****** Quantified training for Hypertrophy and Strength (Part 5) ******

Aditi Gupta
Aditi Gupta

 | 1 minute to read
Fitness Articles

So far, I have written about Volume in my earlier 4 articles. If you want to read them again, you can go through the below links

Part 1: https://www.facebook.com/groups/squatsjc/permalink/2587752047950758/ Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/groups/squatsjc/permalink/2600648356661127/ Part 3: https://www.facebook.com/groups/squatsjc/permalink/2616893568369939/ Part 4: https://www.facebook.com/groups/squatsjc/permalink/2650727814986514/ In this article, we’ll discuss about a new variable called training intensity. Now this a very common terms which a lot of you already know. When I asked a few of them to define they mentioned 1RM or how heavy it is relative to 1RM (which is partially correct). Let me define it here. Training Intensity in resistance training can be defined as the amount of efforts needed for an individual to finish a single repetition in a set. For Example, if there is a person who can Squat 100kg maximum for 1 repetition, then the efforts that person needs to finish this single repetition is the highest (also called as your 1RM). However, if you ask the same person to do 80kg squat for 1 repetition, now relatively the efforts needed to finish this repetition is less and 1 repetition of 75kgs will require even lower efforts. This is called Intensity (It is how intense that repetition is for you to finish). One interesting fact you might have no idea about is, if you perform a set of any number of repetitions, with every finished repetition in that set, the intensity increases for the next rep. For example, you are going to perform a Squat at a load where you can do 8 reps to failure, after finishing the first 7 reps, the intensity for the last rep would be 100%. One of the common ways to check your strength levels for any lift is by performing your 1 repetition max a.k.a 1RM a.k.a 100% intensity. So, if a person can Squat 100kg for 1 repetition max then 80kg would be 80% 1RM. I commonly hear that Strength is Specific and to a large extent I believe this. Let me explain why, have you seen a professional weightlifter perform Clean & Jerk or a Snatch in Olympics (maybe on TV or FB/Insta videos). If you follow them on any of their social handles what do you think they practice every day? Similarly, if a powerlifter has to get better at the 3 lifts, he needs to perform those 3 lifts regularly. There is no other option for this. Of course, other accessory work will help them improve faster but that’s additional thing, their primary go to things should be those that they want to get better at. So, if you have to get better at any exercise, you need to perform that exercise regularly. Now what intensity should you choose? There is evidence, for Hypertrophy that Low loads or High loads are going to fetch similar muscle growth as long as there are enough reps in that set and when they are taken to failure. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25853914 But there is also evidence that training at higher intensities is going to fetch better strength gains than low loads. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28834797 That doesn’t mean you should train only at higher intensities to maximize your strength gains. Infact we have evidence that including some high repetition sets can be beneficial for your growth and overall development Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24714538 There are many exercise plans that are based out of your % 1 RM (Most of the periodization plans). And it requires for any lifter to have a fair idea of their current 1RM in their major lifts as if the plan directs an individual to perform a set at 80% 1RM, he/she should be able to apply simple math and convert that relative value to an absolute value (80% 1RM of squat for an individual whose 1RM of squat as 100kgs is 80kgs). There are 2 ways to find 1 RM of any lift for an individual. Method 1: to actually perform the lift at the max weight and find out on a fresh training day after doing enough warmup. Method 2: If you have a fair idea of what that lifter chooses the weight as, if he has to perform a set of certain reps (let’s say 5 reps). You can use the below link to estimate 1RM https://www.nsca.com/contentassets/61d813865e264c6e852cadfe247eae52/nsca_training_load_chart.pdf Takeaway Points: 1.Training intensity is a variable in strength training which is the amount of efforts required to finish 1 repetition maximum in a set. 2. Training intensity increases with every finished rep in an individual set. 3. High loads or low loads both are going to give you similar hypertrophy as long as there are enough reps in that set and you take them till failure 4. Training at higher intensity bring better strength gains than low loads 5. Training at high intensity is not the only way to do it, including high repetition set is also beneficial in your overall growth and development 6. There are many plans which are based on relative intensity (70 or 80% 1RM). An athlete should have an idea of his/her 1RM in major lifts. 7. Two ways to find 1RM of any lift : • To perform the lift at max weight and find out on a fresh training day after warm up •If you have good idea of what weight will lifter choose if he has to perform certain reps you can use below link to estimate https://www.nsca.com/contentassets/61d813865e264c6e852cadfe247eae52/nsca_training_load_chart.pdf Now that you have a fair idea of what this variable is, I’ll discuss how you should choose what intensity you should train at for different goals in my next article. Till then. Keep Lifting. Also Happy Diwali :)✨💥⚡️

Global Community background