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  1. #1
    [e^(pi*i)]+1=0 blind2limits's Avatar
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    Question Define the Fitness Terms "Volume" and "Intensity"

    I come across the term "Training Volume" and "Intensity" a lot, but I'm not exactly sure what it means.

    For example: Some peoples body's cannot tolerate a lot of training volume. Make sure your level of intensity is very high this week.


    What exactly is training volume and intensity
    Are they different/similar?
    Is it the same as your training workload?


    If you could give examples that would be great as well.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Registered User proteingulp's Avatar
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    volume is how many sets or reps.. increase the volume is increasing the ammount of sets or reps you do

    intensity is how much you can make yourself sweat..lol

    increase the intensity is taking shorter rest periods between sets..or doing supersets or giant sets.. just something that makes you work harder
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  3. #3
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    Volume = reps x set x load. For example, if you do 135lbs for 10 reps and 2 sets, your volume is 2700lbs (135 x 10 x 2 = 2700).

    Intensity is the percenatge load used relative to your 1 rep max (RM). For example, if your 1RM is 200lbs and you use 180 lbs (90% of your 1RM), that is training with high intensity. On the other hand, if you used 100lbs (50% of your 1RM) that is a low intensity.
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  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Registered User RipStone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kiknskreem View Post
    I was always under the impression the volume includes load, as well as reps and sets.

    From what you know Kiknskreem, as I respect your opinion, is this arguable or am I just mislead?
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  6. #6
    Mr. Gecko Kiknskreem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RipStone View Post
    I was always under the impression the volume includes load, as well as reps and sets.

    From what you know Kiknskreem, as I respect your opinion, is this arguable or am I just mislead?
    Honestly I don't think much if any of the terminology involved in strength training is set in stone. Ask a dozen different people, get a dozen different answers.... even if each person you ask is a respected and established expert in the field.

    Personally what you are calling volume, I would call workload. Volume to me is just the total amount of sets and reps regardless of the loading.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by Kiknskreem View Post
    I will have to disagree with Mr Isaac. Volume = weight x reps x sets. Now, I'm an old fart so maybe the definition has changed.
    Bodybuilder, n. A weight lifter too weak to be a powerlifter.
    Powerlifter, n. A weight lifter too fat to be a bodybuilder.
    HIT Jedi, n. The fitness equivalent to Al Qaeda, except
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  8. #8
    .l.. o.0 ..l. canyonracerx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by all pro View Post
    I will have to disagree with Mr Isaac. Volume = weight x reps x sets. Now, I'm an old fart so maybe the definition has changed.
    That's also what I understand volume to mean and I'm more of a fresh fart .
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by all pro View Post
    I will have to disagree with Mr Isaac. Volume = weight x reps x sets. Now, I'm an old fart so maybe the definition has changed.
    I thought

    weight x reps x sets = TONNAGE

    reps x sets = VOLUME

    'Course I'm the oldest fart, and the usage may have changed while I was meditating under a waterfall all those years in Tibet(still seeking enlightenment....).
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  10. #10
    Powerbuilder all pro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jgreystoke View Post
    I thought

    weight x reps x sets = TONNAGE

    reps x sets = VOLUME

    'Course I'm the oldest fart, and the usage may have changed while I was meditating under a waterfall all those years in Tibet(still seeking enlightenment....).
    Tonnage is when you add it all together usually at the end of a month or a cycle. Although they are the same thing they reference a different time period. Volume = per work out, per week. Tonnage = per month, per cycle.
    Bodybuilder, n. A weight lifter too weak to be a powerlifter.
    Powerlifter, n. A weight lifter too fat to be a bodybuilder.
    HIT Jedi, n. The fitness equivalent to Al Qaeda, except
    rather than fly planes into buildings, devotees fly
    steaming piles of dogmatic horse**** into your ears
    and down your throat.

