When working out and trying to make progress, a lot of people get caught up on the number of repetitions or sets that they should be doing to progress.
What is volume and why is it important?
When it comes to training, most people miss the most important factor, especially when it comes to hypertrophy (muscle gain). So, what is volume and why should you start tracking your workouts to make sure you are making the most out of every training day?
Workout volume in its simplest is volume = sets x reps x weight and will allow you to see the total amount of weight you are lifting for each exercise that you do. This number is very important for anyone who is training, as it will allow you to track all your workout days and make sure that you are progressing each time you workout. This will give you a much better understanding of how you are doing and if you are improving at a steady rate.
How to increase the volume
After understanding how to track your volume and what volume is, the next thing is to understand how to use this information to progress in your lifts. If, for instance, we did 10 repetitions for 3 sets at 80kg for bench press. That means our lifting volume for that exercise was 2400kg. Knowing that, next time we training on the bench press we would have to make sure the training volume is higher than the previous session's volume. For instance, we could do 8 repetitions for 4 sets at 80kg and increase our volume to 2560kg for that lift. Which gives us an improvement of 160kg and our muscles a reason to keep adapting.
Tracking vs not tracking volume
When you are training and not tracking your workouts, it is very possible to fluctuate between a certain volume for an extended period of time. This means that you could be wasting a lot of progression within your gym time, rather than making your training as optimal as it could be. So to help with this, it is a great idea to use an app like my wellness or write down your workouts so that you can keep an eye on how much you are progressing.
Just starting to do this alone, you will notice that your workouts start to improve at a much smoother rate with fewer plateaus. You will also get a new understanding of how you can play around with your sets and reps to get the most from your sessions.
Want a hand tracking your volume and your workouts? If so and you have a goal that you're trying to hit in the New Year, why not talk to one of our personal trainers and get yourself set up the right way to hit those goals and stay on track. Make 2019 your year!