Intensity, volume, and frequency

Three important variables of strength training are intensity, volume and frequency. Intensity refers to the amount of work required to achieve the activity, and is proportional to the mass of the weights being lifted. Volume refers to the number of muscles worked, exercises, sets and reps during a single session. Frequency refers to how many training sessions are performed per week.

These variables are important because they are all mutually conflicting, as the muscle only has so much strength and endurance, and takes time to recover due to microtrauma. Increasing one by any significant amount necessitates the decrease of the other two, e.g. increasing weight means a reduction of reps, and will require more recovery time and therefore fewer workouts per week. Trying to push too much intensity, volume and frequency will result in overtraining, and eventually lead to injury and other health issues such as chronic soreness and general lethargy, illness or even acute trauma such as avulsion fractures. A high-medium-low formula can be used to avoid overtraining, with either intensity, volume, or frequency being high, one of the others being medium, and the other being low. One example of this training strategy can be found in the following chart:

Type High Med Low
Intensity (% of 1RM) 80-100% 50-70% 10-40%
Volume (per muscle) 1 exercise 2 exercises 3+ exercises
Sets 1 set 2-3 sets 4+ sets
Reps 1-6 reps 8-15 reps 20+ reps
Session Frequency 1 p/w 2-3 p/w 4+ p/w

A common training strategy is to set the volume and frequency the same each week (e.g. training 3 times per week, with 2 sets of 12 reps each workout), and steadily increase the intensity (weight) on a weekly basis. However, to maximize progress to specific goals, individual programs may require different manipulations, such as decreasing the weight, and increase volume or frequency.

Making program alterations on a daily basis (daily undulating periodization) seems to be more efficient in eliciting strength gains than doing so every 4 weeks (linear periodization), but for beginners there are no differences between different periodization models.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strength_training#Split_training

Basics

  • Benefits
      The benefits of weight training include greater muscular strength, improved muscle tone and appearance, increased endurance and enhanced bone density.   Many people take up weight...
    Read More...
  • Periodization
      There are many complicated definitions for periodization, but the term simply means the division of the overall training program into periods which accomplish different goals. Periodization...
    Read More...
  • Intensity, Volume & Frequency
      Intensity, volume, and frequency Three important variables of strength training are intensity, volume and frequency. Intensity refers to the amount of  Read More...
  • Split Training
    Split training involves working no more than three muscle groups or body parts per day, instead spreading the training of specific body parts throughout a training cycle of several days. It is commonly...
    Read More...
  • Progressive Overload
    Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise training. It was developed by Thomas Delorme, M.D. while he rehabilitated soldiers after World War II. The...
    Read More...
  • 1
  • 2

Daily Calorie Calculator

Age

Gender

Height

Weight

Activity



Nutrition Calorie Counter

Body Mass Index Calculator

Height

Weight



Nutrition Calorie Counter

Ideal Body Weight Calculator

Gender

Height

Frame



Nutrition Calorie Counter