The Importance of Frequency and Max Loads

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Your training goals affect the type of strength workouts you complete. Newcomers who wish to tone and increase agility are likely to focus more on frequency training.

On the other hand, weightlifters looking for massive gains concentrate their efforts more on max weight. Review the following guidelines to determine how much weight to use and how often to lift.

Frequency of Workouts

Your level of fitness decides the frequency of your strength training regimen. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends beginners train two to three days per week. Advanced weight lifters are permitted to train a maximum of four to five days weekly. Exceeding these amounts promotes muscle fatigue and increases your chance of sustaining an injury.

1RM for Max Load Amounts

Lifters looking for muscle gains must focus on max load amounts. Strength training with light weights does not build muscle mass or increase strength. To determine your max load, perform a “One Repetition Maximum” or 1RM test. While doing a bench press or leg press, select a weight that you only have the ability to lift for a single rep. Your max load will be 60 to 80 percent of that amount.

Keep in mind, too, that your max load changes during a weight training program. Once you feel comfortable with your current weight and do not feel fatigued by the eighth rep count, increase your max load. If muscle gains and strength improvement are not your goals, remain at the same weight for maintenance purposes.

Frequency and Max Load Adjustments

Frequency can be adjusted if you change the weight and duration of each workout. For instance, if you strength train for three days instead of four, use a heavier max load during each exercise or increase the number of sets completed. However, if you suddenly decrease your maximum weight amounts, strength and muscle mass deteriorates over time. You cannot compensate for a decreased max load by an increase in the frequency and duration of your workouts.

Although max loads and the frequency of strength training workouts are an important consideration for weight lifters, remember the significance of rest periods. During recovery, your body repairs damaged muscle fibers and muscle growth occurs. So be sure to rest each muscle group after each lifting session.

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