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Volume, diminishing returns and total tonnage

Spreading out your volume (work performed) over the week equates to more total weekly volume AND a better quality of volume.


This is one of the best ways to eliminate diminishing returns - which is where fatigue hinders your performance and potential muscle growth. It gets to a point in a workout routine where you are doing to much work for no additional benefit.


"The breakdown of more muscle tissue than the body can compensate for". - Leroy Colbert.


Let's take a look at a classic bodybuilding split. Let's analyse chest day.


This is where the lifter performs all of their chest work for the entire week on one day. They can perform up to six exercises on this day. Under the belief that more per session is better. That my friends, is a fallacy.


As the workout continues, performance will drop due to exhaustion.


However, if the lifter performed 2 exercises for chest on Monday, 2 on Wednesday and 2 on Friday. They would see a rapid increase in performance. This is because the lifter will be in a less fatigued state and will be able to lift more weight!


Here's a simple formula for volume training. Weight x reps x sets = total tonnage moved


Being in a fresher state will allow you to lift more weight for more sets and for more reps. Resulting in more muscle growth!


What are the other benefits to spreading out your volume throughout the week?


Protein synthesis: Protein synthesis will stay elevated throughout the week. Taking advantage of multiple growth periods will keep you growing!


More practice: Strength is a skill. The more practice you get with the lifts the better your form will become. Allowing you to add more weight to the bar/exercise over time.


Better exercise selection: Usually, by spreading out your volume leads to better exercise selection. Because you have more energy to hit the big multi joint exercises. On a chest day, you may hit a few compound movements but then may have yo switch to isolation movements due to fatigue. By spreading the workload throughout the week, you'll be in a fresher state to hit more bang for your buck exercises! This will lead to more volume, increased strength gains, and more overall tonnage moved.


Better recovery: On traditional workout splits, lifters tend to break down more muscle tissue per session than the body can compensate for. Leading to intense DOMS (delayed ongoing muscle soreness) for many days after training. By spreading out the workload, you'll be able to go again in 48 hours. Which is around the time where protein synthesis ends and you stop growing.


As you spend more time working out just one muscle during your routine, the weights used will become lighter and lighter from exhaustion.


Think about it...Are those light weights really going to cause a training adaptation? Not really.


Keep the volume high quality!


The maximum amount of weight, for the maximum amount of reps = good volume and better quality workouts!


Let me know if you need any help with your exercise selection and programming.


Here to help!

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