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Keep tonnage on your side

What do you consider a light day at the gym, 3 sets of 10 reps, or 5 sets of 2 reps? Most of you would most likely say that doing any exercise for 3 sets of 10 reps is less stressful on your body than 5 sets of 2 reps. The most logical conclusion to make, is that your lifting heavier weight performing 5 sets of 2 reps, than 3 sets of 10 reps. My question to you is, although you’re lifting heavier, are you lifting more?

           Meet the term Total Tonnage……

          Without getting to technical, tonnage refers to the amount of weight your lifting multiplied by the number of repetitions you do them for. For example, if you are doing 1 set of 10 reps @100 lbs, your total tonnage is 1000 lbs. For every repetition, you’re lifting 100 lbs, and since you’re lifting 100 lbs, 10 times, 1000 lb will be your total tonnage

          Now that we know what total tonnage is, lets look back at what would be considered a light day, 3×10 or 5×2.

            If you can squat 200 lb for 3 sets of 10 reps, what is your total tonnage?

10reps(200 lbs)= 2,000 lbs/set x 3 sets= 6,000 lbs of total tonnage

             Lets look at the 5×2:

            You can squat 400lbs for 5 sets 2 reps, what is your total tonnage?

2reps(400 lbs)= 800 lbs/set x 5 sets= 4,000 lbs of total tonnage.

          This may be surprising to some you to know that 3×10 is actually not a light day when considering how much your lifting overall that particular day. This is very important to understand because it can change the way you look at a “light” day.

            It’s hard to define what a light or heavy day is because everyone is on a different fitness level, so these days will be specific to you. The point is that the weight is not as important as you may think when it comes to a light or heavy day; it’s more to do with the sets and reps. As you can see from the examples above, the weight may be heavier per set, but the overall weight lifted for the entire amount of sets is greater.

            Keeping track of your total tonnage can help you plan out whether or not you will be lifting heavy or light. Knowing this will enable you to recover better over time by avoiding overtraining.



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