Resistance Training, Part 6: Volume

10 Oct

Volume – or volume load – refers to the total amount of weight lifted in a training session.  A set is a group of repetitions sequentially performed before the athlete stops to rest.  Volume is usually calculated by multiplying the number of sets by the number of repetitions times the weight lifted per repetition.

Single-set training may be appropriate for untrained individuals or during the first several months, but many studies indicate higher volumes are necessary to promote further gains in strength, especially for intermediate and advanced resistance-trained athletes.  Performing three sets of 10 repetitions without going to failure enhances strength better than one set to failure in 8 to 12 repetitions.

Primary Resistance Training Goal

Training volume is directly based on the athlete’s resistance training goal.  Below is a summary of guidelines for numbers of repetitions and sets commonly associated with strength, power, hypertrophy, and muscular endurance training programs:

  • Strength – 6 or fewer repetitions; 3-5 sets
  • Power – 2-4 repetitions; 3-5 sets
  • Hypertrophy – 6-12 repetitions; 3-6 sets
  • Muscular endurance – 12 or more repetitions; 2-3 sets


Your thoughts?

Next: Rest Periods

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  1. How Hard Should You Push Yourself? « Athletic Performance Training Center - January 17, 2013

    […] there is evidence-based research to support a specific plan for each (please see previous posts on volume, load, and repetition).  There is virtually no evidence to support exercising to the point of […]

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