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Can You Define Volume? What's Best for Size?


What is volume based on, total reps or total weight lifted?

How to define the optimal volume for muscle look size gain?

I see a website says, for example triceps, as small muscle group weekly volume should fall between 30 to 60 reps.

However I train every 3-4 days for triceps, let’s say train 1.5 times per week. Each tricep day I do 3 exercise of 3 sets of 12 reps. So weekly volume=1.533*12=162 reps, far more than 30-60 rep range.

By doing this, It seems doesn’t hurt my progress, I am making strength gain and some size gain. Just not sure more volume is optimal for hypotrophy, which is my primary goal.


Volume is total reps. Weight isn’t a factor when calculating volume.

There’s no universal “optimal volume” for size because people respond differently, due to muscle fiber makeup. Other training factors also affect growth. “Low” volume can build size if high intensity techniques are used. Moderate to high volume can build size if the lifter can survive/recover from the stress.

If this is true and you’ve been tracking measurable progress, then it doesn’t matter what you read in any article written by anyone. You can take some time to experiment with different methods, but when you find the sweet spot, spend plenty of time there… … … That’s what she said.


Its a moving target so no optimal. Verrry roughly a good strategy is to push hard until start to feel a tiny bit burnt out and then back off for a week or two to bounce back stronger.

if want to get technical some good points here…


More volume/workload than before i.e. overload and not so much that you can’t recover from the volume.

It’ll be different for different people and it’s a range not an exact number and this range can change as your work capacity increases or your recovery suffers e.g. poor sleep.

Google “Training Volume Landmarks for Muscle Growth” from the Renaissance Periodization Blog for more.

Volume can be counted in a couple of ways. Several successful programs count how many reps above or at a certain intensity are done during a period of time.

Another approach is counting the number of working sets. Google “The New Approach to Training Volume” from Stronger By Science.

This website happen to be aworkoutroutine? In any case its an oversimplification and gross underestimation. Also there’s almost certainly the condition that you are getting in lots of pressing volume during the week through chest presses and shoulder presses. Still 30-60 reps per week seems a bit low.

Here’s where just counting reps alone hits a bit of a snag. Is a rep of 80% 1RM the same as a rep of 70% 1RM? Successful programs e.g. Sheiko templates count and group reps by intensity so for one week you know how many reps are done in a certain intensity range.

If you are more hypertrophy oriented than maybe think about counting hard sets instead of reps.

Like Forum Overlord Colucci said if you are making gains consistently then it means you are in a good spot for making gains.

Still some things worth considering. An argument can be made for minimal effective dose tho. If you are already doing high volume then you don’t have much wiggle room when it comes to adjusting upwards to overload. If you can make gains with less volume than it might be worth doing so.