How do you know you’re getting stronger?
That’s an easy question to answer if you’ve been tracking max weight for a specific rep range. But how do you know if you’re training too much or not enough to develop muscle? That’s where the training volume becomes important to understand.
The volume equation is simple:
Reps x Sets x Load
Therefore, if you were tracking your squat volume you would use the below equation.
10 Reps x 5 Sets x 100lbs = 5,000lbs
Therefore, your training volume for your squat would be 5,000lbs.
Every week your goal should be to increase overall volume.
There will come a point where you can’t add more weight each week so you must add another rep or set.
However, there will come a point where you can’t just add more sets or reps otherwise you’d be in the gym 4 hours.
So what can you do next?
Increase frequency or intensity.
Frequency would mean training an exercise another day.
So that 5,000lbs becomes 5,000lb x 2 days = 10,000lbs.
Another way would be to make your reps harder.
Add in a 2 second pause. Increase overall effort on the concentric portion. Play with slower negatives to create more muscle damage during the eccentric phase.
It’s important to track total weight, but if you really want to ensure growth. Make sure you are tracking training volume on specific muscles, muscle groups, and movement patterns.