Intensity vs. Volume

September 16th, 2013 by louisbeare

KA2

Intensity is a word we hear a lot about when we talk about our workouts. Everyone always wants to know how “intense” that workout was or is going to be.  But do we really understand what we are talking about?

Intensity is referred to as “the load related to 1 Rep Max”(1). What this really means is, when we refer to intensity, we are referring to how close to our maximal 1 repetition output we are getting. For each exercise we do we are working at a weight that is a certain percentage of our 1 Rep Max. For example, if John can lift 200lbs for 1 repetition on the bench press and he is lifting 190lbs, he is working at 95% of his 1RM.  This would be considered a very “intense” exercise.

Volume is referred to as “time or duration of training, the distance covered, the volume of load of resistance training, or the number of repetitions performed”(1) So what we are talking about here is the amount of work we are doing in a workout. Doing 10 000 bicep curls would be considered a high “volume” workout.

What we really want to take away from learning about volume and intensity is that they are interdependent upon each other in determining our training outcomes. The more intense we make our workouts, the lower they will be in volume. The higher the volume the lower it will be in intensity. Finding the right balance between these two elements will help us realize our goals and get us the results we are looking for.

  1. Tudor O. Bompa, G Gregory Haff. PERIODIZATION Theory and Methodology of Training. Human Kinetics 2009
September 16, 2013 | 0 Comment

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