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Articles.elitefts.com-Set and Rep Schemes in Strength Training Part 1

Articles.elitefts.com-Set and Rep Schemes in Strength Training Part 1

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Published by Thomas Aquinas 33
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Published by: Thomas Aquinas 33 on Jan 16, 2014
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Set and Rep Schemes in Strength Training (Part 1)
Training Objectives -> Training Parameters -> Variations & Progressions
Regardless of your
training objectives
 (increasing strength in specific lifts, increasing strengthoverall, bulking up, leaning out, rehabilitation, maintenance, etc), key
training parameters
 (intensity,volume, frequency, density) could be varied and progressed on different time scales.Certain
variations and progressions
in training parameters are more suited toward different trainingobjectives, but there exist commonalities between them that we will focus on in the current article.Training parameters usually involve intensity, volume, frequency and density that could be analyzed and variedon different time-scales, and taking all of them into account would demand a whole book. Hence, the aim of the current article is to provide an overview of the common variations and progressions in intensity and volumeonly by manipulating
set and rep schemes
 on different time-scales (single workout, week, training block). Iknow this sounds like a mouthful, but in the next couple of pages everything will be perfectly clear.
Understanding “Intensity”
Depending on whom you ask, there are couples of definitions of
training intensity
. To cut the long storyshort, I will present what I think to be pretty neat way to understand training intensity and reconcile differentdefinitions and opinions. In my opinion intensity has the following three components.
 All three represent inter-related components of training intensity. I love to call it Intensity Trinity.
Now youhave thetool toanswer questionssuch as
What ismoreintensive –lifting 90%for 2, or lifting 75%for 10?” 
Hint: oneinvolveshigher loadandanother involveshigher exertion.
Understanding Load/Max Reps Relationship
 All lifters are familiar with the fact that they can only perform certain maximal number of reps with certain loadon the bar. If we express load on the bar as percent of maximal load that could be lifted (% 1RM) and weassume maximal exertion on the last rep (no reps left in the tank) we get
load/max reps relationship
. Thereare numerous tables that quantify this relationship, but for the purpose of this article I will use Dan Baker’stable for experienced lifters.
Using this table one can know how many maximal reps can be performed using certain load (% 1RM) and also,one can predict maximal load that can be lifted (1RM) using maximum performed reps and
. For example, if one performs 10 reps with 225lb, his predicted maximum is 225 x 1.33 (reconvertingfactor), which is around 300lb. Please note that this table is different for different lifters and lifts, so take thisas a rule of thumb and try to create your own table[1].
 Understanding Load/Exertion Relationship
Load/exertion relationship is another crucial concept for understanding strength training. From load/max repstable we know the maximum number of reps that can be performed using different loads. This of courserepresents maximal exertion. What we want to do next is to quantify relationship between load, number of repsand exertion level (expressed as reps left in the tank).The following table is one such solution using mentioned load/max reps from Dan Baker. I simply call it
load/exertion table
.[1] Creating your customized load/max reps table involves testing max reps with at least three different loads(e.g. 3RM, 6RM and 10RM) and using
linear regression
to populate other rep slots. The process is quite simple,but it would demand another article and how-to in Excel.

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