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Old 04-19-2011, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default Volume and Density

We were talking volume in another thread, and I wanted to add to it the concept of training density.

Volume = Sets x Reps x Weight

V = S x R x W

My Concept of Density

There are 2 forms of training density:

1) True Density - Volume divided by Time.
2) Equivalent Density

Equivalent density is a concept I use when designing cluster/density/rest-pause style workouts. It compares two reps structures of equivalent weight and volume.

For example...

Let's say you have a lifter who can bench press 225 pounds x 3 sets x 10 reps. The total reps for this structure is 30.

This lifter completed these 30 reps using 3 sets x 10 reps in 11 minutes.

Equivalent density tells us that to get the same impact with other set and rep schemes, this lifter must:

Complete all 30 reps in 11 minutes.

So, here are some possible equivalent densities:

(We are pretending that all 30 reps take exactly 3 minutes of time to get setup for, and to perform...leaving us 8 minutes of "rest time".)

--3 sets x 10 reps in 11 minutes. About 4 minutes rest between sets.
--5 sets x 6 reps in 11 minutes. About 2 minutes rest between sets.
--6 sets x 5 reps in 11 minutes. About 96 seconds rest between sets.
--10 sets x 3 reps in 11 minutes. About 53 seconds rest between sets.

What the heck is the point?

My point is that you can take the same amount of reps and weight, and get creative with your training if you keep the duration that these reps are performed in the same.

Make sense?

3 sets x 10 reps in 11 minutes.
10 sets x 3 reps in 11 minutes.

They both are 30 reps in 11 minutes...equivalent density.

Why? Who cares? It can be a fun change of pace, and creates workouts with very little down time.

I use a similar style with bulldozer training.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:34 PM   #2
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Max-Stim training introduced me to a concept of doing 20 singles with only enough rest between singles to regain your ability to perform the next.

This was an interesting concept, but the execution was a flop. I wasted more energy racking and unracking weight (especially on squats and bench and dumbbell bench..on and on) than I did lifting the weight itself.

This got me thinking about multiple rep sets (long before I came across Doug Hepburn's style of 8 sets x 2-3 reps).

I created a system called Bulldozer Training in which I would perform as many reps as possible with a weight, rest 30 to 60 seconds and continue this pattern for 5 total sets. My goal for the 5 sets was a total of 20 reps. When I could hit 20 I added weight the next time I lifted.

Instead of using a loose lifting rest structure, I used:

30, 30, 30, 30 seconds

or

30, 30, 60, 60

I found that with loose rest structures I tended to rest too long. I was resting to regain my breath long after my strength had returned.

I also had several 7 set variations with the goal of 25 total reps. The one I used the most was:

30, 30, 60, 60 90, 120 seconds.

When I hit 25 reps, I would add weight the next time I did this exercise.

I actually used Bulldozer Training for a year. Workouts rarely went over 50 minutes and were fun and challenging. I have always wanted to try a fullbody version, possibly with timed density periods instead of structured rest periods. Say...

Squats = 10 minutes
Bench = 10 minutes
Rows = 10 minutes
OHP = 10 minutes

Etc.
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Last edited by BendtheBar; 04-19-2011 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:53 AM   #3
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Default

Interesting topic. Need to think this one through.
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