I am a volume trainer, and I always will be,” Jay Cutler said a decade ago. Volume refers to the quantity of exercises and sets in a routine—and Cutler’s workouts have it in spades. The four-time Olympia champ plows through more sets in the gym than virtually all of his fellow pro bodybuilders. Some see his workload as a recipe for overtraining, but with a full week between sessions for most body parts, Cutler says he leaves enough time for recovery. If you’ve been limiting your workouts to just two or three sets per exercise, boosting your volume may be just what your training needs. You can’t argue with Cutler’s success, and, at age 40, after two years away from stages, he’s going for Sandow No. 5 on Sept. 27–28. Expect him to showcase the physique he built by working overtime.

High-Volume Tip Sheet

■ The key to high volume is scheduling at least 72 hours’ rest between workouts for each body part.

■ The more complex the muscle group, the better it will respond to a wide variety of exercises. Legs, back, and shoulders require diverse attacks.

■ To hit larger areas from many angles without increasing volume, add exercises and reduce sets.

Check out Jay’s routine on the next page. 

Cutler’s Routine

Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Extension 4 10-15
Squat 4 10-12
45-degree Leg Press 3 15-20
Hack Squat 3 8-10
Smith Machine Squat 4 8-10
Walking Lunge 3 100 ft.
Lying Leg Curl 4 10-12
Seated Leg Curl 3 10-12
One-leg Curl 3 10-12
Stiff-leg Deadlift 3 12-15

Cutler’s Career Highs

4 times Mr. Olympia (2006–07, ‘09–10)

15 pro wins (2000-10)

25 striaght top-two finishes (2000-present)