T Nation

How Can You Tell If You're Doing Too Much Volume?

Assuming that you’re sleeping 7-8+ hours and napping and you’re gaining weight (so you’re in a caloric surplus)?
Do you just look at your performance (i logbook all my workouts)?

If I am not recovering, it is too much.



If you aren’t improving or having lots of bad days then there is a good chance you are doing too much.

1 Like

Obviosly… but how can you quantify?
Not everybody has great autoregulation capabilities, and things like “sleep quality, appetite, desire to train” are not indicators i can read on myself haha.

Maybe having at performance in few consecutive workouts for the same muscle group/movement pattern is a better indicator of not having recovered?

Why would I need to?


I think you’re looking at this the wrong way. Go read/watch some of Mike Israetel’s articles/videos on MRV (maximum recoverable volume), that would give you some direction.


Because everybody needs some feedback, i think, unless you, like many pro bodybuilders can autoreguate (even in that case you’re looking at some feedbacks, just less subjective and quantifiable ones). Obviously I might be wrong, or I wouldnt be here asking

Answering @chris_ottawa thank you, Isratel simply basically talks about a drop in performance over a few consecutive workouts

1 Like

There is your answer

Very fair chance.

If you legit can’t tell if you aren’t recovering without a set of numbers, you have never trained hard enough to surpass your recovery. Try doing that sometime and you will know how it feels.


You have to have a little consistency in your training to be able to get some feedback.

When you’re a young bro, just starting out in the gym it’s easy to go in and do some stuff. Then go in the next time and mess around and do more stuff, kind of unplanned and undirected. If you do “too much” messing around one day you just naturally mess around a little !ess next time. Sort of going with the flow.

When you start to plan and structure your training a little, the workouts stack on top of each other. Your next session is based on your last one. After a few weeks like that, when things are going steady, you can start looking for feedback.

If you’re progressing workout to workout, that’s good. If you’re gaining weight and eating and sleeping well, that’s good.

If progress stops, you’re doing too much. If your sleep was “regular and good” and then suddenly it gets thrown off, like you can’t sleep, you’re doing to much.

If your appetite is good, you’re gaining weight you’re doing OK. If you start doing more volume in the gym and suddenly your appetite disappears and you don’t want to eat anymore, its a sign you’re doing to much.

When I start doing too much work to fast, I get a sore throat. Like the beginning of a cold.

Psychology, if your training is so easy that’s it’s boring and stupid, it’s time to turn up the intensity. If it’s a day off from the gym and you’re crawling up the walls bored, eager to get back to the weights you’re probably ready to work harder in your workouts.


Are you an INTP?

This thread reminds me of Heart Rate Variability. Is this still a thing people use?

There is no spoon


Performance is good to track. Depending on the program and where you are in it there are times that performance is meant to be low/fatigue high. So keeping that in mind I gauge performance using estimated 1 RM. If I know at me best I can do 5 reps at a given weight and this workout I just hit it for 1 at RPE 6 / ez then I know that on that given day I’m performing well. If on a few consecutive workouts I’m hitting the single @ RPE 9 / 1 in the tank then I’m nowhere near my high level of performance.

If you ain’t making gains at current volume but feeling great and doing the recovery things may be worth increasing volume.

If you ain’t making gains or ur performance is down over time and ur feeling shitty/under recovered then is too much volume.


The bottom block of that flow chart seems like “yes” and “no” are reversed?

Incidentally, I just read this article yesterday…good read specific to your question.

1 Like

Op… what does your actual work volume look like?

Look at your progress, if you go from doing 15 heavy sets of squats a week to 20+ per week and your performance dips or regresses, you are probably doing to much volume.

Does it bug u lol ?

My tiny brain can’t comprehend