How Much Volume Should I Be Doing??

A big topic that most competitive fitness athletes talk and worry about a lot - no doubt this is the same case in many other sports as well.

The answer, is the answer to most questions unfortunately… it depends.

What does it depend on?

It depends on;

- How quick is the water flowing out of the bath, and how quick is the flow of water exiting the bath?

If you imagine water being anything that its physical, mental or emotional strain on your body. Everybody has a different amount of strain in their lives that are non sport related (family, work, health, relationships etc) and everybody also has a different sized bathtub. The bigger the bathtub - the more VOLUME of water it can hold. This isn’t saying that more in better, but it gives you an idea that if 3/4 of the bath tub is taken up by no sport related stress then you only have a 1/4 left to play with.

Let’s put this in a different analogy. Let’s say everyone has £100 (Daily available strain) in their bank account and you have an overdraft of £250.

3 examples.

Barbara, 32, Mother of 3, Primary School teacher, likes to do the odd weekend comp;

Family £50

Work £40

Leaving £10 in the bank to put towards training.

Kevin, 21, Single, Student, wants to get to the Games;

Studies £20

Leaving £80 in the bank to put towards training

Roger, 25, Engaged, Self employed affiliate owner, trying to qualify for a sanctioned event;

Job £30

Family £20

Leaving £50 in the bak to put towards training.

Mat, 29, Professional athlete, GOAT;

£100 available for training

Obviously, there may be other things in their lives that contribute to strain but you get the idea. They all have an overdraft of £250, The student might not get charged a fee for going into his overdraft because he has a student account but if he stays in there long enough, someone’s coming knocking on the door and he may pay the price further down the line. The others get charged with fatigue, a runny nose, poor sleeping patterns and/or a fluctuating menstrual cycle. Sometimes, work may take less money out of your strain account which might open up the opportunity to put more money into training - like at the weekends perhaps. Or using Barbara as an example, during the school summer holidays work will come down to maybe £10 leaving her with as much strain as the Self employed box owner (£50) - that’s if she decides to not put more strain into her Family - Each to their own. Kevin, might have an assignment due in and because he’s spent the last 3 months putting 80% of his daily strain into training, his assignment work has piled up and has to spend a week putting 90% of his strain into pulling all nighters in his local library, smashed off his face on highly caffeinated drinks to get his 5000 word essay boxed off. Roger, just employed a cleaner and another coach at his gym to take some hours off his back. He’s just opened up another £10 a day her can spend on trying to get to a Sanctioned event. Crowd Favourite, sponsored full time athlete, Mat - gets paid 5x more than your average daily salary. Is surrounded by companies supporting his journey as well as family members fully backing everything he’s does to be the best athlete he can be. He has £100 everyday to plough into training, he could even plow an extra £250 in now and again and his bank account is fine with it because … well, he’s absolutely wedged and probably has another bank account off-shore that doesn't get taxed so can transfer some money across when needed.

Hopefully that has painted a picture of a few stereotypes. Maybe you fit into one of those or you know of someone who that reflects. What is important to understand is the less money you have to put into training, the more “bang for your buck” it needs to be. Barbara, doesn’t want to be spending her £10 today doing 4” deficit hang snatch high pulls with a 3s pause in the catch @ 30X1, she needs to be straight up snatching - and be 100% focussed on it. She might also be doing 3 sets, where as Roger might be doing 5 sets because he has more money to spend that day. Of course, over a long period of time, the athlete with the most money available to spend on training - will come out on top. But just because you can’t spend as much money on training, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train and/or won’t keep improving - YOU JUST NEED TO TRAIN LESS AND TRAIN WELL given your personal situation.

I recommend you have a look at your current situation. What is the priority in your life and where are you spending your money? Then figure out how much you have left for a sustainable period of time to commit into training. This might be 60 minutes x 5 times per week. It might be 2 x 60 minutes, 5 times per week. identify it yourself, you may need to move the boundaries around a little, go into your overdraft now and again but when you do, learn from it and adjust next time you are in that same situation. If you regularly get any of the follow symptoms, then you need to adjust your daily expenditure somehow.

  • Slow heart rate recovery after training and a very high resting heart rate

  • Increased arterial blood pressure

  • Heart palpitations (abnormal heart beat)

  • Nervousness and emotional instability

  • Unrestful sleep and low sleep quality

  • Decreased concentration

  • High anxiety and unreasoned fear

  • Excessive sweating under load

  • Low interest in training

  • Loss of appetite and body weight

And if you stay in your overdraft, expect the following;

  • Low resting heart rate

  • Low blood pressure

  • Depression

  • Increased tiredness

  • Easy onset of fatigue

  • Sleepiness and drowsiness

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and depressed immune system