Volume is one of the key indicators that should be tracked in training. It has a direct impact on strength, as well as hypertrophy.

 

Training volume is defined as the total volume of work you perform in a given timeframe (measured as weight x reps). While it cannot be indefinitely increased in a linear fashion, you should do your best to increase your volume over time, to the best of your ability.

 

 

How I Track Volume

Breaking Muscle Shop

I track volume not only from week to week and session to session, but also for each exercise. So for example, if my squat volume was 6,150lb yesterday, the next time I squat I’ll seek to beat that number, just by a little. I’ll also try to maintain as much quality volume as possible - so in other words, I won’t just add low-intensity back-off sets to drive my numbers up.

 

Now the impossibility of continuously adding volume linearly over time might be at least partially solved by regular (perhaps every three to six weeks) changes in exercise menus. In my own case, while my core lifts tend to stay constant long-term, the assistance movements I use change more frequently. New movements require (in some cases) different muscles, and in all cases they involve different motor-recruitment patterns.

 

"As the old saying goes, 'You can’t master it until you measure it.'”

A final consideration is that linear increases in volume can be sustained for longer timeframes by employing regular deload or contrast weeks (e.g., every four weeks). Through the use of this “three steps up, one step back” pattern, your ability to recover is reinforced, permitting higher workloads over time.

 

If you aren’t already doing so, start documenting and tracking your daily, weekly, and monthly volume, and execute each new workout with your volume in mind. As the old saying goes, “You can’t master it until you measure it.”

 

RELATED: Turn Up the Volume: The 2 x 7 x 52 x 10 Rule

 

This Week’s Training

I’m quite happy with how this week went down. I did a lot of high quality work. In particular, I’ve been working hard on accumulating several doubles and/or triples on the core lifts. In the past, I’d tend to work up to a big single and then move on. For me, that’s enough volume to maintain strength, but probably not enough to improve.

 

Very soon, now, I’m going to be incorporating a bit of targeted mobility work. Next week I’ll explain what and why

 

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the videos and please leave your comments and questions below!

 

Weekly Training Volume: 56,692 lb (Last Week: 62,316 lb)

 

Significant Lifts:

  • 360 Squat
  • 210 Power Clean
  • 405 Deficit Pull

 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bodyweight: 200.2 lb

 

Volume: 13,340 lb

 

Squat

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 135 lbs × 3

Set 5: 185 lbs × 2

Set 6: 225 lbs × 2

Set 7: 275 lbs × 2

Set 8: 315 lbs × 2

Set 9: 360 lbs × 1

Set 10: 325 lbs × 2

Set 11: 315 lbs × 2

Set 12: 315 lbs × 2

 

Trap Bar Deadlift

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 5

Set 2: 225 lbs × 5

Set 3: 315 lbs × 6

 

45-Degree Back Extension

 

Set 1: 120 lbs × 10

Set 2: 120 lbs × 10

Set 3: 120 lbs × 10

 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bodyweight: 199.6 lb

 

Volume: 14,337 lb

 

Bench Press

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 205 lbs × 2

Set 6: 225 lbs × 2

Set 7: 235 lbs × 2

Set 8: 235 lbs × 2

Set 9: 235 lbs × 2

Set 10: 215 lbs × 3

Set 11: 215 lbs × 3

Set 12: 205 lbs × 3

 

Chin Up

 

Set 1: +25 lbs × 5

Set 2: +25 lbs × 5

Set 3: +25 lbs × 5

Set 4: +25 lbs × 5

 

Military Press

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 65 lbs × 5

Set 3: 85 lbs × 5

Set 4: 95 lbs × 3

Set 5: 95 lbs × 3

Set 6: 95 lbs × 3

 

Bicep Curl

 

Set 1: 65 lbs × 10

Set 2: 65 lbs × 10

Set 3: 65 lbs × 10

 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bodyweight: 198.8 lb

 

Volume: 9,855 lb

 

Power Clean

 

Set 1: 95 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 3

Set 3: 115 lbs × 3

Set 4: 135 lbs × 3

Set 5: 155 lbs × 3

Set 6: 175 lbs × 1

Set 7: 195 lbs × 1

Set 8: 205 lbs × 1

Set 9: 210 lbs × 1 (Video Below)

 

 

1.5" Deficit Deadlift

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 3

Set 2: 135 lbs × 5

Set 3: 225 lbs × 3

Set 4: 275 lbs × 3

Set 5: 315 lbs × 1

Set 6: 365 lbs × 1

Set 7: 405 lbs × 1 (Video Below)

Set 7: 450 lbs × 0

Set 8: 450 lbs × 0

 

 

High-Bar Squat

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 225 lbs × 3

Set 6: 275 lbs × 3

 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bodyweight: 199 lb

 

Volume: 19,160 lb

 

Bench Press (Dumbbell)

 

Set 1: 110 lbs × 10

Set 2: 150 lbs × 10

Set 3: 170 lbs × 8

Set 4: 190 lbs × 8

Set 5: 190 lbs × 7

Set 6: 190 lbs × 7

Set 7: 170 lbs × 7

Set 8: 170 lbs × 6

Set 9: 170 lbs × 6

 

Life Fitness Dual Pulley Row

 

Set 1: 60 lbs × 8

Set 2: 60 lbs × 8

Set 3: 60 lbs × 8

Set 4: 60 lbs × 8

 

Military Press

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 10

Set 2: 65 lbs × 10

Set 3: 75 lbs × 10

Set 4: 75 lbs × 10

Set 5: 75 lbs × 10

 

Seated Bicep Curl (Dumbbell)

 

Set 1: 70 lbs × 8

Set 2: 70 lbs × 8

Set 3: 70 lbs × 8

Set 4: 70 lbs × 6

Set 5: 70 lbs × 6

 

A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles Staley trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done in his workout sessions.

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