These simple terms are very important to any workout and training regimen. It is impossible to have a great routine without have one of these at the forefront of that regimen.
It is first important to understand what each term means, then we can explain why they are important separately and together.
Frequency is simply the number of times you exercise or train in a day and week.
Example of daily Frequency:
A.M. Workout – swimming 45 minutes
P.M. workout – biking 20 miles
Example of Weekly Frequency:
If your training/workout schedule looked like this:
Monday – lower body
Tuesday – upper body
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – abs
Friday – full body
Saturday – biking 30 minutes
Sunday – rest
Then your weekly workout frequency is 5 days a week.
Intensity is simply the amount of effort, physical and mental, that required to perform an exercise at the highest quality level.
You may have heard people say that they raised the intensity of their workout routine, and many tri athletes increase and decrease the intensity of their training depending on when they are competing.
One way to raise that intensity is to raise the strength, power, force and amount of weight and/or exercises you are performing. This is what is like to call increased physical intensity. You can go into the gym with the greatest intensions and pumped, buck lack of knowledge, a plan or physical intensity can ruin your workout and leave you feeling frustrated.
Another way to increase the intensity of a workout is to increase your concentration levels and passion. This is what I like to call increased mental intensity. Going into the gym, performing exercises, even if they are intense exercises, but not being fully mentally committed to the exercise and the lack of muscle group concentration can lead to a very melloncholy workout. Not only will you leave the gym with that lackluster feeling, but your physical abilities will be deterred. Muscle group concentration (focusing only on the muscle, exercise and form while performing a certain exercise) can increase your abilities significantly, and the cerebral thought process leads to a better workout.
If you are looking to increase your intensity, then be mentally aware, pumped up about the workout, prepared and ready to kick your own butt for the time you are in the gym.
Volume of a workout can refer to the total of muscles being worked, how they are being worked, amount of weight being lifted or exercise performed, how many times you lift that weight or perform an exercise in sequence (reps), and the amount of times you perform that specific sequence of weight lifting or exercise (sets).
Weight Lifting Volume Example:
Biceps– dumbbell curls – 15 lbs each – 12 reps – 3 sets
Functional Exercise Volume Example:
Full body – plank to push up – body weight – 20 reps – 3 sets
Now that we know what each term means separately, it is important to understand that your workout routine should have at least one of these at the forefront, BUT not all.
If you increase the frequency, intensity and volume all the time you will become overtraining, and this can lead to serious physical and mental problems.
You never what to continually have max intensity, lifting as much weight and as many days, sometime 2 a days, for long periods.
It is easier, as better for your mental and physical well being to pick one of the three to concentrate on a weekly or even daily basis.
Your best bet is to pick the frequency of your workout for the week and decide if the intensity or volume will be the focus on each day.
Dr Tonya Ingalls, D.C.
Categories : How to Workout