This meta-analysis compared strength gains with low and high volume training, in both trained and untrained lifters. The effect sizes for higher weekly volumes were ~20-25% larger than the effect sizes for lower weekly volumes, which means 20-25% faster strength gains, even though the absolute added effect size from high volume training was small (0.18).

While a meta-analysis can never fill in all of the fine details, this does provide very strong evidence that higher training volumes are beneficial and necessary to maximize rates of strength gains. It’s still absolutely possible for most people to make strength gains with relatively low training volumes, at least in the short term, so you don’t absolutely need to handle high training volumes all the time. This is invaluable knowledge for times when life gets crazy and for non-competitive lifters.


It’s likely that higher training volumes become increasingly important as training status increases, since hypertrophy tends to play a progressively larger role in strength development as training age increases.

Article from MASS – Monthly Applications in Strength Sport. The best tool for any serious athlete or coach to stay updated on the latest fitness science and how to use it, in-depth.

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The Effect of Weekly Set Volume on Strength Gain: A Meta-Analysis. doi: 10.1007/s40279-017-0762-7.

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