Exercise ‘junk volume’ can waste your time and energy while stalling your muscle gains, experts say

  • If you’re working hard at the gym without making any gains, you may need to cut down on your litter volume.
  • Junk volume includes any exercise beyond what you need to improve strength and muscle.
  • Instead, less work can lead to better results by making every rep count, evidence suggests.

To maximize your gains, you may want to work less in the gym, experts say.

“Junk volume” refers to exercise that doesn’t improve strength or build muscle, wasting your time and energy, said Jeff Nippard, a bodybuilder, powerlifter and fitness trainer, in a recent video on his YouTube channel.

“Personally, I think it’s keeping a lot of trainees from getting the earnings they want,” he said.

Junk volume can include exercising for too long or doing big sets with light weights, according to Nippard. It can be a problem for novices and elite athletes alike, stopping progress and increasing the risk of injury.

To avoid plateaus in muscle development and get the most out of your routine, plan your workouts so that every rep counts, experts and evidence suggest.

Doing too many repetitions or series can be counterproductive

Research shows that to build muscle and strength, more work doesn’t always lead to more gains.

About six sets per session per muscle group is a good base to maximize benefits, according to a study 2017 Nippard cites. After six, the benefits seem to level off, and working harder will eventually lead to smaller and smaller additional gains, the research indicates, although the muscle response may vary in different people.

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So while you may be trying to boost your progress with more work, the added benefit of the latest sets is small enough to be negligible and unlikely to be worth the time and effort, Nippard said. .

As few as two sessions per week per muscle group can be effectiveother evidence and experts suggest.

Lifting too much weight can also waste your time

Junk volume also includes wasting your effort for not lifting heavy enoughaccording to Nippard.

One of the most common mistakes is doing “easy sets” that end before you’ve challenged his muscles enough to growhe said.

Research has found that many people underestimate how much they can lift and often end a set with six or more reps in reserve. While you don’t have to lift to failure at every setup, doing a few reps from failure can maximize your muscular activity for enhanced gains. evidence suggests.

Another pitfall is lifting a very light weight for high reps (30 or more), based on the myth that it can help “tone” a muscle without making you bulky.

While the light weight or Bodyweight exercise can build muscle.lifting less than 20% of your max effort can stop gains, research shows, even if you’re sore afterwards.

“It can make you very sore and affect your performance for future workouts, but end up compromising your result even though you actually work harder,” Nippard said.

If you’re doing more than 30 reps, you’re better off lowering the number and increasing the weight, Nippard said.

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Pressure to look skinny can lead to overtraining

Doing junk volume can be caused by anxiety about looking and performing your best, CrossFit athlete Bethany Shadburne told the Morning chalk.

Shadburne said she is an “excessive trainer in recovery” and realized the junk volume was hurting her progress and causing injury. He now takes a “less is more” approach to the gym (earning him a second-place finish in the elite Wodapalooza competition in January).

Shadburne said that women can be particularly vulnerable to overtraining due to intense pressure to appear thin or to avoid gaining body fat.

“Am I doing this extra rep or this extra set for those reasons or is it really going to benefit me?” she said. “It’s a daily battle when I go into the gym not to do extra work.”

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