Drew Baye on Strength Training Exercise Science and HIT vs “High-Volume”

Drew Baye is one of the top high intensity training experts. He’s also a prolific writer, researcher, an elite level personal trainer and the founder of Baye.com, the most popular high intensity training blog.

In this mini episode, we discuss the problems inherent within a lot of the current exercise science, which attempt to identify the optimal protocol for muscle hypertrophy, strength, etc.

Listen to my other interviews with Drew here: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5, and Part 6.

Get a FREE high intensity training progress google sheet and podcast transcripts with guests like Dr. Doug McGuff, Drew Baye, and Skyler Tanner – Click here

Listen below:

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Would you like to learn more from Drew Baye? Listen to this episode where we discuss HIT fundamentals, workout programming, how to measure progress and much more. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):


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People Mentioned

  • Kamen Stranchevski

    Drew is the best! 😀 Lawrence, as far as your podcast content is concerned, higher volume and frequency are the best way to go! More is better for Corporate Warrior production. Cheers!

    • https://corporatewarrior.co Lawrence Neal

      Haha thanks Kamen. I’ll bear that in mind.

  • Gayle Stanfill Jr

    Really enjoyed speaking with you Tuesday. Just read through book we discussed and I had forgotten how much of it applied to work environment productivity.

    • https://corporatewarrior.co Lawrence Neal

      Likewise Gayle. You have no idea how much I appreciate your encouragement and support. Thank you for the feedback. I’ve made notes to take actions on our discussion.

  • Greg P.

    The problem with assessing the effect of TUL is that it is closely coupled with mechanical load or tension. If you use a (relatively) high load, the time to failure is short; use less load, you can exert tension for a longer time. But since load is such a potent stimulus, how can you separate the effect of time from load? You cannot have a very high load and a very high TUL at the same time (assuming a single set).

    • Julien

      Wondering the same about comparing volume in sets/reps to TUL.

      I would guess ‘effective tension over time’ is a better metric? At lower loads, the tension over time is more distributed. At high loads the tension over time is more condensed. But the sum at the point of MMF should be the same?
      This metric can also include effective loading due to good form(making the exercise as difficult as possible).

      But the fact remains that there is still a TUL/volume treshold imo, or an ‘effective tension over time’ threshold?

      I’m not sure if I understand myself here haha.

      • https://corporatewarrior.co Lawrence Neal

        This hurts my brain ;-). Good discussion chaps! Sorry to be the neg, but what if eventually all roads lead to Rome and this is a moot point?

        • Greg P.

          My comment was meant as a critique of Drew’s argument that an HIT workout might be as effective as a conventional workout because the TUL in the former might exceed the TUL of the latter. It is appealing in its simplicity, but probably not correct, if only because it is too simple and only looks at a single variable. And if you are going to argue that going to failure is what really matters, which is what Drew seems to believe, why talk about TUL at all? Within reasonable limits all TUL’s should lead to the same place. Genetics Uber Alles

          • Kamen Stranchevski

            Hi Greg, I think, that Drew is more than clear! He says that high degree of effort is needed within a reasonable timeframe. Failure is there, because it is the simplest way, (even though still somewhat hard to define), to ensure high degree of effort is being reached. He has stated it very clear many times , that failure is no magic by itself. The next most important consideration acc. to Drew is the effort to be exerted properly from the targeted muscles for an exercise(both from safety and effectiveness reasons). He is adamant, that one should do his best to contract and involve the target muscles for a given exercise in a certain manner, (described by him on many occasions, very very clearly in articles, interviews and videos as general and exercise specific proper form) in which the involvement of other muscles, energy transfering mechanisms, and momentum, inertia…etc. are minimised. I really am astonished , that one can listen to Drew Baye and not get what he’s trying to explain. Drew is one of the most fine articulated people in the field of exercise these days according to me. One may not agree with him, but for sure should be able to understand what he’s saying, even if paying moderate attention to his explanations.
            Some things need to be reread and relistened 😀 in order to be understood and not because they were poorly explained, but because the listeners did not pay enough attention and/or were not giving it enough thought.
            Cheers!

          • Kamen Stranchevski

            And regarding the TUL comparison, in the typical case it is loading/deloading of the targeted muscles situation. In order to perform a prescribed number of sets and reps, lift a certain amount of weight, people just find ways to manage and do it.That vs constant loading over the targeted muscles acc. to Drew’s understanding of proper form, makes a difference and makes things comparable despite the appeared low volume of work. It is lower volume of work, but same or greater effort for the targeted muscles. From my experience whenever I mange (and decide) to come close to the exercise form suggested by Drew, I feel a big difference in many many aspects.

          • Kamen Stranchevski

            And lastly, Greg, is every TUL “to failure” going to work? Yes and No. It depends on the context of the workout and on the individual goals. There are three main aspects of each strenght training workout. Mechanical tension(=strenght adaptations), Muscle damage(=hypertrophy adaptation )and Metabolic stress(= metabolic conditioning adaptation ). As you correctly noticed there is a correlation between weight/amount of resistance used, the TUL of a set and the form of performance. If you plan for example to do only one working set of an exercise and you want to achieve all three stimulus mentioned above, then the TUL of this one set should be in “the middle”, where they overlap. Not too long and not too short. How long though depends on the individual ‘s goals and recovery ability. BUT in theory as in practice you can for example choose to use super heavy weight = very low TUL,and then you will stimulate mostly strenght adaptation. In order to achieve a decent amount of microtrauma or muscle damage though, you should do a
            greater number of sets with that heavy weight. Even more so if you would care about accumulated waste products of metabolism. BUT is this working and valid way a safe, sane, time economical etc. approach is a totally different story. I believe you understand .

  • Andrew May

    Properly formatted and planned, these bitesized podcasts would be awesome. Great points made by Drew here.

    • https://corporatewarrior.co Lawrence Neal

      Thanks Andrew. Appreciate you taking the time to give feedback. I might start doing 2-4 bite size podcasts per month with and without guests. Depends on priorities/workload and what I can afford to outsource.