Effec­tive strength training is based on the optimal inter­ac­tion of different stress norma­tives. These are the load used, the number of repe­ti­tions per set, the pause times between sets and the total number of repe­ti­tions. The aim is always to create a suit­able level of stress for the desired training goal. Espe­cially in playing sports, external condi­tions, such as weekly games and other training units, are also involved.

Load and stress

Up to now there has been delib­erate refer­ence to stress and not to load. The load is an external quan­tity to which an athlete reacts with a stress. The same load can mean a different stress on different days. If, for example, an athlete lifts 160 kg at a daily maximum of 180 kg, this corre­sponds to a percentage load of around 88%. If he lifts the same load on another day at a daily maximum of only 165 kg, this corre­sponds to around 97%. The load was iden­tical here, but the stress was quite different. It should be noted that the daily maximum can fluc­tuate by up to ± 18 % in the period of one month.

Training load

In conven­tional strength training, the load is given as a percentage. This corre­sponds to load control. On the other hand, there is the autoreg­u­la­tory approach. Here the load is adapted to the daily readi­ness. An effec­tive and reli­able way to do this is velocity based training. The quasi-linear rela­tion­ship between velocity and load can be used to create a velocity profile of an athlete in a partic­ular exer­cise. With future submax­imal repe­ti­tions over 50 %, the current daily maximum can be deter­mined very accu­rately. The optimal training load for this day can be derived from a percentage of the daily maximum. The actual load used by an athlete thus depends on the daily readi­ness.

Number of repe­ti­tions

How many repe­ti­tions should be performed per set? This raises the ques­tion of how fatiguing the training should be. This results in how long the regen­er­a­tion time of the athlete will be. The more fatigue an athlete expe­ri­ences in a set, the longer it will take him to recover. This is true for both the set pause and recovery after training. The most acces­sible way to describe this is through Repe­ti­tions in Reserve (RIR). RIR describes how many repe­ti­tions an athlete could have performed in a set after finishing the set. This value can be subjec­tively or objec­tively measured using the velocity based training approach.

Total number of repe­ti­tions

Now that we know which load should be used and how many repe­ti­tions should be performed per set, we have to deter­mine the total number of repe­ti­tions. This in turn depends on the training goal and the desired regen­er­a­tion time. At this point, the athlete or coach is asked to deter­mine this. If I have only two training sessions per week and few other training sessions, the total number of repe­ti­tions can be higher than in a tight training routine.

Require­ments

Vmaxpro’s coaching supports all neces­sary measure­ments, calcu­la­tions and deci­sions completely auto­mat­i­cally. First, however, a velocity profile must be created for an athlete in each exer­cise. From the second training on, the coaching is ready. The quality of the coaching continues to depend on the quality of the profile. Vmaxpro contin­u­ously adjusts the profile in the back­ground with each training session. In this way, the best results are always achieved. How exactly the profile is deter­mined and adapted over time is described in a sepa­rate article. It is impor­tant that every repe­ti­tion with Vmaxpro is performed with maximal inten­tion. This is some­times not possible with low loads. In this case, the daily readi­ness may be under­es­ti­mated with low loads. Coaching can be deac­ti­vated at any time by tapping the AI button.

Defi­n­i­tion of goals

When you add an exer­cise to a workout, the last step is to define a workout goal. There are essen­tially only three settings to make. First define the training goal. There are four strength traits to choose from. This selec­tion already deter­mines a rough percentage range of the load that will be used. For hyper­trophy this is between 70 and 85 % of the 1RM.

In the second step, the load will be further reduced. By selecting a moderate training load, the target load in the lower range is deter­mined. In the example of hyper­trophy, this is 70 – 77.5 %, or in other words 73.75 % ± 3.75 %. This suffi­ciently defines the percentage load. The remaining margin is to be chosen subjec­tively by the athlete or coach. A more detailed descrip­tion is not very effec­tive, negli­gible for the training stim­ulus and in many cases not achiev­able due to limited load incre­ments.
In the third step the toler­able fatigue is chosen. In this case, “moderate” means around 4 RIR, with „exhausting” corre­sponding to 0 RIR. This selec­tion influ­ences the number of repe­ti­tions. Specif­i­cally the number of repe­ti­tions per set as well as the total number of repe­ti­tions.

Extended goal defi­n­i­tion

As a Vmaxpro Trainer or Team user, advanced settings are avail­able here as an alter­na­tive. These can be acti­vated via the toggle switch. If the advanced settings are selected, the previous selec­tions have no effect. Only the strength trait is used for the config­u­ra­tion. The target range of the velocity can be entered directly. This will be trans­ferred into the corre­sponding loads in later coaching in case of an existing velocity profile. The repe­ti­tions per set are limited by the velocity drop and the absolute minimum velocity (MVT). However, the fatigue-related drop in velocity corre­lates with the RIR and cannot be defined in general terms in absolute values, since this differs from exer­cise to exer­cise and athlete to athlete. The same applies to the absolute minimal velocity. The total number of repe­ti­tions defines the number of repe­ti­tions in the target area.

Coaching

In Vmaxpro coaching two tasks are solved sepa­rately. Already at the begin­ning of the training a first load is prede­fined. This corre­sponds to about 50% – 60% of the current daily maximum. At this point, the athlete should already be well warmed up and, if neces­sary, have performed a few repe­ti­tions of the current exer­cise. Each future repe­ti­tion should be performed with maximum inten­tion and proper tech­nique. As long as the load is outside the target range, the repe­ti­tions are suggested at 2-5 for warm-up. It is always advis­able to do 1-2 warm-up sets with Vmaxpro in order to be able to deter­mine the daily readi­ness before the work sets.

After each set the load is increased if neces­sary. The increase takes place in percentual decreasing steps. Initially larger steps are to be expected than in later training with increasing loads.

As soon as the target range is reached, the number of repe­ti­tions is adjusted. The maximal possible number of repe­ti­tions is initially deter­mined from the percentage load in rela­tion to the daily readi­ness and the stored profile. This is reduced depending on the level of fatigue selected. If 10 repe­ti­tions are possible, these are reduced to 8 repe­ti­tions with selected moderate permis­sible fatigue. The range is then spec­i­fied with 6-8 repe­ti­tions. The number of repe­ti­tions is always adjusted to the current fatigue with addi­tional sets. If the total number of repe­ti­tions is reached, no more repe­ti­tions are prescribed and the training is completed.