Training volume or training load is simply a measure of how much training or exercise you are doing. Understanding what your training volume is will allow you to periodise your training program, so you can then plan for periods of high training volume as well as make sure you allow some time with reduced training volume to optimize recovery.
Tracking Cardiovascular Training
When it comes to tracking training volume for your cardiovascular training the simplest way to do this is to track your total kilometres. You can do this for running or cycling.
Below is an example of a runners training volume:
Monday – 5km
Wednesday – 3.5km
Friday – 8km
Sunday – 3km
Weekly Total = 19.5km
Tracking these numbers over time will not only allow you to see increases in your fitness, it will also allow you to progress your program from week to week gradually, avoiding any large increases in volume that could lead to overtraining or injury.
Tracking Resistance Training Volume
Resistance training can also be tracked, which can calculated by using the sets, reps and weight lifted throughout a session. For each exercise you will multiply reps x sets x weight to give you your training volume.
See example below:
Back Squat 3 x 8 x 90kg = 2160
Bench Press 3 x 10 x 75kg = 2250
Seated Row 3 x 10 x 50kg = 1500
Sit ups (5kg plate) 3 x 12 x 5kg = 180
Session total = 6090
If a person completed this session 3 x per week, their weekly training volume would be 18,270.
While this is just a number, it allows you to put a value to your total training volume for the week. You can then look to manipulate this to make sure you’re gradually progressing your program or allowing recovery when needed.
There are a number of different metrics that people may look to track in regards to resistance training, depending on your goal some may be more useful than others. For strength training increasing the weight we lift over a period of time is important. If your goal is hypertrophy tracking your training volume is important as it has been shown to be a key factor when trying to maximise hypertrophy.
Understanding the amount of training you are doing will allow you to progress. Tracking your training volume allows you to incorporate progressive overload into your programming or your exercise routine, ensuring you continue to improve your fitness.