The Three Principles of Effective Strength Training – Principle 2 and 3

PRINCIPLE 2 – VOLUME and FREQUENCY

The next principle to effective strength training is that of exercise volume and frequency.

This refers to how long we exercise, both the number of exercises we perform and how long it takes to perform them.

The other half of this equation is how often you perform the said exercise or routine. What ultimately will regulate your volume and frequency is your tolerance for intense weight training exercise.

If you remember in my discussion earlier in this book regarding genetic factors, I mentioned that people’s genetic influences determine their physical potential. Included in these influences are the individuals varying tolerances to intense exercise.

Exercise tolerance, like most other genetic factors, exists on a traditional bell curve. The bell curve tells us that those that tolerate intense exercise easily are on one end, those that don’t tolerate it well on the opposite end, and most everyone else in the middle.

Just as the bell curve for a person’s height shows that most fall in the middle (with midgets at the low end and NBA players at the high end), this middle portion represents the vast majority of the population.

So, where am I going with this anyway?

Well, with 100% intensity being a constant, the recommended volume and frequency in creating the spark to igniting your fat burning furnace is based on that middle portion of the bell curve, or roughly 70-80% of the population.

How do we know if a particular volume and frequency is working?

Strength increases.

If you are not getting stronger on most every exercise of most every workout, you are either not training hard enough (Intensity), training too long or too short (Volume), or training too often or not often enough (Frequency). And your ability to recover from intense anaerobic exercise does not increase as your strength increases.

In fact, as you get stronger, you are now placing greater demands on your body. A bicep that can curl so pounds needs more time to recover then when it could only curl 25 pounds.

Because of this, you’ll need to gradually reduce your workout volume and frequency as you get stronger and closer to maximizing your genetic potential.

This concept is true up to a point, of course, as you must actually workout get the benefits. Sony, one workout a month is not going to get it done!

The combination of intensity, volume, and frequency as detailed above will provide the optimal avenue for achieving your highest level of lean muscle and strength gain.

That’s a lot of variables, I know, but the routines in this book were designed to work for the majority of trainees, from start to finish. Rest assured, you will be using the most efficient method to getting the body you desire.

PRINCIPLE 3 — PROGRESSION

In order to gain strength and muscle, you must train your body in a progressive manner. Let’s assume you can perform a maximum of 8 repetitions of a given exercise with 1oolbs, and not i rep more despite your greatest effort.

Provided you give your body enough rest, the next time you perform this exercise to failure, you should be able to perform i or more reps beyond the 8 with the same resistance or weight, as your body would have adapted to your failure set and gotten slightly stronger as a result.

On subsequent workouts, you would strive for additional reps until you could get in or more reps with the same weight. Once that occurs, you would then increase the weight used by 5-io% for the next workout, thus forcing you back to the 8-io repetition range. This is known as double progression.

First you progress in the number of reps performed, then you progress in the weight used, and then repeat this process. This double progression principle, along with appropriate intensity, volume, and frequency, will allow you achieve your best body faster than any other method in existence. Are we excited yet?!

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