I've never tracked workout volume for strength training before. It is a simple concept. For an exercise, multiply the number of repetitions by the weight raised in each set. The sum of the results for all the sets is the volume of that exercise. It is a basic, unflinching metric of work performed. Decreasing rest periods between sets decreases the volume the athlete can achieve. Increasing sets, repetitions, or weight lifted increases the volume. I find that increasing goal repetitions or weight lifted often decreases my volume on that day for that exercise. If I have achieved 5 sets at a particular number of reps, I will increase the number in the next workout. However, I can often not sustain that increased number across all sets. Likewise, an increase in weight lifted often causes a drop in reps sufficient to drop the overall volume. But these are anomalies. With consistency, I increase the number of repetitions at the heavier weight with the goal of hitting 5 sets of 12.

The volume number sets a metric that the athlete must focus on raising. I'm beginning to see the impacts of improperly managed components of my life affect my strength when I let them intrude. With body, as with mind, consistent improvement can only be achieved by focus on desired goals. If you divert this focus to other things, let other things intrude, the metrics will show it.