High Volume vs. High Intensity: Which is better for muscle growth?

Working out is challenging, especially for beginners. Not everyone’s body will react the same to a certain type of workout. This is why, ultimately is up to you to find what works. In this guide, we will discuss what is high volume training and the high-intensity training, two strategies that you can try. But before you make up your mind, you should fully understand what these strategies imply.

What Is High Volume Workout?

As a general definition, volume workout refers to the number of repetitions you do when you work a particular muscle. People count these differently, though. Some count the number of sets they perform or the number of weights they move.

For instance, you might be counting a set of five or ten repetitions of the same exercise. If you are counting the weight, you move during your workout, and you will multiply the number of repetitions with the number of pounds you use.

If you are wondering what is high volume training, this refers to an increased number of repetitions. It usually involves lifting weights to add to its difficulty level. But you can perform it without weights, to begin with.

However, you need to be careful when you are chasing a high volume workout. The number of repetitions should go up gradually and not all of a sudden.

If you are a beginner, you should take the baby steps when increasing the repetitions. It can be dangerous for you to go from five repetitions to 15 by skipping the levels in between.

Rather than doing that, add two more repetitions every time you feel the need for it. Maintain this level of difficulty for a few workouts before you increase the repetitions again.

You can consider doing a high volume training for muscle growth when you go through a minimum of 20 repetitions. As you get better at it and increase your resistance, you will double and even triple this number.

But it will take time and I some cases several weeks of constant dedication to reach this level. The weight you add to your repetitions is also important.

A minimum weight to use for 20 repetitions will be 50 pounds if you get to an expert level. Again, as you move forward, you will find it natural to increase the weight as well.

This is safe as long as you don’t push your body beyond its limits. According to the most appreciated workout programs, anywhere above 100 repetitions per week is a high volume training. Once you know what is high volume training, you can start incorporating it into your routine properly.

What Is a High-Intensity Workout?

When it comes to what is high-intensity training, this is quite different than the volume workout. You shouldn’t get them confused as they address different types of training. Also, they can’t be both good for everyone, and your workout history is very important in the matter.

You might start your fitness journey doing both volume and intensity workouts and continue on this dual path for a while. But along the way, you will identify what works best for you and stick to that more. Even if both workouts should be part of a healthy routine, one will inevitably become dominant for you.

Unlike volume workout, intensity workout focuses more on the level of difficulty rather than the number of repetitions. For instance, you will pay more attention to how heavy the weights are and not to the number of lifts you make. You will create a report between the weight you lift in one repetition.

Generally, a high-intensity workout will translate into a lot fewer repetitions and heavier weights. This is not something beginners should start with because there is a great risk of injury. If you are successfully performing a high-intensity workout, you most likely will not be able to do more than seven repetitions.

You can lift around 100 pounds with just a few repetitions and notice muscle growth over time. High intensity for muscle growth means a great effort that is also constant. You can’t expect the muscles of a bodybuilder with just one or two repetitions of lifting even 100 pounds a week.

You will have to lift as much as you can, for as many times as you can daily. You need to understand and apply what is high-intensity training to get the muscles you want.

How To Choose The Best Type Of Workout For You

If you are wondering what type of workout to try for muscle growth, the answer is not simple. Many factors should be taken into account when you are deciding on the best workout for you.

The general rule says that volume workout keeps you thin and lean while intense workout builds up your muscles. But the truth is somewhere in the middle.

You will need to start with volume workout first without even focusing on intensity workout. It will prepare your body for the highest sessions of workout and all those heavyweights.

You should master a high volume workout with weights that you are comfortable lifting. Once you master this and you can do more than 20 repetitions with a decent weight, you can introduce intense training.

Introducing intense workout doesn’t mean that you increase the weights when you exercise. As you increase the weights, you will have to decrease the repetitions, at least for the beginning part.

As we mentioned, you can get to lift 100 pounds twice or three times and call it a successful intense workout when you notice that instead of three repetitions you can do five without struggling or even seven, it might be time to add some more to your weights.

Otherwise, don’t upgrade! Lifting more weights than your body is used to can severely damage not only your muscles but also your back. If you are not sure how to go about this workout path and combine the volume training with intense training, ask a professional trainer. But never take risks that could put you and your general health in danger.

Starting with high volume training for muscle growth is a great idea but not a permanent strategy. As you get your body lean enough and you build up your resistance, you will reduce the volume workouts. You might want to do volume workouts or cardio one day a week, but your focus will mainly be on a high intensive workouts.

But this is a second phase in your workout long term plan. Never start with high intensity for muscle growth without having the endurance and strength for it. It will not get you to have the muscles you want faster. But it will bring your body to a lot of stress and hazards.

Frequency Of Workout

To build up muscles, you need to stay consistent with your workout, as well. Schedule your workouts for the week and stick to the plan you create for yourself. If you work out one day a week, it will not help you much.

Especially if you want to obtain the body of a bodybuilder, you have to make sure to work out religiously at least three times a week.

As you get used to working out, you will notice that your body starts to crave it. You will not only work three days a week but four, five, and even six. But get there slowly, so you take advantage of all the benefits.

It is important, however, to keep one day a week for resting your muscles. Even if you can work out daily, taking a break can bring you more benefits than you imagine. You can resume light stretching during your day off.

Final Thought

As you can see, there is not just one recipe to get the muscles you want. It takes a lot of discipline and motivation to build them. You need to find the right and healthy balance between high volume training and high-intensity training. And always keep your health in mind because there are many risks of injuries that you might face along the way!

Combining volume with intensity workout is the best long term strategy to obtain the body of your dreams. It is important to follow the guidance of a professional trainer to avoid putting yourself at risk.

Especially if you don’t have experience when it comes to working out and understanding the limits of your body, but with patience and the right type of training, you will get where you want to be!