13 February 2010

*If You Still Think High-Volume Training Will Make You Small, Fat, and Weak...

Well, fuck you.  You're an idiot.

Guess who won the most gold medals in weightlifting in the last Olympics.

Give up?  The Chinese.  They won 13 out of 16 possible gold medals, and 2 were because the Chinese had no one at that weight class.

Guess what the Chinese program is like. 

Give up?  High fucking intensity, brutal, day long workouts, 6 days a week.  Year-round.  There's no time for bullshitting about with extended rest periods and abbreviated workouts with the Chinese... they're too busy winning every medal on Earth to bother with Mentzer, Rippetoe, and Stuart McRobert's fear of the ephemeral overtraining boogeyman.

The Chinese Olympic weightlifters have two daily training bloc sessions, one in the morning, and one in the evening, 6 days a week.  Their morning workout is called morning exercises, and seems to consist of light jogging (fucking jogging?), GPP and auxiliary work, while the afternoon workout is a lengthy, heavy, affair consisting of a shitload of low rep sets.  These little yellow weight-destroying, testosterone-dripping, giant-brass ball rocking motherfuckers also look how you'd expect them to- bad fucking ass.

One of their lifters, Zhang Xiangxiang, is a fucking fireplug at 5'2", 137, ripped to the fucking bone.  His Olympic entry total is more than half the motherfuckers on bodyspace can pull off in a full powerlifting meet- 704lbs.  That's right- seven hundred and four pounds went over that little bastard's head in two lifts.  When was the last time YOU put 300-400 lbs overhead at a bodyweight of 137?  For that matter, when was the last time you chumped double your bodyweight overhead, with a shitload of change to spare?  This little Nuprin-colored motherfucker does it every day of the week, just because, and then he goes and shits plate steel and ejaculates lightning, because he's bored with all of the other retardedly impressive shit he does as a matter of course every day.  In one random BBC video I saw of him on Youtube, the fucker doubled 396 for a front squat, with no problem, AFTER BEING PARALYZED AND IN A COMA FOR 5 DAYS WHEN THE CHINESE FUCKED UP AND ZAPPED HIS SPINAL COLUMN WITH PAINKILLERS TRYING TO TREAT A LOW BACK INJURY.

Still unconvinced?

Ivan Abadjiev created the Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifting Program over the course of 20 years rotting behind the iron curtain, eating goulasch and probably hating the whole fucking world to death because the Soviets' boots were on his neck every morning when he awoke.  he put all that hatred to good use, though, and formed the powerhouse program that dominated the sport of weightlifting until the last Olympics.

Never satisfied with the brutal manner in which his lifters destroyed their opposition, Abadjiev continually adapted his program, discarding exercises until 1986 when his lifters performed just 5 (Snatch, Power Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Power Clean and Front Squat) and exclusively for single repetitions.

Abadjiev stated that "Consistent training with high intensity loadings can increase the density of nerve impulse that can be generated by the central nervous system. Over time this allows the athlete to recruit a greater percentage of their higher threshold muscle fibres and hence significantly improve power output. Additionally, there is evidence that Type IIa muscle fibres can actually be converted to the more powerful Type IIb fibre type. Abadjiev states that these adaptations are best achieved when loadings are near maximal."(1) 

Translation- lifting a ton of singles at near-max weights will make you bigger and stronger. 

He also said that "Employing single lifts at maximum improves both intra and inter muscular coordination. The former involves improved synchronisation of fibres within a muscle, and the latter, improved efficiency between muscles. This is especially important in the Olympic lifts which are highly technical whole body movements. Due to fatigue these adaptations cannot be optimally developed when employing multiple repetition sets. Additionally, as technique degrades rapidly under fatigue, there is a risk that lifters may be rehearsing a sub optimal movement pattern."(1)

Translation- not only will lifting ultra-heavy singles make you bigger and stronger, but you'll lift with better form than you would with multiple reps.

"Finally, there are many lifters who have flawless technique at submaximal loads but whose technique deteriorates under maximal loading. The Bulgarian system obviously requires the lifter to attempt maximums on a regular basis. This translates into greater confidence with heavy weights, a more consistent competition performance, plus the advantages gained from heavier opening attempts."(1)

Translation- you fucking suck for even thinking about doing reps.  Your parents are embarrassed of you and probably hate you.  In fact, no one likes you, because you are weak of body, mind, and spirit. 

Go do singles.  Lots of them.

Ah, but that only applies to Olympic Weightlifters, right?

Fucking wrong.  I've already posted Mariusz's insanely volume-heavy program.  How about up and comer Kevin Nee, who earned his claim to fame mostly by being on MTV's True Life eating a shitload of hoagies and flipping tires? Kevin Nee's program is a 7 day a week smorgasbord of pain and brutality.(2)

DAY   WORKOUT                                          SETS   REPS**

MON   Bench Press Barbell/Dumbell*                     3-6    6-8
MON   Incline Press Barbell/Dumbell*                   3-6    6-8
MON   Dumbell Pec Flys                                 3-6    6-8
MON   Dumbell Press w/ Hands in Long Position          3-6    6-8

TUE   Deadlift / Back Squats*                          3-6    6-8
TUE   Cable Lat Pulldowns                              3-6    6-8
TUE   Dumbell Rows                                     3-6    6-8
TUE   Close Grip Rows                                  3-6    6-8

