T Nation

How Do You Measure Volume?

As far as I know, the number of reps is the standard measure of volume. However, there are other measures as well like the total amount of weight you lifted (reps x load per rep).

Personally, how do you measure volume? I prefer using the total load lifted rather than reps, although it’s a bit harder to calculate.

It should be reps x weight. I exclude warm-up sets that never change in weight.

It’s easier to keep track of volume if you keep a spreadsheet of your workouts.

Why do you need to do this for bodybuilding purposes?

Just curious. I want to know what you use personally.

Prilipin�??s Table. If the exercise is important enough that it warrants volume calculation (Push-Jerk, Power Clean, Deadlift) then you can figure out your optimal set/rep scheme with Prilipin’s table.

What about programs with set/rep schemes that aren’t anywhere near what Prilipin’s table calls for? Then just do what the program calls for. If it’s a good program, the exercise volume is already fine.

For moderately important exercises (Rows, Dumbbell Bench Press) I do 1-2 working sets and try to hit a PR for at least 1 of those sets. If I hit a PR in the first set, the second working set is heavier for less reps or lighter for more reps and more pump.

For isolation exercises (Rear Delts, Curls) I just make sure I do the exercise. I don’t write down the weight used. I’ve already been in the gym working out hard for an hour so I just let myself go by feel. The logic behind this is, if I’m going for PRs on Barbell Curls then I probably didn’t give enough attention to the important exercises.