Transform Your Physique With This High Volume Training Plan

Transform Your Physique With This High Volume Training Plan

22nd Jul 2019

Transform your body for the better in just 16 sessions with our train hard and smart plan.

This training plan from Coach’s sister brand Men’s Fitness has been designed to push your muscle fibres to their absolute limit, eliciting the biggest possible growth response and raising your heart rate sky-high to send your body into fat-burning mode.

Giving your body a serious challenge four times a week, then backing off to give your mind and muscles time to recover between workouts, is all that’s needed to make big changes to your body in a month. 

How the plan works

This four-week plan is based on the principle of high-volume training, which is when you increase the amount of total weight you lift in each session for a limited amount of time. In doing so you really test your major muscle groups and force them to adapt and grow to cope with this tough training stimulus.

Simply do the following four workouts each week – sticking to the exercises, sets, reps, tempo (see below for an explanation) and rest periods detailed – for four weeks and a total of 16 sessions. The first workout of each week targets your chest and triceps, the second your back and biceps, the third your legs and abs, and the fourth your shoulders. This way your major muscles get thoroughly worked at least once a week with a high-volume session before you back off to let it recover and grow.

All four weekly workouts are made up of five moves. The first two moves of every workout are big, compound lifts done as a superset for eight sets of eight reps, which is a intense but efficient way of blitzing more muscle fibres in less time. The final three moves are all straight sets, which means you do all the sets and reps of one lift then move on to the next one.

Tempo training

To get the full effect from these workouts, you need to stick to the four-digit tempo code for each exercise. The first digit indicates how long in seconds you take to lower the weight, the second how long you pause at the bottom of the move, the third how long you take to lift the weight, and the final digit how long you pause at the top. X means that part of the move should be done explosively. The accumulated time under tension increases your heart rate to burn fat and break down muscle tissue so it’s rebuilt bigger and stronger. Keep each rep smooth and controlled so your muscles – not momentum – do the work.

Workout 1: Chest And Triceps

1A Bench press

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Bench press Coach

Sets 8 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Lie on a flat bench holding a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core, then lower the bar towards your chest. Press it back up to the start.

1B Triceps dip

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Sets 8 Reps 8 Tempo 2110 Rest 60sec

Grip rings or parallel bars with your arms straight. Keeping your chest up, bend your elbows to lower your body as far as your shoulders allow. Press back up powerfully to return to the start.

2 Incline dumbbell press

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Incline dumbbell bench press Coach

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand by your shoulders. Press the weights up until your arms are straight, then lower them back to the start under control.

3 Incline dumbbell flye

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Incline dumbbell flye Coach

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand above your face, with your palms facing and a slight bend in your elbows. Lower them to the sides, then bring them back to the top.

4 Triceps extension

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Dumbbell triceps extension Coach

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Stand tall holding dumbbells over your head with both hands, arms straight. Keeping your chest up, lower the weights behind your head, then raise them back to the start.

Workout 2: Back And Biceps

1A Pull-up

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Superset workout one: 1B Pull-up Coach

Sets 8 Reps 8 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Hold a pull-up bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Brace your core, then pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Lower until your arms are straight again.

1B Bent-over row

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Sets 8 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Hold a barbell with an overhand grip, hands just outside your legs. Bend your knees slightly and brace your core, then pull the bar up, leading with your elbows. Lower it back to the start.

2 Chin-up

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Chin-up Coach

Sets 3 Reps 6-12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Hold a pull-up bar with hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing you. Brace your core, then pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Lower until your arms are straight again.

3 Standing biceps curl

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Dumbbell biceps curl Coach

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand with dumbbells by your sides, palms facing forwards. Keeping your elbows tucked in, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps at the top. Lower them back to the start.

4 Seated incline curl

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Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Sit on an incline bench with dumbbells by your sides, palms facing forwards. Keeping your elbows tucked in, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps at the top. Lower them back to the start.

Workout 3: Legs And Abs

1A Back squat

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Barbell back squat Coach

Sets 8 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with a bar across the back of your shoulders. Keeping your chest up and core braced, squat down as deep as you can. Drive back up through your heels to return to the start.

1B Good morning

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Barbell good morning Coach

Sets 8 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Stand tall holding a light barbell across the backs of your shoulders, feet shoulder-width apart. With your core braced, bend forwards slowly from the hips, as far as your hamstrings allow but not past horizontal. Return to the start.

2 Glute bridge

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Glute bridge Coach

Sets 3 Reps 8-12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Sit with your upper back supported on a bench, holding a barbell across the tops of your thighs. Thrust your hips up, squeeze your glutes at the top, and then return to the start.

3 Front squat

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. Coach

Sets 3 Reps 8-12 Tempo 2110 Rest 60sec

Stand tall holding a bar across the front of your shoulders with elbows up. Keeping your core braced, squat down as deep as you can. Drive back up through your heels to return to the start.

4 Barbell roll-out

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. Coach

Sets 4 Reps 6-12 Tempo 2111 Rest 90sec

Kneel on the floor holding a barbell with both hands. Roll the bar forwards so you lower your torso, keeping your core braced. Then use your abs muscles to return to the start.

Workout 4 Shoulders

1A Overhead press

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Overhead press Coach

Sets 8 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Hold a bar in front of your neck with your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your chest up and core braced, press the bar overhead until your arms are straight. Lower it back to the start.

1B Rack pull

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Sets 8 Reps 8 Tempo 2111 Rest 60sec

Stand tall in front of a barbell resting on safety bars at knee height. Bend and grasp the bar with an overhand grip, then stand up until your back is straight again, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top.

2 Seated dumbbell press

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Seated dumbbell shoulder press Coach

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Sit on an upright bench with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Keeping your chest up, press the weights directly overhead until your arms are straight, then lower them back to the start.

3 Lateral raise

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Dumbbell lateral raise Coach

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall, holding a light dumbbell in each hand with palms facing. Keeping your chest up and a bend in your elbows, raise the weights out to shoulder height, then lower back to the start.

4 Reverse flye

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Dumbbell reverse flye Coach

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Bend forward from the hips holding a light dumbbell in each hand with palms facing. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, raise the weights out to shoulder height, then lower back to the start.

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