So many beginning and intermediate lifters fall into the volume trap: thinking "more is better," they add sets, reps, or even movements or training days to their plan. In doing so, they ruin a perfectly good program and jeopardize their own progress.

Here's why:

First, you only have so many training variables you can manipulate to drive continued progress. If you start off training with as much (or even more!) volume as you can tolerate, you can only progress by adding weight to the bar. As everyone knows, this sort of linear progression simply isn't sustainable over the long haul.

More importantly, training hard is a skill. It's easy to do 30 sets in a single training session and feel like you worked hard. It's not so easy to do just one or two or three sets and say the same thing. But if you learn (through practice) how to expend more effort on less work, when it does come time to increase your training volume, every set you add will be much more beneficial.

On the flip side, if you're training with high levels of volume from day 1, it's unlikely that you'll ever develop the skill of training hard. You'd be too wiped out (as a beginner) to maintain that level of effort over the course of an entire session.

The most difficult part of all of this involves self-evaluation. Most lifters believe they're much more advanced than they actually are. Unless you're already winning shows or meets (and by winning I'm referring to the whole competition -- not just your weight class), chances are, you're not quite ready to take on the same workload you'll see from many lifters on social media.

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below.