Training Parameters

How do you “measure” your workout?

The parameters of the so called “Work load” are 3.

  • Intensity
  • Volume
  • Density
-For reference to those terms, we will define two more things-

  1. One repetition maximum
  2. Repeated maximum

One rep max (or 1RM, 100%) –

The biggest weight for a given exercise that the individual can lift once.

This is the maximum level of intensity we can reach- 100% intensity.

Repeated maximum (RM) –

The repeated maximum is an individually defined workload, that can be lifted for a given number of reps until failure.

For example, if you can complete 10 reps until failure with 70 KG on the bench press, then your 10RM is 70 kg.

This is used mostly for the exercises, where we don’t know, or can’t find out our 1RM (French press, cable rows, lat pulldowns, most of the dumbbell exercises etc.)

Now to the definition of the 3 parameters that we have.


It means dynamism, tensity, speed.

In strength sports, intensity is accepted to be a quality characteristic.

The value of that characteristic increases or decreases, the closer or further we get from the one repetition maximum (1RM, 100%) respectively.

Intensity is in a reverse proportionality with the volume of the workload.

Optimal intensity-

From a bodybuilding point of view, the maximum intensity (100%) is not optimal for muscle building, since that classification is pointed to building maximum strength, rather than focusing on the physical qualities that bodybuilding requires.

The end goal of bodybuilding- Optimal size, leanness, symmetry, density, separation and harmony of the musculature point the training load in the 75-85% (from 1RM) range using 3-5 sets with 5-12 reps each, per exercise for the upper body and 10-15 reps for the lower body.

The optimal intensity for the lower body forms at around 55~70% of the 1RM, with the reps being 60-70% higher.


This is the quantity of the workload. (Measured in kilograms, pounds, jumps etc.)

We differentiate volume as in: Volume of a set, volume of an exercise, volume of the whole workout.

For example- If you complete 4 sets with 10 reps on the bench with 100 kg, the volume of the exercise is going to be 4 tons, or 4000 kilograms (10 reps on 100 kg- 10x100kg=1000 kg volume for one set, 4 sets= 4000 kg)


Density is the volume of the workload, referred to the time needed for its completion.

For example- If you complete the 4 sets with 10 reps on 100 kg for 15 minutes, then the density of that exercises would be: 4000:15min=267 kg/min

However, if the time needed for the completion of those 4 sets is 12 minutes, the VOLUME stays the same but THE DENSITY has gone up. 4000:12min=333 kg/min

Interpreting the training parameters presented above, we come to the conclusion that if we do 2 separate workouts, using the “Barbell squat” exercise:

First- 4 sets of 8 reps with 70% of our maximum, second- 4 sets of 10 reps with 70% of our maximum that means the INTENSITY of the two workouts is equivalent. That is due to the fact that the working weight (70%) is THE SAME in both workouts.

However, the second workout is superior in VOLUME (40 reps, rather than the 32 reps in the first workout).

This is where we can conclude, that every increase in INTENSITY, reduces the VOLUME of the workout and vice versa.

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