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How is volume determined?

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  • How is volume determined?

    Does anyone know how coaches determine how much volume an athlete should do for a given training session.If a program has 3 sets of 5@8 why is it 3 sets and not 4 or more.The only thing i've read about it is the RTS training manual by Mike T where he talks about fatigue stops.For example you warm up and then do sets of 5@8 until you hit RPE 9 and then you stop doing the exercise.On that particular session you can do 2 sets of 5 or 3 sets of 5 or more but you stop when you hit RPE 9 and that is the fatigue stop.So do coaches determine volume based on their experience and simply increase or decrease it depending on how an athlete progresses or is there another way?
    Last edited by zeljko; 12-29-2018, 08:42 PM.

  • #2
    Correct (but near-useless) answer: it depends. I'm not a coach (though I have been paid to pretend to be), and the actual number of sets will depend on the athlete's desired outcome (strength/hypertrophy/endurance) and how the athlete responds (requires experience training with that athlete, or good data), plus whatever their current program prescribes. I've tended just to coach a few people through a few BBM programs, as-is.

    Stupid, unscientific rule of thumb: strength focus might be 3-5 sets, hypertrophy might be 4-8 sets.


    • #3
      Jordan uses the saying "more volume at appropriate intensity." He also qualifies various weeks in The Bridge according to how much stress is induced by the workouts.

      Volume and intensity (a factor of reps per set and RPE) combine to determine the amount of stress applied, and thus to the recovery resources necessary to have the desired addaptation. So as ropable says, Volume is determined by the goals, and how that lifter responds to volume, but it is also determined by recovery status from past workouts, and where you want them to be recovery wise in the next workouts.


      • #4
        Keep in mind that the templates are generalized, and they are making a lot of assumptions in the templates. It's not going to be optimal for most people. For determining volume in a lifter as a coach, you first have to expose the trainee to a range of different volume prescriptions and see how they react. This is probably the most anecdotal part, as you usually don't know enough about the lifter at first to do anything more than throw a dart at a board. Then you adjust accordingly. You ideally do want to fluctuate volume over time regardless, but if say someone shows they respond best to 20-25 sets per week of squats, then you want to bias your training slightly more to that range. But as they both mentioned before me, you also have to keep intensity in mind. The more volume you're doing in a block comparatively, the lower intensity you would need to do. Fatigue stops like you mentioned are no longer programmed, as RTS and BBM have both kind of come to the conclusion that keeping volume static and auto-regulating intensity generally yields better results long term than keeping intensity static and auto-regulating volume.
        Last edited by PWard; 01-03-2019, 06:28 PM.