    Every thing works..........for about 6 weeks.
    Hard gainer = under eater
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  11. #11
    Registered User RipStone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by all pro View Post
    I will have to disagree with Mr Isaac. Volume = weight x reps x sets. Now, I'm an old fart so maybe the definition has changed.
    Originally Posted by canyonracerx View Post
    That's also what I understand volume to mean and I'm more of a fresh fart.
    Originally Posted by jgreystoke View Post
    I thought

    weight x reps x sets = TONNAGE

    reps x sets = VOLUME

    'Course I'm the oldest fart, and the usage may have changed while I was meditating under a waterfall all those years in Tibet(still seeking enlightenment....).
    I thought Dave76 was the offical "oldest of the old farts" here
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  12. #12
    Mr. Gecko Kiknskreem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by all pro View Post
    Tonnage is when you add it all together usually at the end of a month or a cycle. Although they are the same thing they reference a different time period. Volume = per work out, per week. Tonnage = per month, per cycle.
    To me tonnage and workload are synonymous, and without indicating a specific time frame. Me and greystoke are on the same page.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Kiknskreem View Post
    To me tonnage and workload are synonymous, and without indicating a specific time frame. Me and greystoke are on the same page.
    If you use a periodized program, your weekly volume fluctuates but your total tonnage for the cycle should be more than it was in your previous cycle. I was taught to track things this way 3 1/2 decades ago. It isn't a question of being right or wrong it simply makes it a bit easier to set up and analyze a cycle. And besides that I'm right.
    Bodybuilder, n. A weight lifter too weak to be a powerlifter.
    Powerlifter, n. A weight lifter too fat to be a bodybuilder.
    HIT Jedi, n. The fitness equivalent to Al Qaeda, except
    rather than fly planes into buildings, devotees fly
    steaming piles of dogmatic horse**** into your ears
    and down your throat.

    Every thing works..........for about 6 weeks.
    Hard gainer = under eater
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by blind2limits View Post
    I come across the term "Training Volume" and "Intensity" a lot, but I'm not exactly sure what it means.

    For example: Some peoples body's cannot tolerate a lot of training volume. Make sure your level of intensity is very high this week.


    What exactly is training volume and intensity
    Are they different/similar?
    Is it the same as your training workload?


    If you could give examples that would be great as well.

    Thanks.
    In basic terms, volume is "how much you do".

    intensity is "how hard you do it" in terms of relative effort. This gets fairly nebulous sometimes.

    As kiknskreem said, you will get different definitions with different contexts.

    For example, in bodybuilding, "intensity" is often described as how many reps you do towards your ultimate ability with a given load. So, doing 9 of a possible 10 would be higher "intensity" than doing 8 reps. But from a weightlifting perspective, intensity is the percentage of 1RM, so a set of 3 at 80% is higher "intensity" than a set of 12 at 60%, even if you do the 60% to failure.

    In terms of volume, sets/reps/frequency gives the most useful definition in a bodybuilding perspective. In weightlifting total poundage sets/reps/weight is used and becomes relevant as a variable, especially when you don't vary sets and reps as much.
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    Wink

    Just to add to the confusion here are some more ways to define Intensity & volume. (strength & conditioning journal: Periodization the effects of manipulating volume & intensity part 1. by Stone & O Bryant et al. Apr '99)

    Volume
    represents the amount of work
    performed per exercise, per day,
    per month, and so on. Work =
    force distance. Consider performing
    5 repetitions of a squat
    with 100 kg in which the vertical
    excursion was 0.6 m. The positive
    work performed would be 100 kg 
    0.6 m 5 repetitions = 300 kg-m
    (= 2940 joules).


    A secondary
    method for estimating training volume
    is to calculate the repetitions
    accomplished. Of these 2 methods,
    volume load gives a superior
    estimate of the training volume

    Intensity represents power output.
    Power is equal to work/time
    and is related to the rate of energy
    consumption. In our previous example,
    if the work during the squat
    (300 kg-m) were performed in 20
    seconds, then the power output
    would be 300 kg-m/20 seconds =
    15 kg-m/second (= 147 watts). This
    calculation represents the average
    concentric power during the execution
    of the exercise. In most sports,
    power is the most important characteristic
    to develop (5, 23, 28, 30).
    Two different intensities or
    power outputs are involved in
    strength training: training intensity
    and exercise intensity. These intensities
    can be calculated or estimated
    in different manners.
    Training intensity represents an
    estimate of the average rate at
    which training proceeds; exercise
    intensity represents the actual
    power output for a single movement
    or group (set) of movements
    (20).
    Training intensity can be estimated
    by the average mass lifted
    per exercise, per week, per month,
    and so on. Exercise intensity can
    be monitored by the relative intensity
    (RI; percentage of 1 RM [defined
    as the athlete?s 1-repetition
    maximum lifting weight]). The example
    in Table 1 is taken from actual
    data; by comparing these 2
    days, it can be seen that day 1
    produced a higher volume (i.e.,
    more work: 8400 vs. 4750 kg) but
    at a much lower training intensity
    (35.8 kg/second vs. 40.8 kg/second).
    Thus, training volume can
    be estimated by the volume load
    and training intensity by the average
    weight lifted. If reasonable
    weights are being used in training,
    heavier weights (for the same exercise)
    will produce a higher training
    volume and intensity. This is not
    true for exercise intensity.
    Dan Brown BPE, CSCS, PICP Level 2 (Oct 2010)

