Critical Volume and Progressive Overload



“Anonymous lifting journal found left at the gym”

Progressive overload can be as simple as adding sets, reps and or weight to a routine from week to week.  However often what can be lost in progressive overload is cumulative tonnage.  For a newbie, training progressive overload is pretty simple because all volume is new and most tonnage ends up falling into the critical zone for hypertrophy and strength gain because anything plus nothing will be adequate stimulus for growth.

However at a certain point an individual loses the ability to make gainz due to the magic number that is critical volume not being achieved.

A newbie can make gainz on 3X10@70% however for the avid disciple of iron it will likely not be able to achieve optimal gains after a certain point because said volume is insufficient stimulus for growth.

Now critical volume being achieved there is also the concept of being in a state of caloric surplus that I do not plan to go into in this article.

Achieving critical volume can be as simple as looking at previous weeks volume calculating it into  tonnage.  An individual has to exceed previous volume to achieve results.

There are a variety of ways to achieve critical volume.   Add sets, drop weight and add reps(accumulation phase), increase the frequency of training.   As an experienced lifter you also understand that the threshold for gains is weight at or greater than 60% of your 1 rep maximum.  Going below 60% can achieve similar results but most studies use beginners as their subjects.   All lifting variable can play a part in overall tonnage but compound movements with weight x reps X sets  is what dictates daily and weekly tonnage/volume/work capacity.

I will add to this in the future.

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