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Old 12-12-2010, 06:34 PM   #1
Pete Gordon
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Default Measuring Volume

The concept of measuring volume is a pretty simple one. Really. It is. Well, to me it's pretty straight forward. Reps x sets = volume. If I did 5 sets of triple snatches at 90kg, that's a volume of 15 reps.

if I were to do 5 doubles of very heavy clean & jerks, that would be a volume of 10 reps.

For a long time now, the concept of periodization has been on the basis that a macro-cycle starts, the volume is high, with the intensity low/moderate. As time goes on, the amount of volume done in a week for example is dropped & intensity is increased.

That being said, what would you consider to be moderate weekly volume? Obviously it's a pretty open ended question, with more answers than people answering the question. As a guide though, is 400 reps per week being high? Very high? Moderate?

My question is in relation mainly to weightlifting. I suppose you can also include it into powerlifting. Probably not strongman, though there's a lot to strongman training I don't know much about.

As a jr coach this is something that I'd love to learn about.

Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:42 PM   #2
Derek Weaver
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If you're just referring to the main lifts themselves, 400 reps in a week sounds ridiculously high.

Even Shieko, with those marathon 2+ hour sessions and seemingly endless reps, thinks that's crazy. http://www.elitefts.com/sheiko/Sheiko30.htm
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:34 PM   #3
Pete Gordon
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That's right. I'm asking in reference to the main lifts.

The number '400' was a number I simply pulled out of thin air. The two hour long sheiko training sessions are quite high volume. On a bit of a side note, I feel that less experienced trainees benifit from higher volume training, since it lays down the nurological pathway for the main lifts.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:41 AM   #4
Mark Fenner
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For some perspective, here is the Beginner, Month I volumes for Sheiko based on 200/300/400 pseudo-maxes in BP/SQ/DL. Note, Sheiko is very heavily focused on the three powerlifts. There is basically nominal other work.

Compare with 5/3/1, Smolov, Starting Strength, Power to the People, One-Lift-a-Day, etc. and you can start to get an idea of where different systems trade off volume/intensity/frequency/variety (of lifts)/etc. I have crummy spreadsheet with some of these compared. Maybe I should clean it up.

The columns are number of lifts, total tonnage, and "relative intensity sum" (RIS). RIS is sum of all (set * intensity) pairs. So, if you have 4 reps @ .5 and 2 reps at 1.0 then RIS would be ... yup, 4.0. It's useful for computing "average relative intensity".

Wk 1
SQ 74 14625 48.75
DL 70 18720 46.8
BP 142 17590 87.95

Wk 2
SQ 93 19140 63.8
DL 61 16780 41.95
BP 112 14720 73.6

Wk 3
SQ 109 22200 74
DL 63 17920 44.8
BP 162 21060 105.3

Week 4
SQ 83 17400 58
DL 26 7400 18.5
BP 118 16220 81.1

Month
SQ 359 73365 244.55
DL 220 60820 152.05
BP 534 69590 347.95

Best,
Mark
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:44 AM   #5
Steven Low
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Depends ultimately on your recovery ability which determines your frequency and how many lifts you're doing.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:36 PM   #6
Derek Weaver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Depends ultimately on your recovery ability which determines your frequency and how many lifts you're doing.
Well, yeah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Gordon View Post
That's right. I'm asking in reference to the main lifts.

The number '400' was a number I simply pulled out of thin air. The two hour long sheiko training sessions are quite high volume. On a bit of a side note, I feel that less experienced trainees benifit from higher volume training, since it lays down the nurological pathway for the main lifts.
Sure, volume and intensity are typically traded off in favor of one another. No way someone is going to hit 50 reps @ 85% of 1rm, but again, no way someone would do well hitting 5 reps 30%.

Too high of a load will cause form breakdown in anyone. This can be tragic for a beginner.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:09 AM   #7
Brian DeGennaro
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For myself or others, I usually call it at the best work set or when fatigue kicks in and affects a work set. This averages the reps around 18-30 total reps per exercise with weights >50% depending on the top set.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:21 AM   #8
Eduardo Chile
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I think there is more to it than just that.

Number of lifts doesn't tell you anything unless you know the intensity as well. Also 4 X 6 @ 70% is going to be different than 6 X 4 @ 60% too.

Also, volume in a single workout isn't all that valuable either. If you have one hard workout and the rest of the week is easy, well it's probably an easy week.

The same goes for a single week out of cycle. The intent should be to figure out how to best get at your goals. There is some articles out there based on your classification as a lifter and the number of lifts one should do per week for powerlifting. Eric Talmant's dvd covers these numbers, I'll see if I can dig it up.
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