Any individual who has pursued bodybuilding with the goal of substantially enhancing lean muscle mass knows that volume is one of the most important factors in producing such results. Most who understand the effectiveness of higher volume weight training workout sessions find themselves addicted to the gym environment, spending large amounts of time with seemingly endless weight lifting sets, trying to blitz their muscles with as much overload as possible.

The problem is, by performing high volume weight lifting sessions on a continuous basis, the body reaches a point where recovery becomes difficult, and this is where negative side effects begin to develop. The bodybuilder feels weaker, the amount of weight used in each exercise declines, and the motivation that once existed for weight training fades, to the point where workout sessions are skipped, and muscle mass soon begins to sharply decline. Some have the discipline to continue performing their weight lifting workout sessions despite these symptoms, and what soon follows is the enemy of any bodybuilder who wishes to produce maximum results; a string of injuries, from joints to muscle strains, and even, in extreme cases, muscle tears that can sideline a bodybuilder for months, and destroy hard earned muscle gains, all can result from a prolonged high volume weight lifting approach.

Those who comprehend the effectiveness of volume techniques for producing muscle gains are weary of making any changes to their routine, especially if the proposal requires volume to be reduced by a significant margin, but this short sighted approach fails to consider the downside of long term volume weight lifting workouts outlined earlier, and, in the long run, overall muscle gains suffer dramatically due to unexpected layoffs.

So, what is the solution that allows a bodybuilder to experience maximum results without injuries, lack of motivation, or emotional breakdown? A concept known as cycling, which many bodybuilders have heard of, but do not implement due to either misinformation as to its importance, or simply not knowing how to properly cycle a weight training workout for maximum results. The key is to embrace a lower volume weight training workload at the point when workouts begin to feel burdensome, as this allows the muscles and mind a chance to recuperate without the customary muscle loss that accompanies skipped workout sessions. In addition, the lower volume bodybuilding workout cycle allows joints and tendons to experience a period of recovery that is extremely beneficial, as the discomfort that many times accompanies extended periods of high volume weight lifting workouts will reduce the amount of weight used, and interfere with the muscle building process.

The other distinct advantage of cycling lower volume weight lifting workout sessions as opposed to a constant high volume approach is muscle preservation, as normally, a bodybuilder who pursues prolonged higher volume finds that he or she must vacation from weights due to mental or physical fatigue, and during this extended vacation, muscle is lost, which takes time to regain once training is resumed, and is essentially wasted effort. This yo-yo approach is eliminated when cycling lower volume weight lifting sessions, as muscle is preserved during a lower set focus, and when higher volume weight lifting sessions are once again implemented, the body will be able to continue building muscle without the prerequisite muscle regain period that accompanies excessive time away from weight lifting.

Bodybuilders who have been using higher volume workout sessions may hesitate to begin cycling lower volume, with the fear that they will hamper long term muscle gains, but if they consider that one major injury, which can easily result from a constant string of high volume sessions, will potentially cost them the majority of the muscle they spend so much time building, then lower volume weight lifting workouts begin to convey their true meaning and purpose, which is to enhance the chance that a bodybuilder will have the ability to consistently train with high intensity, a concept that is vital in producing the best possible muscle gains.

The proper weight training and bodybuilding diet routine is crucial in producing maximum results, but even a perfectly constructed muscle building system is of little impact if the bodybuilder is unable to maintain consistent weight lifting workouts, with only occasional vacations (preferably around holidays, for spending time with family and friends, or during unexpected illness).

Cycling low and high volume weight lifting workouts will provide the bodybuilder with substantial muscle gains without experiencing periods of fatigue, inconsistency, illness, and injury that accompany prolonged high volume weight lifting.

Author's Bio: 

Francesco Castano is the owner of IncrediBody, a physical fitness company dedicated to helping others learn exactly how to gain muscle mass and lose weight without supplements or drugs. He authors two programs, one called MuscleNOW, teaching the correct weight training and diet program to gain muscle mass without bodybuilding supplements at, and Fat Vanish, which teaches how to lose weight & burn stomach fat for permanent weight loss, at He includes lifetime email personal training with both programs, where he personally assists all of his clients with training and diet questions, and has hundreds of testimonials validating the effectiveness of his techniques. He also offers weight lifting equipment, protein powder and fitness accessories at Please visit his web sites, and feel free to contact Francesco at any time with your muscle building or weight loss questions!