Mixing High Volume with High Intensity Workouts

I purposely go back and forth with a variety of workout styles. In my experience, most everything works as long as you put effort into it. But I’ve also learned that you’ll plateau if you’re on the same workout program for too long. So I want to talk about two of my favorite workout styles: high volume and high intensity workouts.

Benefits of High Volume Workouts

High volume workouts are great for pumping more blood into the muscle. This expands the muscle thus leading to muscle growth. You get that pump effect and your muscles actually get bigger from this style of training.

It’s also great for preventing injury. You’re not going as heavy with high volume workouts. It’s less stress on your joints. The 10 x1 0 method is often used for high volume (also called German Volume Training).

Benefits of High Intensity Workouts

High intensity workouts are great if you want to spend less time in the gym. More importantly, you’re overloading the muscle as you have a tendency to lift heavier weights with this training style.

Overloading the muscle certainly leads to more muscle growth. Going heavy gives you that dense muscular look. And you’ll get stronger, faster with high intensity workouts.

Barbell Shrugs down


I actually love both high volume workouts and high intensity workouts. Obviously training with high intensity means your workouts will be shorter. And of course training with more volume may mean a little more time in the gym. I’m about to show you how I implemented both in the same workout!

High Volume & High Intensity in One Workout

The fact is both high volume and high intensity workouts can do wonders for your physique. It’s typical to use one training style for a few weeks and switch to another. For example, high intensity workouts for 3 weeks followed by high volume workouts for 3 weeks. That’s not a bad workout plan. But what about combining both training styles into one workout?

This morning’s shoulder workout is a perfect example of a high volume and high intensity workout combined. But there’s an art to this, so let’s check out my workout below:

Shoulders and Traps Workout

  • Barbell Shrugs (superset with below exercise)
    • 5 sets x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Shrugs
    • 5 sets x 10 reps
  • Seated Barbell Press
    • 10 sets x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises
    • 3 triple drop sets



I started with 5 sets of supersets for my traps using barbell shrugs and dumbbell shrugs (10 sets total between the 2 exercises). This somewhat combines high volume with the number of sets, and supersets being the high intensity part.

I also used the 10 x 10 workout style I talked about earlier for seated barbell press. After that, I ended my shoulder workout by doing a high intensity training style using triple drop sets for lateral raises with dumbbells (40s, 30s, 20s).

Listen to Your Body

I’m very in tune with my body, which I encourage you to be as well. I know the days I can go heavy, or train longer. And I’m aware of those days where I can train with more intensity, which again leads to shorter workouts. I’m also aware of when I need to back off or perform more of a deload workout.

So whether you decide to do high volume workouts, high intensity workouts, or combine them into one workout, always listen to your body. Factors such as the types of food we’re getting, amount of rest, and the fatigue from our workouts come into play here. And we should perform the types of workouts that cater to how we’re feeling that day.

Train with Passion,


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