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How To Manage Your Strength Training Intensity For Optimal Gains

How To Manage Your Strength Training Intensity For Optimal Gains

Over the years I’ve commonly shocked people when giving them advice on their training when it came to ¬†directing them to hit certain goals. Having been in this business for over 10 years and having coached now for over 14 the same questions tend to come up over and over again. Because of this I wanted to take the time today to examine another question that tends to show up that I frequently find myself discussing with the masses!

What Rep Range Should You Be Hitting For X,Y, And Z?

So to dig a little deeper on today’s topic one area of interest that folks tend to bring up is How many reps should I be doing??? This is the common loaded question that every trainer, or coach has been hit between the eyes with at one point or another when talking to people about pursuing strength.

To get this started I decided to shed some light on the situation by breaking some of this down right here in this video.

So as you can see it obviously depends on what you are trying to do in terms of your training, but it’s always a good idea to vary your intensity in order to manage your progress and to continue to challenge the body for gains in BOTH strength and muscle mass.

Werewolf Legend Bell

The problem that I’ve seen over the years is that too many people get stuck into one type of model of strength training…and as a result their results stall out¬†at the same time. In addition to this many people misunderstand how to progress intensity. Progressing intensity is essential in making gains and is exactly why the whole concept of periodization even exists.

The point of making gains is that you have a definitive goal in mind at the beginning. So if your goal is power then you need to structure your training and your periodization plan around the act of developing power. And depending on how specific you are in your endeavor you need to address the development of power as it relates to your specific sport/recreation, or endeavor.

In other words, if you’re an Olympic weightlifter your attempt in building power is going to revolve around Olympic weightlifting. On the other hand, if your sport is football then your attempt at building power is going to revolve around the sport of football and may or may not involve Olympic weightlifting during that process.

The point is that if you want to build power you need to train at a higher percentage (1 to 5 rep range) of your max effort lifting capacity for whatever lifts you are utilizing to build that physical trait of power. In addition to this you also want to be smart in your approach and understand how to undulate your training so that you can get the most out of your pursuit!

Undulating our intensity is just a fancy way for saying that we want to adjust and alternate our intensity so that we can continue to stress the body for gains. This applies going the other direction as well. If you train for muscular size (8 to 12) rep range you are training at a much higher volume with more reps and sets.

In this case it would also a good idea for you to undulate your training in the other direction on other days to address performing more mid range strength, or basic strength. This type of adjustment in your training will give you the opportunity to increase your overall working capacity and you can scale it to fit your training model regardless of your personal goals.

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How do you manage your training intensity? Don’t be shy about posting up in the comments below. Stay strong and keep training smart.

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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