Fact Check: Should You Focus on Volume or Intensity in Weight Training?

Should you focus on volume or intensity during a workout? (Image via Pexels/Photo by Binyamin Mellish)
Should you focus on volume or intensity during a workout? (Image via Pexels/Photo by Binyamin Mellish)

If you've started weight training, there is something you'll wonder about: volume or intensity? This isn't an easy choice or a question that can be answered by choosing one.

There's a reason both terms exist in the fitness industry. Had it not meant anything to the industry, the terms would have ceased to exist. So, before looking for the answer, let's understand what the terms mean.

What Does Volume Mean in Weight Training?

When lifting weights, volume refers to the number of reps and sets you're doing.


Usually, the more volume you add to your workout, the more you boost muscle growth and endurance. Now, if you want to add more reps and sets to your routine, you'll have to pick a lighter weight, which will give you better hypertrophy results.

Additionally, when you focus on adding more reps and sets, it helps with improving cardiovascular health.

Now, you can add more volume using heavier weights, but you won't be able to do as many reps as you can with a lighter weight.

Progressive overload is one of the top factors in resistance training 101 to improve muscle endurance and growth.

What Does Intensity Mean in Weight Training?

Intensity is the difficulty of the exercise you're doing and is usually based on the amount you lift. The heavier the weight, the more the intensity of the exercise.


On the other hand, you can also increase the intensity by reducing the resting period between two sets. Ideally, it all depends on how difficult it is to perform the exercises.

Adding intensity to your workout routine helps with metabolism since lifting heavy increases your heart rate. Next, it promotes weight loss since the extra effort needed pushes the body to burn extra calories for the excess energy.

Finally, adding intensity to your workout routine can help with increasing power and strength.

What to Focus on? Volume or Intensity?

So, when you're weight training and stuck between volume or intensity, it's better to incorporate both into your routine rather than sticking to only one.

It would be best if you found a balance between volume and intensity and gained the optimum benefit from them.


For example, you can add volume to your routine at the end of the workout session for burnout or add it during an intense workout session to add more pressure to the muscles.

The more pressure the muscles are under, the more boost they'll receive to grow bigger to withstand the additional resistance.

Bottom Line for Volume or Intensity

Volume or intensity? There's no correct answer. You'll be able to see the benefits regardless of which you concentrate upon. However, combining the two will be a much better way to provide your muscles with the resistance they need to force themselves to grow bigger while improving endurance.

Finally, you can couple volume and intensity with some cardio to improve your physical fitness and overall physique.

Lastly, make sure your diet is based on the type of physique you want; depending on that, you'll either be in a deficit or surplus.

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Edited by Piyush Bisht