Yep, the classic definition of volume is sets x reps x weight....in weight training that is.
But, I’m with KPJ, and only refer to total reps done when speaking of volume since I keep the intensity set to the 6-8RM on heavy days and 10-12RM on lighter days. So, if I want to increase volume in my 6-8RM, then I have to increase total reps done (which means more sets or more exercises).
When you think of weight with volume, it becomes a bit perplexing and misleading. Look at a guy that benches 350 for 6 reps. He does 3x6x350 = 6300lbs
Now, if he drops the weight to 150 and does 25 reps – 3x25x150 = 11,250lbs.
Clearly a much higher “volume”, but obviously a lower intensity.
The amount of weight moved is staggering....nearly twice as much weight was moved. Yet, we all know that working in the 25RM range (low intensity) isn’t very good for anything other than cardio and endurance. But, the total poundage moved is impressive......yet that volume rating has neglected intensity.
Since Intensity and Volume are typically inversely proportional in the classic view of volume, I prefer to ignore poundage and instead keep the weight (and thus intensity) set to the 6-8RM or 10-12RM. With the weight (and thereby intensity) set and unchanging, the only factor that affects volume is total number of reps.
In sports, such as running, only duration is accounted for in Volume, because the weight is set, and intensity is related to speed. In this view, duration is the total time spent exercising, which is somewhat equivalent to the total number of reps you’ve done (it takes a set amount of time to get through that many reps......but varying exercise and rest periods also affects intensity......it gets deep fast).
In weight training, you could be really technical and mention Intensity along with it such as a High Volume, Moderate Intensity routine, or a Low Volume, High Intensity routine, etc. That’s the technically prolix way to say it.
And to be really technical in weight training, duration and frequency should be accounted for as well since they affect intensity. Terminology is great.....and now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to cabbage cabbage for cabbage.