Training intensity general recommendation

9.56 Recall the three categories of training intensity—hard, very hard, and brutally hard. To be practical, the more mileage that can be gotten from hard and very hard training, the better. ^e reality is that very few people have the mentality, willpower, youth or physical robustness to withstand very hard or brutally hard training on a long-term basis.

9.57 Hard training as defined under 7ree Categories of Effort is genuinely hard work, and harder than most people train. ^is is adequate for most of your work sets, and is the mainstay of productive training. ^is level of intensity is actually a rep or few more per set than most people deliver.

9.58 An occasional set in very hard mode (one set per exercise every 2-3 weeks), and a rare set taken to isometric failure (brutally hard mode, no more than once every 4-5 weeks, and only in exercises where it is safe) may provide a productive boost in intensity. Whenever you inject such an intensity boost, cut back your work sets in the exercise concerned, to reduce the chance of overtraining.

9.59 Whatever you try, never persist with something that does not help to keep your training poundages moving up, no matter how much it may be promoted by others.

9.60 In the context of intensity cycling there is the initial relatively easy stage for a few weeks, and then comes the hard stage. So long as you keep the poundage progression very slow, gradual and within your abilities to build strength, you can sustain hard training for a long time and may never need to go much into the two higher levels of effort. You could reserve the two highest categories for the final stretch of a few weeks at the end of a cycle. Alternatively, mix up your exercises, performing some at one level of intensity one week, and others at another level.

9.61 You can and probably should do multiple work sets of hard training—up to three sets—rather than the usual single work set of the very hard or brutally hard training. ^is is because, to a point, intensity can be traded for volume. But if you can do more than three work sets for a given exercise, you are loafing and need to apply more effort so that you do not want to do more than three sets.

9.62 Training more intensively does not necessarily produce its benefits only because of the increased effort. A contributing factor is that harder training enforces a reduced volume of training an thus a lesser likelihood of overtraining. Too many sets, even on an abbreviated program, will overtrain you.

Training more intensively does not necessarily produce its benefits only because of the increased effort. A contributing factor is that harder training enforces a reduced volume of training and thus a lesser likelihood of overtraining. Too many sets, even on an abbreviated program, will overtrain you.

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