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Absolute Weight, Tonnage and Training Volume

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  • Absolute Weight, Tonnage and Training Volume

    Somewhat of a philosophical question on training: do you believe that the absolute weight on the bar has an effect on how much training volume someone should do? Generally the reasoning goes that stronger (and usually heavier) people lift more weight which has a greater effect on the body (aka squatting 500lbs vs squatting 250lbs aren't the same even if for two different people they could both be the same relative % of max).

    Greg Nuckols wrote in the Science of Lifting "This is because lifting a heavier absolute load induces more stress to the tissues, both mechanical (more muscle tension) and metabolic (because more energy is burned to lift a heavier weight the same number of times as a lighter weight)." And in the Sheiko programs designed for heavier lifters less volume, with the argument being that more weight is being lifted.

  • #2
    The same % of max does not represent the same stress for a beginner vs. a very well-trained individual for a variety of reasons. On one hand, the more advanced trainee has many more neuromuscular adaptations that allow for greater muscular recruitment and force production. On the other hand, the beginner trainee has less recovery capacity and tolerance for training stress. There are many other individual differences that can impact someone's need (and tolerance) for training volume, so it's not as simple or predictable as is commonly claimed in internet discussions on the topic.
    IG / YT

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