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    In no way is the information given above meant to replace that of a Medical Professional. Always consult your Doctor before beginning any New Diet, Supplement or Workout program.
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    [e^(pi*i)]+1=0 blind2limits's Avatar
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    Talking

    My goodness... What have I started...

    lmao
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    Someone already defined volume very well - it's just a mathematical calculation of the total amount of weight you move.

    Intensity is so simple people make it complex. How hard are you pushing yourself over time? If a lot, it's high intensity. If not much, it's low intensity.
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    [e^(pi*i)]+1=0 blind2limits's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by md3sign View Post
    Someone already defined volume very well - it's just a mathematical calculation of the total amount of weight you move.

    Intensity is so simple people make it complex. How hard are you pushing yourself over time? If a lot, it's high intensity. If not much, it's low intensity.
    Which someone?
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    Originally Posted by RipStone View Post
    I was always under the impression the volume includes load, as well as reps and sets.

    From what you know Kiknskreem, as I respect your opinion, is this arguable or am I just mislead?
    I think 'load' just basically encompasses the whole overall "thing", lol.

    like "whats was the load"? it was 24000lbs with 72% avg intensity and 4 lifts over 90%.

    whereas volume is just volume. Although I have seen load also used to stand for just volume.

    ------------

    for the original poster. "intensity" has 2 meaning depending on who u ask and I think u have already seen both answers. for bb'ers it sort of means "difficulty level"...like going to failure is more intense than stopping short of failure etc. but from a 'strength" standpoint such as powerlifting or olympic weightlifting "intensity" means percent of 1 rep max. So if u max 300lb and you worked out with 240 then you were using 80% intensity

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    Volume = total amount of weight you move, synonymous with tonnage (weight x reps x sets).




    PS. whoever said volume = reps x sets, that doesn't make sense. What unit of measurement would you use to represent that (volume requires 3 variables)?
    Last edited by md3sign; 12-10-2007 at 06:51 PM.
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    Originally Posted by md3sign View Post
    (volume requires 3 variables)?
    I thought it just required a knob that went to 11

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    You need one or more of these: more food, more weight, more reps or more rest.

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    Originally Posted by md3sign View Post
    PS. whoever said volume = reps x sets, that doesn't make sense. What unit of measurement would you use to represent that (volume requires 3 variables)?
    One of the definitions of volume is "a mass or quantity, esp. a large quantity, of something"....

    Volume in this sense simply being as descriptive training term.... a third variable is not necessary as would be a third dimension if you were using the word in the sense of spatial relations.
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    The Russian md3sign's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kiknskreem View Post
    One of the definitions of volume is "a mass or quantity, esp. a large quantity, of something"....

    Volume in this sense simply being as descriptive training term.... a third variable is not necessary as would be a third dimension if you were using the word in the sense of spatial relations.
    I understand, but it still requires 3 variables to make sense in terms of units of measurement.

    reps x sets = ?? a bunch of reps? that's useless information

    weight x reps x sets = total weight in lbs, useful information
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    Originally Posted by proteingulp View Post
    volume is how many sets or reps.. increase the volume is increasing the ammount of sets or reps you do

    intensity is how much you can make yourself sweat..lol

    increase the intensity is taking shorter rest periods between sets..or doing supersets or giant sets.. just something that makes you work harder

    the intensity definition is not true. Intensity relates to the amount of mass (weight) used in comparison to a maximum effort of an individual.

    For example: A person who prepares for two sets of one rep maximum weight is said to be using HIGH intensity and LOW volume. On the other hand, a lifter using 4-6 sets of 8-12 reps with 40% of the maximum is said to be using LOW intensity and HIGH volume.

    In general, both terms are juxtaposed to each other. That said, rest has little to do with either phrases, other than usually when the intensity increases, the rest period increases while the volume increases, the rest period decreases.
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