The best way to gain muscle and strength, and to lose fat is through progressive overload. There are a lot of metrics to look at regarding progressive overload, but for the lifter who has been at it a while, there are three important ones that you can’t overlook. Those specific metrics are volume, density, and intensity,


1. Volume

For fat loss, volume is key. Also called “tonnage,” it refers to the amount of weight lifted. Depending on your goal(s) you can do it lift by lift, or think of it in terms of the whole workout. Let’s take a look at it using a given lift.

Let’s say you are doing squats. Your working sets have you using 200lbs, and you’re doing 7 x 4. You would first figure out the total number of reps you are doing. In this example, 28 reps.
Next, we take those 28 reps and multiply by the weight you used. In the example, that gives us 200 x 28, for a total squat volume of 5600lbs. But, work sets don’t always use one constant weight. So if that is the case, you have to do a little bit more math to make the equation work. So let’s say you’re still doing 7 x 4 for your squats. This time, your working weight looks like this:

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