WED   Log Press                                        -      -
WED   Tire Flip Medleys                                -      -
WED   Drag                                             -      -

THU   Front Squats                                     3-6    6-8
THU   Lunges                                           3-6    6-8
THU   Hack Squats                                      3-6    6-8
THU   Leg Curls                                        3-6    6-8
THU   Leg Extensions                                   3-6    6-8
THU   Straight Leg Deadlifts                           3-6    6-8

FRI   Push Press Behind/Front*                         3-6    6-8
FRI   Seated Press Dumbell/Barbell*                    3-6    6-8
FRI   Seated Dumbell Press w/ Hands in Long Position   3-6    6-8
FRI   Lateral/Front Raises                             3-6    6-8
FRI   Skull Crushers                                   3-6    6-8
FRI   Tricep Kickbacks                                 3-6    6-8
FRI   Lockouts in Rack                                 3-6    6-8

SAT   Power Cleans                                     3-6    6-8
SAT   Snatches                                         3-6    6-8
SAT   Rack Pulls                                       3-6    6-8
SAT   Abs                                              3-6    6-8

SUN   Farmers Walk                                     -      -
SUN   Yoke Walk                                        -      -
SUN   Heavy Tire Flip                                  -      -
SUN   Stones                                           -      -

You like apples?  How about them fucking apples?

As for powerlifters, both the Shieko and Smolov powerlifting routines involve such a massive amount of work that the vast majority of pussies you'll see posting on the internet will whine incessantly about how a person can ONLY do these routines if they're on gear.  Bear in mind that these workouts were created in 1976, when a few 50mg of dbol a day were a heavy dose, and the fact that the Russians and Bulgarians have drastically and steadily increased their workloads in strength sports since the 1960s (according to Zatsiorsky).  Thus, high volume is good for powerlifting, too.

Now, anyone who remains unconvinced, consider this-  the Chinese kid below is  snatching 40kg.  That's considerably more than his bodyweight, looking at him.  He's in the Chinese Olympic weightlifting system, enjoying th ultra-high volume goodness that is their programs, and it appears to have worked.

If you possess a scintilla of masculinity, honor, or pride, you should now be a full convert. to the wonderful world of high volume training  Thus, from now on, when you hear some asshat yammering about overtraining, find a tampon (preferably used), and put it in his mouth, because he's a fucking pussy.


1)  Ivan Abadjiev + the Bulgarian Weightlifting System. http://weightliftingexchange.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=438&Itemid=60

2)  Kevin Nee's Workout.  http://strongestman.org/?p=294

3) Zatsiorsky, Vldimir.  Science and Practice of Strength Training.


  1. of course telling people to jump right into a high volume of near-max singles is a good idea?

    it's not like these lifters built up to it with years of progressively-increased work loads or anything

    they just went from typical BB.com splits to lifting with maxes six days a week.

  2. I think, and i dont pretend to be an expert, even an internet one, but one of the main reasons people dont do that type of lifting is that they dont get the isolated muscle pump, that happens when doing those high rep isolating bodybuilder exercises. You dont get great results, but you get a pump.

  3. The general population can and should train in the same manner as elite olympic athletes. Anyone can train 6 days a week and make consistent progress. Look at all the strong teenagers who workout 7 days a week with 500 lb totals. They're monsters because they aren't afraid of the overtraining boogeyman.

  4. I did Sheiko #29 and #37 raw. I stopped because it took almost two hours to workout and I was late to class for two months. lol @ "ejaculates lightning"

  5. Kevin Nee's workout looks alot like a typical bodybuilding split (broken up into bodyparts).
    How does this relate to the topic of lots o' singles/full body routine you espouse? Doesn't it prove the point that you don't need singles to become strong? Just wondering.

  6. I wondered the same thing about that Kevin Nee program. But then again the article title is about "high-volume training" in general.

  7. Any comment on the impact of this trainign approach for juiced vs. natty lifters? Playing devil's advocate, but Nee and Mariusz are playing with a different set of rules.

  8. The point of the Kevin Nee program was that he does heavy work EVERY SINGLE DAY OUT OF THE GOD DAMN WEEK.

    And classical strongmen have proven that there is no excuse for being a fucking shit eating pussy. Hermann Goerner trained WHEN HE WANTED, HOW HE WANTED, AS LONG AS HE WANTED.

    If you know how to fucking eat and train, and have any fucking sense as to when to train what you could lift 7 days a week every week.

  9. Great article, however don't call us Asian people yellow or "Nuprin". I get your point the training is hardcore...but you don't have to use that language.

  10. Mr. Lewis, do you ever do sprints or anything like that?

  11. Oddly enough I started lifting as a 13 year old wrestler I did nothing but power clean and press and pullup. Six days a week, I hit singles and doubles for up to 2 hours at a time. Contrary to all this pussified whining about how this would no doubt make me weak, I cleaned and push pressed 235 at a wrestling weight of 150 odd pounds. Somehow I managed to expand on this for the past 6 years and end up with a 410 squat, 265 bench and 535 deadlift at 165. I managed to do this by squatting 4-7 days per week...benching 3-5 days per week..and oh dear god..I pull 4 times per week!! All this overtraining has clearly crippled me.