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total tonnage and its application to training

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  1. #1
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    total tonnage and its application to training

    i've been reading about total tonnage in a workout and I am slightly confused by it, so I was wondering if someone in the know could clear things up a bit for me.

    basically, if I understand it correctly, you take the total number of sets and reps and multiply it by the weight used to get total tonnage for the workout. for example, 3 sets of 5 with 200 pounds would be a total tonnage of 3000 pounds.

    Now, I am on the fence as to what to keep in my workouts going forward. I am going to use chinups as an example. I weigh 215 pounds and can bang out about 8 reps with 50 extra pounds on my dip belt, so that would make for a tonnage of 2120 pounds (265*8). In my workout today, I switched to bodyweight only, 4 reps per set, and 5 sets, which works out to a tonnage of 4300 pounds ((215*4)*5).

    The 8 reps with 50 extra pounds is a grind. Today was a cake walk, no comparison. So my confusion lies in what is a better strategy to follow going forward, keeping in mind my current goal on chinups is as an accessory movement, I'm not looking to keep upping weight on them each time. Obviously one would think the 8 reps with 50 extra pounds is better based on difficulty, but the numbers tell another story...

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    pfunk? cowpimp? anyone?

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    You're talking about a per set basis though. Of course doing 5 sets of 4 will be easier - you're spreading that tonnage over 5 separate sets, all with breaks in-between. To move equal tonnage, try doing sets of 10 BW pullups.

    Total tonnage is one way of measure things, but you still have to take intensity into account. If you're used to doing 8 reps of BW + 50lb pullups, then sets of 4 BW pullups will be very low intensity by comparison.
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    i guess i haven't answered because i am not fully understanding your question.

    should you do 1x8 with 50 extra pounds or 4x5 with body weight? and you want to equate this all to more total tonnage.

    My question would be.....what the hell are you going after that first set of 8 reps with 50 extra pounds? Do you just do one set? Why not do more sets? If you can add weight, then add it. Why are you doing 4x5 at body weight? if your 8rm is +50lbs, then you should be able to do 4x5 with +40-50lbs for 4x5....it sounds like you are limiting yourself.
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    I agree. Sounds like someone came up with another way of being able to say something like oh I use the total tonnage method and I moved 20 tons yesterday so my cock is so big worship me, etc. I think if you have to ask, then thats the answer. Workouts shouldn't be confusing. Why not just bust your ass in the gym and go home. Theres no rocket science involved in progressive overload.
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