Workout Volume Question

I’ve been trying to make sense of this for some time now, but can not figure it out.

Several authors have mentioned that you must look at the total amount of poundage done in a workout, not just sets. I read in one of the articles about how in regards to periodization, the overall poundage decreases as you move from 5x10 wtih 80% to 3x4-6 with 90%. That part makes sense to me.

However, what of this in regards to doing high weight low reps versus medium weight medium reps? if I were to aim for 24 reps with 200 pounds, yielding a total poundage of 4800 lb.s, is that inferior to doing 30 reps with 170 pounds (total poundage= 5100)? Am I just thinking about this too hard, or not taking into account that there’s more at work here then just the volume of weight lifted?

honestly, i think that thinking of lifting in terms of total poundage lifted over the course of a workout is a bad idea. if it truly was a good indicator of how much stronger we are getting, then using ultra light weights would, hands down, be the best way to gain muscle mass. consider:
max effort set of 450 for 1 rep on bench press for a total of 450 lbs lifted, or…

max effort set of 45 for 50 reps for a total of 1350 lbs lifted.

you tell me, who’s stronger?

It really depends what lift you’re talking about, how difficult the volume is for you, and what you respond to best.

If you weight 170 pounds and you can do 30 pull-ups, I would assume doing 24 pull-ups with a 30lb dumbbell in between your legs would be more challenging. And 20 reps isn’t medium reps. It’s high reps.

AS for which combination of volume is “superior” both kind of suck. Doing 20+ reps for any muscle group besides legs or abs isn’t going to give you any results in the way of hypertrophy or strength unless you’ve been training in the sub 8-rep range for a long, long time and you’re trying to shock the muscles for no more than 2 weeks with something new.

I disagree that volume should remain the same as you lift more weight, regardless of your goals.

And I don’t think percentage periodization is really that effective.

my bad, i meant 2250 lbs lifted, not 1350

that was what I was thinking to! I understand the concept they are trying to get across…but it seems that would only apply in certain cases.

In my opinion it’s pure over-complicated crap.

for the most part, yeah. all that really matters is that you’re consistently improving how much weight you can move on any given lift and/or the amount of reps at the same weight. keep doing that, and you will grow. that’s what makes things like 5x5 work, it’s just gradually increasing your weight with a decent amount of volume.

if all that mattered was volume then marathoners would have big legs. Volume and Intensity applied on a consistant basis is the secret.

I think it’s an intelligent idea given a certain range. Obviously, if you bench 3 sets of 10 reps at 200lbs, and then the next week you can do 3 sets of 10reps with 210, you’ve improved. Total training poundage lets you abstract that to account for the improvement if you add 1 rep or one set (3x11x200 or 4x10x200). But yeah, if you totally switch ranges (going from sets of 5 to sets of 10), it becomes… mostly useless.

So… I think it measures progress within limited parameters.