The volume within a workout describes the amount of work that amount of work that is completed. Simply put in the gym this is the number of repetitions and sets we complete within a session. The manipulation of volume can be used to dial in the specific stress we want to apply, and in turn the specific physical adaptations we are wanting to achieve.
Within the Integrated Bodies Athletic Development program we strategically manipulate repetitions for two major reasons. The first is to distinguish between our athletes who need to build muscles mass and develop structural, to those who can focus on develop absolute strength and power. For athletes with a young resistance training age this is a primary need and we prescribe higher repetitions. As our bodies become structurally sound we can nudge our repetition prescription down to allow for more intensity or resistance to be applied, to work on our absolute strength and power. Secondly, we specifically undulate or change or prescriptions for each respective scenario to continually, periodically every two weeks, change the stimulus. This is because variety is a key training principle that promotes adaptation and change within the body.
As for our prescriptions of sets we remain relatively consistent, and this is for a specific reason. As we see athletic development is a complimentary training strategy to the bigger focus of sports and life, Integrated Bodies holds a philosophy of providing the smallest worthwhile dose for change and progression. What this means is we want to apply just enough stress for us to become better but be cautious of applying too much stress that may carry fatigue into a negatively affect performances in sports practice, competition, and our lives outside the gym. The nitty and gritty of strength science would suggest for developing strength we need to hold multiple sets at a specific load for us to adapt, and become stronger. This is true, particularly for very well trained strength athletes. However, for those who have not truly reached their strength potentials yet and have higher priorities of performance; we can get progression from merely practicing the movement with a slightly heavier load then last week. Though there will be a time and place to use more complex set prescriptions, which we do in time, we can get all that low hanging fruit first, before we climb the tree.