If you’re newly paying attention to training volume, whether for Million Pound November or simply because it’s an important metric to understand how your training affects your body, you may run in to questions about how to track certain things.
For a bit of background, tracking accurately and diligently is a critical component of the Movement method of training, and I’ve built two tools to facilitate it. One is internal to members of my gym, the other is adaptifier which is available to the public.
As such, we’ve had a lot of time to figure out how to quantify various things that might at first seem hard to track. This applies to keeping score for Million Pound November as it does every day tracking.
- Bodyweight Movements: Use an appropriate percentage of bodyweight. For example, push-ups are about 70% bodyweight in the hands, adjust accordingly for decline or incline. Bodyweight lunges are about 50% bodyweight, whereas bodyweight squats are about 25% bodyweight. Pull-ups are 100% of bodyweight.
- Core & Short-ROM Movements: Things like sit-ups or planks aren’t as obvious to track as a bodyweight squat for example. For these I arbitrarily use a value of 25 or 50 depending on how challenging they are. It’s not perfect, but gives you a consistent way to quantify them and that’s more than sufficient.
- Carries & Non-Stationary Movement: Use the weight you’re carrying as your resistance, and equate about 10 yards or meters of distance as 1 repetition. Multiply accordingly.
- Weighted Movements: Use the weight on the bar only. I don’t count barbell back squats as a 25% bodyweight squat plus the barbell.
A couple points on tracking in general if you’re NOT trying to keep “score” for the MPN Challenge:
- Running & Other Cardio: Use your pace on a scale of 1-10 as your resistance, 10 would be as fast as you can go. For reps, multiply your distance in miles or kilometers (just be consistent) by 100. i.e. 1 mile = 100 reps, or 26.2 miles = 2620 reps.
- Random Other Movement Things: Quantifying things in other forms of training can be really useful, even if they don’t fit into convenient buckets. After a while you’re understand what 3, 5, or 10 thousand pounds of volume “feels” like. You can rate an indoor climbing session on a scale of 1-10 of difficulty, and then track the volume based on that feel of how much work you did. Provided you’re internally consistent, it’ll be useful over time.
I can’t stress enough how important tracking volume is. Whether your training is going well or poorly you can tell an enormous amount about what is going on simply from this one number. Once you get a handle on how to manipulate volume and how your physiology responds, you’ve unlocked one of the major keys to unbelievable progress.