Yet it can be done and two multi-Mr. Olympia title holders have done just that. Arnold Schwarzenegger used a heavy volume approach to training and yet was able to employ the highest level of intensity to his workouts. And Ronnie Coleman also combined volume with intensity.

Typically, however, most people use one or the other approaches to working out, focusing on a shorter, more intense workout or a longer workout without as much intensity generated for each exercise.

Outside of the professional bodybuilders, volume training is becoming harder to do as fewer people have access to the personal free time needed to perform extensive workouts.

The shorter time span of high intensity training fits much better with today's overloaded and very busy culture and high intensity training has grown in favor as it works well for most people.

Pros and Cons of Volume Training

Volume training provides the user the time to try out a lot of different exercises on each and every muscle group. And in doing so you find out what works best on your muscles. Volume training forces some growth, particularly in the initial stages.

Volume training does have a downside. The heavy volume can cause overtraining. Volume training is often the realm of the professional bodybuilder who uses chemical enhancement in order to recover from the big workouts. That option is not there for the natural athlete, and the body can break down under long bouts of volume training. And of course there is always the time factor who has lots of it today?

Pros and Cons of Intensity Training

High intensity training allows the user to get down to business right away. Intensity training fits best with the body's own natural energy flows as a shorter session fits in better with the hormonal output range for building muscle. Intense training also forces the body to grow in response.

Intense training can be challenging because you have to hit each workout on target. You have to be way up emotionally and mentally to make it through each session. And you have to get the exercise mix just right as you dont have many opportunities in a short session.

Both styles have pros and cons but for a natural training bodybuilder the intense approach usually fits the best.


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