In many training programs, the volume is often overlooked. In case you are wondering what volume is all about, simply defined, it refers to the total weight lifted during the training session.
It is the weight x reps at that particular weight x sets at that respective rep scheme for each of the weights lifted during the training session of CrossFit workout. It is a total of all weights.
Studies have revealed that volume is a primary concern when training for hypertrophy and strength. As the volume increases, there is a tendency to get bigger and stronger unless there is a hindrance. The more work you do, the more jacked you get.
Top Three Ways You Can Jack Up Volume
Because the volume equation comprises three different variables, you can enhance your volume in three different ways in your CrossFit training routine.
The first way is to lift more weight at the same set and rep. For instance, in one workout, you can do biceps curls with 50 pounds at 4 x 12. In the next workout, you can top up the weight to 55 pounds at the same 4 x 12.
The second way is to lift the same level of weight, but this time increasing the number of reps per set. For instance, you can do 50 pounds at 4 x 12 and 4 x 15.
The third way is for you to increase the number of sets for every workout. In this instance, you can do 4 x 12 and 5 x 12 with the same 50 pounds weight.
Tracking Your Volume
As a general expectation, your volume should increase over time. You don’t necessarily have to lift more volume in every successive CrossFit workout, but in the long run, the expectation is to see an upward trend. If your graph is instead flattening out despite you lifting more weight, chances are you have reached your ultimate limits or something could be something wrong with your training.
Because of this, it is important to track your volume on a regular basis. You can use pen and paper, a computer spreadsheet, or tap into online services that are customized to make it easier for you to do the tracking.
Volume of Strength
Training for strength is different from training for size. Strength training brings onboard high-intensity lifts within the range of 1 to 6 reps and over 75% of your 1RM. This is the range that gives you the muscle fiber recruitment and neurological adaptations needed to handle bulky weights.
When strength training, the only way to calculate volume is to count the reps you do which are greater than 75% of 1RM. This is more accurate because any warm-up sets are eliminated as they do not contribute anything towards strength training.
When you are volume training for size, you should be careful because it can get confusing. Training for size uses more than one part of the body and tracking this may not be easy. For instance, triceps pushdowns and dips are both exercises targeting the triceps.
However, since they vary in terms of mechanical advantages the chances are slim that you will be able to lift the same level of weight in both. The solution here is to focus on one lift per CrossFit workout.