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Volume Accumulation Lifting Programme

Introduction

The volume accumulation method is a simple way to improve almost any lift, assuming you have flexible time across the day.

Doing all your lifting in the gym requires that you fit all your lifting into a compressed amount of time. Thus, you have to work with and around concepts like concentric failure in order to get the most from your training time.

What do you do if you have control of your own time and are able to take short "workout snacks" across the day?

In this situation, you can take advantage of the concept of "practising your lifts" as opposed to "working out". Instead of working to failure, you finish each set well short of that point, but focus instead on performing perfect repetitions every time.

This is where volume accumulation comes in. It's very easy to do.

You simply accumulate reps of your chosen exercise across the day.

Rather than fitting everything into one 45-minute block, you spread you lifting out across the day. This works best for a single lift or perhaps two. I imagine you could do more, but then you get into the realm where a single block (or perhaps two) would work better.

I've used this successfully for pull ups, kettlebell military press and press ups.

How to do it...

There is no warm-up for workouts on this programme because lifts are spread across the day.

On day one, perform one rep of your chosen exercise every hour or so. The goal is to accumulate 12 reps.

If you achieve your rep goal for the day, add a rep the following day.

This means on day two, you perform two reps every hour or so. The goal is to accumulate 24 reps across the day.

If you achieve this, add a rep the following day. If you don't, step back to one rep at a time the following day.

For each exercise, choose a number of reps you wish to achieve. When you get there, increase the weight and return to one rep.

Suggested max reps for specific exercises:

  • Kettlebell Military Press | 6 reps
  • Pull Ups | 10 reps
  • Press Ups | 20 reps
  • Dips | 20 reps

Especially for the bodyweight stuff, there is no point going for huge numbers of reps. Once you can achieve a reasonable number, you'll get more from adding weight than from ever-increasing numbers of repetitions.

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Will Newton


In over twenty years of coaching, I have coached everyone from absolute beginners to world champions. My interest in getting the best results for people who train for health and fitness or the love of sport, rather than as professionals, drives me to find the most effective ways to get results. My mission is simple: Be in better shape at 70 than most people are at 20, and to help you do the same.

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