You may be familiar with the concept of junk food, but what about junk volume? Much like its nutritional counterpart, junk volume will not contribute to your health and fitness goals. In fact, it can actually work counterproductive to them. This article will discuss specifically what defines junk volume, and how to avoid it so that you can reach your goals faster.
It is first important to understand that the concept of junk volume is contextual; it is specific to the goals you happen to have. Simply put, a goal is a desired outcome, and that outcome will require a certain amount of work and direction. Junk volume is any work that does not actively progress you towards that goal. For instance, if your goal is to increase your one rep max back squat, but all you train is the bench press, you are not going to reach that goal.
Secondly, the work done to reach your goal needs to be purposeful. If no forethought is given to the work being done, it is less than likely that it will carry you to your desired outcome in a timely manner. Again, we will use the example of the back squat. Let’s say you’ve set your mind on increasing your one rep max back squat. So, you have committed to do at least one hundred air squats a day. True, you would be training the squat, but would it be in a meaningful way? Would that work provide the stimulus needed to actually get you to your goal? It likely would not.
So, in order to effectively reach your desired outcome, you need to approach your goal with direction and purpose. Anything outside of that is junk. However, it is important to keep in mind that you most likely have secondary goals in mind besides your primary goal. For instance, you may want to improve a certain skill while maintaining your fitness in other areas. That, too, will need to be taken into consideration when making your plan. But if you do so with direction and purpose, you will avoid the trap of junk volume and reach your goals faster!