Recently I changed the way that I structured my workouts throughout the week. I had been following a program where I was training five days a week, with each day dedicated to a particular body part e.g. leg day, chest and triceps etc. This way of doing things was fine, but I began to feel like I could be doing more. By only training each body part once a week I was limiting myself to how much I could improve.
I have now started training six days a week with the first three days focussing on strength (e.g. high weight low rep) and with the final three days doing higher volume weights to build some strength endurance (low weight high rep). As well as having different rep ranges, the workouts differ in the lifts performed – on strength days more compound movements such as squats and deadlifts are used, whilst the volume sessions contain more isolation exercises, such as work with machines. This training split has meant that I am able to improve on my explosive strength as well as strength endurance, training to be more of an all-round athlete capable of being powerful and able to maintain my performance over a longer time period.
I have really enjoyed adding in the volume work, it breaks up the monotony of big weight all the time. It has also been a lesson in humility – high reps mean low weights – you cannot bring your ego to a high volume workout.
Here is an example of a high volume shoulder and leg day:
Standing side lateral raises – 30 reps, 3 sets
Standing front raises – 30 reps, 3 sets
Rear delt flyes – 30 reps, 3 sets
Leg extensions – 30 reps, 4 sets
Hamstring curls – 30 reps, 4 sets
Calf raises – 30 reps 3 sets
To add an extra level of difficulty, you can also perform the final set of each exercise as a drop set – do as many reps as you can, then drop the weight to about 40% and continue until you can no longer perform the exercise with correct form.