Volume and intensity are vital to any effective weight training program.
What is volume exactly?
Simply put, it is the total amount of weight you are moving in a complete set. For example, 4 sets of 10 reps on the bench press at 185 lbs equates to 7,400 lbs of total volume (4 x 10 x 185 = 7400). The goal is to increase volume overtime in order to get stronger.
Intensity, on the other hand, is the percentage of weight used in terms of your one rep max. For example, if you can squat 200 lbs for one rep, and you do 4 sets of 8 at 150 lbs, that means you are working at an intensity of 75% (150 / 200 = 75%).
In general terms, your intensity used should be no less than 65-70% of your one rep max. Anything less will not promote growth or increase gains.
When you first start training, your volume will increase more as you get stronger and move more weight. Unfortunately, we cannot exponentially get stronger and intensity cannot always be increased, but volume can.
So, if you’re struggling with your intensity to get stronger, try increasing your number of sets instead.
Do 4 sets instead of 3 sets. Turn up your frequency and train more often. Instead of squatting once a week, squat two times, three times, or dare I say it, four times!
This will make it easy to increase the training volume of that lift and is a safer option than focusing solely on intensity.
Start slow and work your way up, and be sure to keep track of your volume. Doing so will allow you to track your success and see how strong you’ve become.
Get help adjusting your regimen, talk to a Body By Choice personal trainer today!