Build fitness intensity with variety to make work outs interesting and help the body adjust to many different influences. Intensity can be increased with weights, sets, and reps. Workouts can be mixed with a little of each.
Heavy intensity requires near maximum lifts at 80% to 100% of one lift capacity. Exercisers use 3 to 6 sets with reps of 4 to 6. This is required to build size and maximize strength. Purists will say anything less does not build size and maximize strength.
Resistance Training Can Have Variety
Research shows that a lot of routines will build size and strength. They may vary in effectiveness, but its often just a few percent. This may be important for research, but in real life, its not that significant. Routines also build endurance, improve metabolism for fat burning, and minimize injury.
An important function of resistance training is to improve our experience of Average Daily Activities and make us more proficient in our recreational activities. We are also more prepared to take up new physical interests and have less chance of getting injured by introducing new routines.
Emphasize the Largest Muscle Groups
The major emphasis of resistance training is to build the largest muscle groups first. The most benefits to the body’s autonomous systems comes from developing muscle and reducing fat. This is body composition. We can develop muscle without increasing size, which worries many women.
Most professional body builders say you won’t increase size if you are not consuming 1.36 grams of protein per gram of body weight. Body weight in grams is calculated by dividing your pound weight by 2.2. Few people want to eat this much protein a day.
Research has shown that lifting weights at 50% of one lift capacity for ten sets with 10 reps each is very effective in building strength and endurance. Research has also shown that lifting for 4 to 6 sets is the most effective as well in that often lifting for more than 6 sets can cause reversals.
I like to lift 5 sets with 6 reps starting at 60% of one lift capacity and increasing weights in sets to maximum capacity. Maximum capacity means I can lift for 6 reps, but more reps or more weight might cause failure.
We do not want to lift to failure. In building muscle we tear fibers and the repair of scar tissue causes muscles to get stronger and grow. Excess duress can cause permanent damage or injury. I always stop if I lose form, feel stress in any muscles, or reach failure. I then reduce the amount of weight.
Maximum fat loss is created by lifting in 3 to 8 sets of weights at 50% of capacity for 20 to 25 reps. We have three basic muscle fibers. White fast twitch, red fast twitch, and red slow twitch. Lots of reps works red slow twitch and leads to fat burning but not increasing muscle size. 4 to 6 reps at near maximum capacity works white fast twitch fibers and increases size and maximizes strength. Anything in between has mixed benefits.
In any work out, I might employ 4 to 6 reps of heavy load and five sets for one muscle group and ten reps of 60% load and five sets for another muscle group. I like to add intensity each week for different muscle groups. I might add intensity for tricep pull downs and leave my curls at the previous work out load. I might add to my squat intensity and leave dead lifts at the previous intensity.
Get Stronger Every Week
As I progress, I am adding intensity to all muscle groups in a fashion that doesn’t lead to failure, stress, or injury. I am not sore after workouts and I don’t have strains I feel the next day. This is important for me. In my other activities like bike riding, surfing, and surf instruction, I feel much stronger and have better endurance with less fatigue.