Yesterday we talked about the importance of quality movement before adding in intensity. Today we will build on that by talking about the relationship between intensity and volume. This is where the magic is made (or lost) for most people!
As a reminder, it’s all about quality first. You need to build up the reps over time to reinforce quality movement patterns. Once you have done that, you earn the right to introduce intensity into your workouts. So please make sure you get there first! Once there, we can start looking at intensity and volume and their relationship. Both serve a purpose in physical training and both are great, but which should we prioritize?
Our society has a deep-rooted belief that in order to be more successful, you simply need to do more. In exercise, this would look like working out for longer period of time each day and doing more and more reps. This idea is more often than not, WRONG. You can do more and more and more, but if what you are doing isn’t productive, it won’t get you anywhere. If you wanted to run the world’s fastest mile, you wouldn’t spend hours per day running longer distances at slower paces. That would be a waste of your time. Even though you are doing “more work” that more work won’t translate into a faster mile time. You would want to do work at the pace you are trying to run your mile at. This would be a much faster, much more intense exercise, that would take far less time.
And that is where intensity comes in. When we say intensity, we aren’t referring to spiking your heart rate and making you feel like you need to puke. We’re talking about lifting a little heavier, moving a little faster, and overall, giving the best possible effort you can. Most people we talk with have goals related to body composition. They want to lose weight so they can feel better in their own skin, be better spouses and parents, and not die young from chronic disease. They could spend all day working out and see marginal progress, but let’s face it, most people don’t have hours and hours to work out each day. Most are lucky to get an hour. In order to maximize the time, we need to prioritize the intensity of their workouts instead of the overall volume. By doing that, they can get a far more potent response out of the workouts that will be of greater benefit to them in the long term.
Giving your workout every ounce of effort, you can is where the magic is made. There are times when more volume at a lower intensity is ok, but for most people, they’ll want to prioritize their level of effort over how much work they are doing. If you need some help planning out what this looks like specific to you, book and intro with one of our coaches. You can do that here: