To understand maximum recoverable volume (MRV), we must first understand volume. Volume can be calculated simply as weight × set × repetitions.
For example - 50 kg × 6 × 8 = 2400
Now that we have established what volume is, let’s look at MRV. To be fit 3 or 4 days a week of weight training will give you great results, but for best results, you have to be more specific and need to optimise your training a bit further. That is where MRV comes into play.
What is MRV?
The most amount of training that you can do and still recover from is called MRV.
This is best understood by “The Fitness Fatigue model”. It is a dual factor model looking at fitness and fatigue together, both fitness and fatigue are the result of training, fatigue masks fitness and therefore affects performance. Fitness is the physical capacity that we achieve as a result of training as we keep training for a considerable period of time, fitness improves gradually over time. Fatigue is a byproduct of training as well. It generates in proportion to the load. The intensity of a particular load performed also induces fatigue. It is also induced based on how fatigue repellent you are. Fatigue resistance increases over time as you adapt to greater training stresses.
Over several weeks of a training cycle, when we increase the volume load two predictable things happen - fitness goes up (muscle size, strength, lifting ability etc) and fatigue goes up. As you go through the fatigue accumulation process, fitness is masked by fatigue. Your ability to perform optimally should be pretty close in the first week as compared to the last week of your training cycle
For example if you squat 100 kgs for 7 reps with energy left for another 3 reps in the first week, in the second week you should be able to squat 105 with energy left for another 2 reps, in the third and fourth week 110 kg with energy left for another 1 rep or 100 kgs for 10 reps. Now the question arises that what progress is made during these weeks, weren’t you supposed to get stronger. Well good news, you are getting stronger. These numbers convert to roughly the same strength but your fitness you gained is masked by the fatigue you accumulated during the training cycle. After the completion of a particular training cycle (4-6 weeks) you should de-load for at least 3-4 days minimum or better a whole week and you will find that you would have retained your fitness and your fatigue has diminished and you will find that you can squat 105 kg for 10 reps or 100 kg for 12 reps.This is the way your fitness and fatigue levels are effectively managed.
Now the factor to focus here is that if you are accumulating fatigue faster than fitness, you are going above your MRV. For example if you squat 100 kg for 7 reps with energy left for another 3 in the first week and in the next week or week after only able to squat 100 kg for 6 reps with no energy left for even one more rep,you are training too hard ie your training volume is too high and you should decrease your volume load, also this way you will not be able to progressively overload your muscle, which is a very important factor for muscle growth.
Now on the other side if you feel better every week and keep on achieving new PR,s consistently, then you volume is too low because this is not supposed to happen due to the fatigue accumulation through the training cycle. Your performance should be roughly equivalent in the last week to the first week. The progress and gains are only realised after you de-load and start another training cycle. The best idea when you first start training is to start low and steadily increase the volume until it starts affecting your performance, once the performance starts getting affected, do a de-load week and start again.
- By GetSetGo Coach Nav (http://getsetgo.fitness/public/coachprofile/nav)
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