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Week 3.3 - Programming for goals


Now that you know what your goals are (week 1), how to tailor your nutrition to them (week 2) we need to decide how you are going to train for your goals. As there are an infinite amount of goals you can decide, I will be using the below examples throughout as most fall somewhere within these:

. Fat loss

. Muscle Gain

. Strength Gain

. Fitness (Speed and power)

. Fitness (Endurance)

. Health


Today we focus mainly on repetition (rep) ranges and intensity.


Note - again these will be examples and should not be taken as a plan. I encourage reading through them all and deciding what you want to take to achieve your goals. This is one of the most complicated parts of the course so feel free to email Adamcooley@acptfit.co.uk if you have any questions or want to run your goals by me.


Today we will be covering:

. What are repetition ranges

. What is intensity?

- Forms of measurements

- Why it's important to measure

- How to measure it

. What repetition ranges & intensity suit which goal?

- Fat loss

- Muscle gain

- Strength gain

- Fitness (Speed and power)

- Fitness (Endurance)

- Health

. Differences to training if you are a beginner


What are repetition ranges?


Repetition ranges is a way that we determine how many times you repeat a movement/exercise till you have a rest. Commonly it will be laid out in the following manner:

3 sets of 10 repetitions (3 x 10)


This means you complete 10 repetitions of an exercise, rest for a while then repeat 2 more times till you have completed 30 total repetitions.


What is intensity?


Forms of intensity


Intensity is the measurement of difficulty whilst performing an exercise. Intensity is usually measured in the following ways:


- Rate of perceived exertion (RPE)

- % of 1RM

- Tempo of repetitions


Rate of perceived exertion (RPE)

This is a scale of how tired you feel after performing a set of exercises, there are many different forms but I like to use the 1-10 scale - see below



1RM and % of 1RM

1RM is the maximum you could possibly lift of an exercise, this means you would only be able to lift the weight once and not repeat the same weight for a second repetition.


Why it is important to measure intensity


Measuring intensity helps determine how heavy you should lift to achieve your goal, prevent injury and over training. Certain types of training require you to lift at different intensities to challenge your body to adapt, you will not become stronger if you are lifting 10% of your maximum potential.


How to measure intensity


There are two ways I will be teaching intensity calculations. If you love crunching numbers, you will love this section! If you don't, I have a lovely alternative for you.


#1 - 1RM and %1RM (for the number lovers)


The safest way to measure 1RM would be to set a really challenging (but safe weight) for each exercise and perform a set to fatigue - this means continuing an exercise till you physically cannot perform it any more.


Note - make sure you warm up before as it can cause injury if your body is not prepared.


It is important that you note weight and repetitions.


Once you have these two numbers you can use the chart below:


To calculate 1RM - take the weight and repetitions of each exercise and do the following:


Step 1 - divide the weight by the corresponding repetition %

Step 2 - multiply the resulting number by 100

Result - This will be the maximum you can lift for 1 repetition


Example - Leg press I achieved 8 repetitions @ 100kg till I had to give up


Step 1 - 100/81 = 1.234

Step 2 - 1.234 x 100 = 123.45kg

Result - my 1RM on leg press is 123kg


#2 - RPE Scale (for number haters)


This measurement is based on how you feel, in the next section I will be discussing %'s of 1RM, you can take the percentage and covert it like for like into a 1-10 level of tiredness.


Example - in the next session if I say you need to 6 repetitions @ 70-80% 1RM. This would be a 7-8 out of 10 difficulty for you.


If you try a weight for 6 repetitions and you have to stop after 4 because it is too difficult, it would suggest the difficulty is far higher than 7-8 out of 10. You would have to reduce the weight, this also works the other way if you feel it is too easy.


What repetition ranges & intensity suit which goal?


I will now lay out some examples and suggest possible rep and intensity ratings for each, again please use these as examples not direct plans.


- Fat loss

. Rep Range - 6 to 12 reps

. Intensity - 60-80% of 1RM

. RPE Intensity - 6-8 out of 10

. Rest between sets - 1-2 minutes rest


- Muscle gain

. Rep Range - 6-12 reps

. Intensity - 65-84% of 1RM

. RPE Intensity - 6.5-8.5 out of 10

. Rest between sets - 1-2 minutes rest


- Strength gain

. Rep Range - 1-6 reps

. Intensity - >85% of 1RM

. RPE Intensity - 8.5-10 out of 10

. Rest between sets - 3-4 minutes rest


- Fitness (Speed and power)

. Rep Range - 1-6 reps

. Intensity - >85% of 1RM

. RPE Intensity - 8.5-10 out of 10

. Rest between sets - 3-4 minutes rest


- Fitness (Endurance)

. Rep Range - >13 reps

. Intensity - <65% of 1RM

. RPE Intensity - 0-6.5 out of 10

. Rest between sets - 30 seconds to 2 minutes


- Health

. Rep Range - >13 reps

. Intensity - <65% of 1RM

. RPE Intensity - 0-6.5 out of 10

. Rest between sets - 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Differences if you are a beginner


Safety is key! Training can be very daunting when you first start so my best advice is not to go in and try to lift your 1RM straight away. Here are some tips if you are a beginner:


. Start with the lower intensity level and build up, if it says 60-80% 1RM - don't go straight for 80%

. If you are increasing the weight make sure you stay to machines if you lack confidence

. Don't go too light, there will be times you can go heavier - you should try and progress.

. Ask a fitness professional to watch you and make sure you are safe.

. If you are at a comfortable weight and don't want to go heavier - try a few more repetitions



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