High volume.

Who doesn’t like it turned up loud?

If it’s too loud you’re too old.



High volume training has its place as does backing off and lowering the volume. So why would you add high volume work into your training cycle?

Well, I think Jim Wendler said it best at a Force Production seminar years ago. He was discussing the Conjugate Method and explaining assistance/accessory work.

I am pretty sure I can quote him here, “on max effort work, you display strength, on assistance work you build strength”.

That pretty much sums it up simply.

Of course you do increase strength when using a high percentage of a max. The thing is; you build a different type of strength.
I will make this simple and keep it in English, not pre-med.

When we lift at percentages above 90% or perform true max effort lifts, we are lifting with the nervous system.

When we lift at lower percentages we rely less on the nervous system and more on the muscular system.

We need to train both.

So getting back to the point of lifting with your nervous system, the best way to illustrate this is to watch an Olympic Weightlifter. They  'effing explode that weight up. The bar moves FAST or it doesn’t move. This requires tremendous recruitment of the nervous system to fire as many motor units (muscle fibers) as possible.

Of course, we Powerlifters do the same, it’s just that the lifts don’t look as fast.

This is where Volume and Intensity waves come into play.

A Volume wave will train the nervous system, but uses the muscles quite a bit more.

An Intensity wave is done at much higher percentages of max or RPE’s and is designed to improve nervous system recruitment so we can smash the big weights.

I am not a fan of running the three lifts on Intensity waves, I prefer one or two at a time. Running too much intensity will interfere with recovery and may actually make your lifts go down, unless you are superhuman.

With that said, this is where Volume comes into play.

I like to use the Volume waves on the lifts we are better at, or focusing less on. As an example, when we started the TPS Method for Powerlifting, my ladies were all pretty good at the squat and deadlift but had never benched before. We ran two Volume waves on the squat and pull and an intensity wave on the bench.

We determined they needed to get the nervous system firing efficiently on the bench as it was new to them and we had 12 weeks to do this. It worked as you will see in the video provided by Matt Buckingham of TPS. It is a compilation of the team lifting at the meet. Overall, I don’t think they look like girls who have been benching for three months. Of course I am prejudiced, they are my athletes, but I am pretty self-aware when it comes to that sort of thing.

Watch the video here

Now, let’s talk about adding in Volume to your assistance work.

Total Performance Method

There's an off season you sumbitch?

My ladies in the Total Performance Method for Powerlifting are off season if that exists as Spud would say.

The next meet is in October so we have plenty of time to get them STRONG(HER). We are running lots and lots of Volume on the assistance/accessory work. This is so that they will build muscle and strength.

Think of really good bodybuilders. People say bodybuilders are not strong, but you see guys smashing sets of 15, 20 or more with huge dumbells all the time. This is not by accident. The volume they do all the time carries over and makes them strong. We are looking for the same effect and you should too.

A simple way to add Volume to your assistance work can look like this:

I’ll use the bench as an example.

Bench Press Intensity 6x3 RPE 9
(All assistance is Volume)
Close Grip Incline 5x12
Dumbell Floor Press 5x12
Dumbell Rows 5x12
Face Pulls 4x20
Curls 10x10
Tate Press 10x10

Sure it’s a lot of Volume and if you are ready for it, you can’t help but get strong.
Let me know what you think of this. I hope you get what I am trying to explain.

Quick update on the World’s Strongest Granny, Jane Stabile

Jane is just about ready for her meet in two weeks.
We have decided to make this a Push/Pull for her as the squat is not going well.

The World's Strongest Granny, Jane Stabile ripping 365 at 148 and 62 years old.

The World's Strongest Granny, Jane Stabile ripping 365 at 148 and 62 years old.

Her bench and pull are going well.

The deadlift is looking really good and I am excited about it.
I’ll let you know how she does.

That’s all for now.

Total Performance Sports

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Vincere vel mori