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Thread: Can you compare workouts with this formula?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Eric Cartman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Can you measure a workout with a formula?

    Hello everyone,

    I am wondering if you can compare the total work done in a workout in order to see which workout is more demanding on the body?

    So for instance:

    Bench Press Workout #1 = 115 lbs x 24 reps = 2760 lbs lifted

    Bench Press Workout #2 = 110 lbs x5 reps + 125 lbs X 5 reps + 140 lbs x 5 reps = 1875 lbs lifted

    So actually, the hypertrophy workout is much more demanding on the body then the strength workout, or is at least equivalent to it in the amount of total muscle recruitment needed.

    Does this make any sense to compare workouts this way?
    Last edited by Eric Cartman; 07-19-2013 at 11:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    You can use it as a guideline but I wouldn't use it as a definitive guide to training.

    If I did 30 calf raises with 400lbs that gives me 12,000lbs moves a measly 2"

    Compared that to 5 singles of 400lbs in the squat, only 2,000lbs.

    Even for similar movements this can be misleading.

    If I squat 150 for 20 reps for 4 sets =12,000
    If I squat 400 for 5 singles = 2,000

    I know I can do 150 for sets of 20, but for me 400 for 5 singles might be tough. I think I'd also recover faster from the 150x20.

    It might be helpful when the rep ranges are similar and you are trying to see how much volume you can handle.

    Say you wanted to see how you responded to squatting 3xweek vs. 2xweek, you could look at the total volume and see how fast your numbers climb or stagnate.

    But clearly the total pounds lifted alone is not enough information and might be misleading.

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