Although we always say that fitness is a science and that the brain comes first, research in this area has not been very thorough, for example, it has been difficult to define the best way to do the muscle growth that we all care about.
The calculation of training volume is a very simple thing, that is, multiply the weight times the number of times times the number of sets completed, this equation is very effective for us to analyze the training, but training is not so simple, if the trainer who completes a larger training volume is the trainer who can get better results, then the fitness is really just to use some brute force, more advanced than just training volume becomes larger, we have to see the negative effects of training volume, that is, fatigue, we have to be smarter to arrange it, to minimize the ineffective or inefficient training volume, and increase the percentage of efficient training volume.
To effectively reduce the amount of “ineffective training”, the following suggestions will be key.
Warm up reasonably
This is an issue I’ve talked about many times, but unfortunately it doesn’t always get a lot of attention.
The point of warm-up sets is to help you better transition to the formal group exercises, so it should be a process of starting with lighter weights and decreasing the number of times with heavier weights set by set until it is close to the weight of the formal group, you can think about it, if you do 4 sets of 8 reps with 100kg for the formal group, and then you warm up all the way to 8 reps with 90kg, then how much energy you spend in the warm-up, and how can it not affect the formal group training?
Whenever you do a set of exercises, you should be very clear whether you are doing a warm-up exercise or a formal group.
You can test the same warm-up group with the same rest time between sets, and see if gradually increasing the weight and decreasing the number of times makes your official group perform better, or if it’s more efficient to keep increasing the weight but still do the warm-up with higher times, making sure to keep the rest between sets consistent.
If you’re afraid that if you keep lowering the number of warm-up sets, you won’t warm up properly and you won’t be able to move around, then I would recommend scheduling some dynamic stretching and mobility exercises before the warm-up sets start, rather than just trying to do a lot of warm-up sets to get yourself ready for training.
Ensure that the majority of training sessions meet your goals
From a mathematical point of view, from 1 to an infinite number of times can be the number of times we use in a training session, but for our training goals, the output of different training times range is different, such as 3-6 times is more conducive to strength growth, 8-12 times is more conducive to promote muscle hypertrophy, 12-15 times or more is more muscular endurance, these should not be unfamiliar to everyone.
But in addition to trying to follow such key points, we can also further optimize efficiency. Strictly speaking, the lower the number of training sessions you perform, the higher the efficiency value per exercise you do, e.g. 10 sets of 2 exercises, which will complete 20 times, will be more efficient than 2 sets of 10. It seems to be more efficient to do a lower number of times than a higher number of times when it comes to goals.
For example, 8-12 repetitions is considered the ideal range of times for muscle growth, so it is already smart for the average trainer to schedule a large percentage of their workouts for 8-12 repetitions, but if they also know how to do 8 instead of 12 repetitions for more important movements or if they know that the sets with 8 repetitions are often more valuable, then it is another way to deepen their understanding of training.
Make every formal group more effective
The same training program, when completed differently, reflects differently on you. For example, 4 sets of 10 repetitions is a familiar arrangement, but if you can successfully complete 4 sets of 10 repetitions using the same weight every time you train, then your training is likely to be inefficient, and it is likely that you will do several sets of less intense training.
Because if your first few sets are intense enough, chances are you’re not going to be able to successfully complete your 10 sets of 10 training sessions.
100kg 10 times
100kg 10 times
100kg 9 times
100kg 8 times
100kg 8 times
(Note: When doing high weights for low reps, the difference in weight per set (i.e. the difference between doing 2 reps and 3 reps is greater than the difference between doing 12 reps and 13 reps) is higher, and because the weight is greater, the unit efficiency per set is higher, so the impact is not as great as if you were doing high reps, so I would recommend choosing a weight that completes the plan as much as possible, rather than doing 10 sets of 3 reps and ending up doing 5 sets of 1 reps).
I’m not talking about a hard and fast rule, but I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m trying to say. Try to make each of your formal groups more like a formal group, not just a formality to complete your training program.
For most trainers, inappropriate, inaccurate, and unintelligent efforts are likely to exist. Simply pile up the volume of training rather than allocating time and energy to the most effective part of the training as possible.