17 Comments

  1. Hi Andy,

    what do you mean by “(typically the smallest increment available to extend progression longer)” as you spoke about progression as a novice? Should I start to use microplates for squats or do you mean that if I can’t progress anymore with 5lbs increments THEN I should try to use the smallest increment possible like microplates?

    1. Hi Dario,
      I have 5 lbs in mind as the smallest increment, as the majority of people won’t have access to them (plates lighter than 2.5 lbs / 1.25 kg). So, while I don’t feel there is a need for the average person to go out and purchase microplates, if you have them you could certainly use them.

    2. Thanks Andy!

      Are there any benefits of using only microplates since the beginning instead of the bigger increments if an increment of 5lbs or even 10lbs is possible? I’m thinking about deadlifts and squats… It would take a lot longer that’s for sure.

  2. for a novice U recommended 10-12 sets for each muscle. Should i just count the primary muscles in an exercise for the 10-12 set or both the secondry and primary counted in the same manner?

    1. Hi Ali, thanks for the question. From above:

      “As it currently stands, we know an exercise that trains a muscle group indirectly (secondary) probably doesn’t provide quite as much stimulus to the muscle as something that trains it directly (primary), but the scientific data up to this point has counted secondary and primary muscle group volume the same. So, count everything on a one to one basis for each muscle group, just be aware that you don’t want all your volume for a given muscle group coming from indirect work.”

  3. for a novice U recommended 10-12 sets for each muscle. Should i just count the primary muscles in an exercise for the 10-12 set or both the secondry and primary counted in the same manner?

  4. Hi Andy, quick question. (It may be silly Idk). I’m finding back difficult to program due to the two planes you can train it through. Could you split both the vertical and horizontal pulls across two workouts? So Upper 1 with a row and upper 2 with the pull/chin? Say I have 10 total sets per week for back can I split that across the 2 days? Or because of the musculature of the back does it actually need both a vert and horizontal total volume? Or does the movement not matter so much so long as the total volume is hit?

    Cheers.

  5. Hi Andy,
    I used your Training book from Muscle & Strength Pyramid and achieved amazing gains on Strength and Muscle hypertrophy, but something terrible happened on April 18 last year and I had to undergo surgery for repairing of Flexor tendons of my four fingers on right hand along with Ulnar nerve and artery and a large part of my fds muscle was exposed out.

    Although all of it was repaired and after rigorous physiotherapy of 6 months, I joined Gym on November 23rd. and I’ve been training consistently since then.

    The thing is that I’ve regained all of my strength but only on left hand which was unaffected, and my right hand is still very weak compared to left hand.

    For ex. when incline dumbbell pressing now I can hit 15 KG with right hand and with left I can easily do 30 KG. It has created a huge difference in my upper body workouts. I can work with more intensity but I’m limited because of strength levels of my affected hand.

    One side of my body always feels like underworked and I don’t even feel muscle contractions unless I’m doing very slow tempo.

    How should I program my workouts now? as of now I’m following the intermediate workout you have given but all of the exercises I’m performing in 10-20 rep ranges.

    and how much frequency do you think would be apt to achieve the volume&intensity I can’t make up for right now? also if possible anyway to work biceps without hand involvement?

    1. Thank you for getting the books. Glad you have found them so helpful. If you could leave us a review on their Amazon pages that would be most appreciated.

      Given that the limitation is your grip strength, you can use straps to aid your grip for pulling exercises and use machines that don’t really require you to grip, just push with your palm, for the pushing exercises. The volume and frequency recommendations don’t change.

      Your grip should get stronger over time if worked. If that has not been happening, speak to your physical therapist about how to go about that.

  6. Thank you for sharing this info. You mentioned the Middle Delt being a secondary muscle group for horizontal rows. Was that a typo or do all variations of horizontal row, regardless of line of pull, and grip, work the middle delt?

    1. Can forearm volume be counted separately? Or is it unwise to add forearm work since they are constantly being used in almost all intelligently designed programs?

    2. It’s not something I’ve ever considered counting, basically because they get trained sufficiently, indirectly anyway and I haven’t needed to.

      The opposite is usually true. — At some point, the majority of people will find that their forearms can’t handle the volume that the rest of the body can and I suggest straps for pulling exercises when this becomes the case.

      To be clear — all advanced lifters use straps. It’s not that they are weak, just that they are a small muscle that will end up limiting the stimulus you can deliver to the back otherwise.

  7. Andy, thank you for making this part of your book available online. Such a valuable resource for lifters to have at their disposal. You have Rep Range 10-20 listed for compounds for advanced lifters during the 6 week accumulation phase. Do you recommend sticking towards the lesser part of that rep range with deads, squats, ohp, and bench? Thanks again mate.

    1. Hi Austin,

      The comments here are for questions about the article, but we take questions relating to specific parts of the books on the support page here. Eric and I take turns and answer twice a week between us. Please put this there for us.

    2. My apologies, I should have clarified what I was referring to. At step 3 (progression) of this article, you have table listing Rep Range 10-20 on compounds for advanced lifters during the 6 week accumulation phase. Do you recommend sticking towards the lesser part of that rep range with deads, squats, ohp, and bench? Thanks Andy

    3. Hi Austin, thank you for pointing this out. Here’s how we’ll adjust this:

      “Rep range 10–20, load increases when possible, RPE 6-8.” > “Rep range 10–20 (6-12 for free weight lower body compounds), load increases when possible, RPE 6-8.”

      “Wave loading from 12 reps in W7 to 6 reps (2 rep increments) in W10. RPE 8–10.” > “Wave loading from 12 reps in W7 to 6 reps in W10 (from 10 to 4 reps for free weight lower body compounds, 2 rep increments). RPE 8–10.”

  8. Roberto muscatiello

    I have one question.
    In the fase of the intensification like progression for advancers do we increase the load in respect at the 7 wk
    (12 reps x 100 kg in 7 wk and 12 reps x 102.5 kg in 11 wk) ?
    Or do we simple decrease the rep and increase the load(12 repsx100 kg in 7 wk and we finished with 6 repsx107,5 kg in 10 wk)?

  9. The volume overlap per muscle group is a little confusing. So say I wanted 9 sets per upper body pushing muscle per week (chest, anterior deltoids, and triceps), and I trained using Dips, Bench Press, and Overhead Press, working my triceps, chest, and anterior deltoids, respectfully. If I did all those movement patterns 3x a week (3 sets bench press, 3 sets dips, 3 sets overhead press, all done 3x a week), at the end of the week would each muscle group have 9 sets, or would each muscle have more than that, due to the overlap of compound exercises? I have been doing the above for my pushing volume, and I don’t know if it is too much volume or not.

    1. Hi, Joe.

      There is muscle group overlap you haven’t counted. Refer to the “Hypertrophy: Exercises and Muscle Groups Trained” table.
      You can then compare that with the guidelines for volume (which are in the “Step 2: Volume, Intensity, Frequency” section).


Questions welcomed. (Over 16,000 answered)


For the sake of other readers, please:
  • Keep questions on topic
  • Write clearly, concisely, and click reply when responding
  • Don't post diet calculations or training plans asking me to critique them.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please read about our privacy policy here.