Volume

The representation of total repetitions performed for a movement or within a training, possibly including load, is referred to as volume. Programming volume is a more complex process that takes into account the stresses placed upon the tissues of the body as well as the nervous system. The human body must have sufficient recovery after being subjected to a particular stress or series of stressors to properly adapt and become stronger and more capable of dealing with future stressors. 

Physiological Adaptation

Volume (in repetitions)

Power

6-24

Strength

5-25

Functional Hypertrophy

24-36

Hypertrophy

36+

Endurance

40+

Multiplying the number of sets you perform for an exercise by the number of repetitions per set will tell you the “volume” of repetitions for that exercise. 

For example, three sets of 10 repetitions is a volume of 30 repetitions. In general, 25 repetitions is the average number of repetitions that should be programmed for each exercise for most health and wellness goals. 

One way of ensuring proper recovery from a particular training session or series of sessions is to record the volumes performed and systematically vary the volumes based upon a variety of factors. This is where the concept of periodization can be beneficial. However, it is possible to simply look at the total volume of a particular movement and generally understand the physiological adaptations that result, as referenced in the table above.