High Volume Workout: Effort is the Key

There are several methods of training which are effective and will yield results if the correct amount of effort is employed. The truth is the human body simply will not change without true effort. Progressive overload is the key to this improvement. This is a gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise. Basically, you are increasing the demands on the musculoskeletal system in order to gain muscle endurance, size, or strength. This may involve manipulating the amount of weight, repetitions, sets, and rest to increase the intensity of the exercise and force your muscles to work harder than they are used to.

I have worked with many different age groups and various levels of strength and physical abilities. However, with most I have been able to apply progressive overload in some form to achieve results. A high volume workout is just one of many methods to reach progressive overload, and it has several benefits. I have found it particularly useful with athletes who need to increase muscle endurance, those who are attempting to lose weight, and some older clients who are active and want to maintain intensity, but their joints simply cannot withstand the heavier weights.

  • It gives your joints and ligaments a break from heavy weight training. There are times I cannot go as heavy as I would like because of issues with pain. So this provides an intensity that allows me to train hard without undo pain.
  • It will keep you working just as hard while still maintaining muscle.
  • It will be an important aspect of an overall fat burning plan. Because you will be performing higher than normal repetitions with minimal rest periods, extra calories will be burned and cardiovascular endurance increased.
  • It’s a quick workout. Rest is limited between each set and exercise. Thus, the amount of time to complete this routine is less.

In this workout, you will be performing high repetitions with light weights while keeping rest periods to a minimum. Light weight will be used at the start of the routine which you can increase to a more moderate weight once you have increased strength. I do utilize a pyramid on some of the exercises to increase the intensity. Keep in mind that this is the full, advanced version of this workout plan. If you are new to weight training or volume training in general, you will need to adjust the amount of sets you do in the beginning to 2 or 3 and work up slowly to performing the entire routine as you progress. You can also choose the exercises that work best for your goals, strengths, and any physical limitations. However, remember, it is key that you limit rest between sets on this type of plan.

A Few Things to Consider:

  • When making exercise transitions, there should be minimal rest with just enough time to get a drink of water and set up your next exercise.
  • The weight used should be light to moderate with no need for a spotter.
  • The goal is to fully pump the muscles up with as little rest as possible for added exercise intensity to force your body to work harder.
  • I do recommend that high volume training not be done for every workout. Rather, this is something to be combined with additional training methods or on a short term basis.
  • Listen to your body. Never push through an exercise that is causing abnormal pain.

Advanced Chest, Shoulders, and Tricep High Volume Giant Set (modify the number of sets as needed): 5 sets

  • Incline Bench Dumbbell Chest Press (bench at 45 degrees): 20 reps
  • Incline Bench Dumbbell Chest Flyes (bench at 45 degree angle): 20 reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Overhead Shoulder Press:



  • Set 1: 20 reps
  • Set 2: 15 reps
  • Set 3: 10 reps
  • Set 4: 15 reps
  • Set 5: 20 reps
  • Standing or Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises:
  • Set 1: 10 reps
  • Set 2: 20 reps
  • Set 3: 30 reps
  • Set 4: 20 reps
  • Set 5: 10 reps
  • Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Flyes: 20 reps
  • Tricep Dips: Can be done off a bench with knees bent


  • Set 1: 10 dips
  • Set 2: 20 dips
  • Set 3: 30 dips
  • Set 4: 20 dips
  • Set 5: 10 dips



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s