Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Depending on fitness goals and as part of a general healthy lifestyle, you should resistance train ~2-4x per week. It’s, just what you do. Typically new trainees need explicit instruction on exercise selection, load, and volume (i.e., repetitions) — which is fine and to be expected. But I believe an important aspect of training is to develop an intuitive sense of “just right.” Not too high an intensity and volume where you injure yourself, nor too low where you don’t elicit a metabolic response and move closer to your fitness goals. Training under our supervision will help you establish this intensity reference point. Listen to your body!
- There are no hard and fast rules; just appropriate training methods dependent upon your goals and current fitness status. Of course we are all human with similar measurable physiological responses to exercise, but the exact magnitude and rate of adaptation will differ for each person.
- SAID Principle — Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. Basically, your body adapts to the stimulus applied to it. i.e., How you train dictates the body you get.
- Volume and Intensity are inversely proportional — That is, heavy weight (high intensity) can only be lifted for a small number of repetitions (low volume). Whereas, a low intensity exercise (running) can be performed with high volume (lots of miles). One is neither better than the other — they each produce a different physiologic response. Again it depends on your fitness goals, and as part of a healthy lifestyle you want to incorporate both low-volume/high-intensity and high-intensity/low-volume exercises into your routine.
- In general, do not compromise proper form for repetitions. Yes, it is important to push it and squeeze out the last few reps of a difficult set, but by “uglying” them out you’re in a sense training your nervous system to perform the exercise incorrectly. Cut the set short if you can’t maintain near perfect form. It’s okay. Everything will be alright ;) Also, aim for moderate to slightly high intensity training sessions where you progress in weight lifted over the course of weeks and months, possibly years.
- Increased work capacity and power… the key to fitness, health, and vibrancy. In everyday terms — so long as adequate nutrition, and rest and recuperation needs are met — the stronger you are, the more reps and sets you can do means that your body as a biological machine is more fit and healthier and looks better. Again, temper drive and intensity with good judgement. It should “feel just right.”