top of page

Training volume explained

Before we get into how training volume shifts throughout the year, we must understand what training volume is in the first place. Seasonal training volume is dependent upon a person's goal, fitness level, and training availability.

 

Training volume in resistance training is the amount of work done within an exercise, training session, week, month, or training phase. To find the training volume of an exercise, you would take sets x reps x weight = training volume. For example, if you squat for 4 sets x 8 reps x 135 lb = 4,320 lbs. To find the training volume of a workout, you would do the above for each exercise and add it up to get the total. Fortunately, the app we use for training here at KATHLETICS does that for you so you don't have to do math.

 

Training volume in cardiovascular training is total time, mileage, or elevation gain completed in a training session, week, or training cycle. Training volume examples could look slightly different depending on your preferred endurance activity (running, hiking, cycling, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, etc.).

 

Your training volume throughout the year will depend on what is considered in-season and off-season for your sport. As a general rule of thumb, as resistance training volume increases, cardiovascular training volume decreases, whereas when resistance training volume decreases, cardiovascular training volume increases. This allows your body to adapt and recover between sessions and based on your priorities and abilities. It's important to note that "decreases" does not mean "ceases to exist" and "increases" doesn't mean "only do that" :).

 

Here are four training cycles to consider when planning your annual training program. Yes, I said annual. Remember: fitness is for life! Whether you're a hybrid athlete or exercise for general health, this still applies.

 

1. EARLY CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING CYCLE /

HYPERTROPHY - RESISTANCE TRAINING PHASE

- Build aerobic capacity

- Low running volume

- High resistance training volume

- 3-6 sessions per week

- 3-6 sets

- 6-12 reps

- 30-90 second rest periods

 

For hybrid athletes whose primary activities are running, hiking, cycling, or climbing, this training cycle would likely occur in late fall. For hybrid athletes whose primary activities are skiing or snowboarding, this training cycle would likely occur in late spring. For those who exercise for general health, I recommend completing this phase when you have more training availability.

 

2. MID CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING CYCLE /

STRENGTH - RESISTANCE TRAINING PHASE

- Work anaerobic capacity/lactate threshold

- Moderate running volume

- Moderate resistance training volume

- 3-4 sessions per week

- 3-5 sets

- 2-6 reps

- 2-5 minute rest periods

 

For hybrid athletes whose primary activities are running, hiking, cycling, or climbing, this training cycle would likely occur in winter. For hybrid athletes whose primary activities are skiing or snowboarding, this training cycle would likely occur in summer. For those who exercise for general health, I recommend completing this phase after Hypertrophy.

 

3. PEAK CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING CYCLE /

POWER - RESISTANCE TRAINING PHASE

- Work endurance and race specificity

- High running volume

- Low resistance training volume

- 1-3 sessions per week

- 2-5 sets

- 1-12 reps

- 30 second-2 minute rest periods

 

For hybrid athletes whose primary activities are running, hiking, cycling, or climbing, this training cycle would likely occur in early spring. For hybrid athletes whose primary activities are skiing or snowboarding, this training cycle would likely occur in early fall. For those who exercise for general health, I recommend completing this phase after Strength.

 

4. RACE/RECOVERY CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING CYCLE /

ENDURANCE - RESISTANCE TRAINING PHASE

- Race and recover

- Decreasing running volume

- Maintain resistance training volume

- 0-2 sessions per week

- 0-3 sets

- 0-15 reps

- 30-45 second rest periods

 

For hybrid athletes whose primary activities are running, hiking, cycling, or climbing, this training cycle would likely occur in spring/summer depending on your race schedule. For hybrid athletes whose primary activities are skiing or snowboarding, this training cycle would likely occur in winter. For those who exercise for general health, I recommend completing this phase after Power and continue to prioritize resistance training sessions, sets, and reps.

 

We use a similar schedule in KATHLETICS Trail to follow the in-season and off-season for hikers and trail runners. Learn more about KATHLETICS Trail.

Comments


Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.

 

I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

IMG_3783 2.HEIC

Want to be adventure ready year-round?

How about some free knowledge gains?

Sign up for Let's Taco 'Bout It Tuesday, my weekly newsletter. Tacos not included.

Welcome to the fam!

bottom of page