The Exercise Prescription – Part 10 – Training Variables

Training Variables to Consider

The goal is to develop an exercise program with the intensity desired for sustainable gains and adequate rest periods.  Intensity should not be so great it causes injury or excess stress and discouragement, but intense enough to provide gains. The individual sweet spot is what is desirable to achieve. Let me explain in this section.

Intensity can be different things in different types of training. It can be heart rate in HIIT or moderate intensity exercise. Intensity in this case is correlated with fat loss.  It can be related to maximum strength in resistance training.

Volume is a term used to the total amount of weight lifted in a single session. Hypertrophy of muscle requires larger volumes (more reps with less weight). Load is a percentage of the 1 rep max. A useful formula for determining what your 1 rep max is without just doing the 1 rep max if you’re say concerned about an injury is 1RM=Weight lifted x (1+(.033 x number of repetitions)).

For example, if you lifted 100 lbs 12 times on a bench press, the 1RM can be estimated around 140. Another way to look at this, in general 15 reps of 65% of rep max is recommended, 10 reps at 75%, 6 reps at 85% depending on your goals of hypertrophy vs. developing power. The more power desired the heavier the weights and the fewer reps in other words.

If you are very deconditioned, start very slowly. Consider this in the needs analysis and exercise prescription development.