There are many different methods of choosing the volume of training you wish to do in a session. Many people will think about total number of sets to do, or perhaps number of exercises etc. I personally prefer a method of choosing how much weight I intend to lift in a workout. Lifting more weight = more work done and more stress on the muscle fibres.
I am going to demonstrate how to use this method on a legs workout. As legs are a very strong muscle group you will obviously be able to lift more total weight than you would on most other body parts. For example you wouldn’t expect to lift 10 tonnes on a bicep workout.
For legs if I am training heavy I will usually aim to lift between 25-35 tonnes in a workout. This will obviously be different if you are of a different strength level to me.
You will always start off with the heavier exercises and aim to finish on the lighter ones. Try to get the bulk of the weight lifted near the start on exercises where you can lift more. Here is the break down of what I would do for my 30 tonne leg workout.
Squats – 10 tonnes
I will normally aim to lift 10 tonnes on squats. Usually I would do 10 sets of 10 reps with 100kg. this is after the warm up obviously which doesn’t count. 10 sets of 10 with 100kg really is knackering if you keep the rest periods short. If you cant do that weight but you can do more reps then why not try 10 sets of 20 reps at 50kg. different combinations will lead to the same total.
Leg press – 10 tonnes
Depending on the leg press this should be pretty easy. However I want you to use a weight that you can only perform 5 reps with. This will make it substantially harder. I would personally do 200kg for 10 sets of 5 reps. A heavier weight and lower reps is far harder to get to the total than using lighter weights for more reps. For example 20 reps of 50kg on leg press is incredibly easy but 5 reps at 200kg is extremely hard (depending on what leg press you use).
Leg extensions – 5 tonnes
Hamstring curls – 5 tonnes
Do the same method as you would for squats with these 2 exercises but keep the reps higher. I personally would try and do 5 sets of 20 reps at 50kg or something close to that.
So set yourself a weight goal and go for it. If you can manage a 50 tonne leg workout then you are a far better man than I am.