T Nation

Difference Between Volume and Overload?


I've been working out for a while now and sort of follow the same old routine. 5 sets per exercise and anything from 12 to 8 reps per set, increasing the weight for each set. Whilst I'm lifting considerably more than I did 6 months ago, I've reached a point now where I think my body has got used to the routine and I'm not seeing the results I want.

I recently read an article about a 12 week plan I'd like to try, where 2 weeks are overload training, 2 weeks are volume training and another 2 weeks are volume training to failure, but I don't really understand the difference!

Can anyone throw any light on the subject?




What are your goals, from what it sounds like you want strength and if thats the case why you lifting in the 8-12 rep range.


That would be fairly high volume.

And that would be the overload part. Good on ya.

Where did you read the article, online or in a magazine? It was probably (hopefully) explained there.

Generally speaking, volume training is doing lots of work. A bunch of sets and/or reps. 10x10 (10 sets of 10 reps), 15x4, and 2x25 would be examples of high volume workouts.

Overload training is doing hard work. Lifting a weight that actually challenges you, as opposed to something you can easily manhandle. Lifting more next time than you did this time, would be overload. So would lifting close to a rep-max (whatever you can handle for a given rep range, and no more, sometimes nearing muscular failure.)

Overload is important for strength gains, volume is important for hypertrophy (muscle gains), and both are important to manipulate for maximum size and strength.