You Can’t Sprint A Mile: The Intensity – Duration Relationship, by Dave Durell

Should we do multiple sets or one set? The optimal number of sets of a resistance exercise required to produce maximum increase in strength remains a very controversial topic. While multiple set training has produced unquestionably good results in a multitude of trainees over the years, this system contains one inherent flaw: it attempts to defy the principles of logic, reason, and human physiology by disregarding the incontrovertible relationship between intensity and duration. In other words, should a workout be hard or long?






The critical, yet often ignored, factor involved in strength training programs is that intensity and duration are inversely proportional. This means that as the intensity of effort increases, the amount of time that such effort can be sustained will decrease. It is literally impossible for a human being to sustain 100% intensity for prolonged periods of time.

Consider, for example, the activity of running, something almost all of us have had experience with since we were children. Picture yourself sprinting at top speed for a distance for 50 yards. Now imagine yourself running a distance of one mile. Can you run the mile at the same all-out pace you used in sprinting the 50 yards? Of course not. Why? Because intensity and duration are inversely proportional. Since you drastically increased the duration of your run, the intensity had too decreased, whether you wanted it or not.

That is why the 30 MINUTES, TWICE A WEEK training program at Rock Solid Fitness of Florida is scientifically proven to be extremely effective in helping burn fat, add muscle and get rid of all aches and pains. Yes! More results in less time!

Do you want to make sure your workout is as effective as possible? Come for a free work out at Rock Solid Fitness or follow the next 3 steps:

1.Make each repetition as intense as possible by maintaining strict form. This includes controlling the repetition speed, taking care to move the weight by muscular force alone without momentum. No quick starts, bouncing or heaving. Lift the weight smoothly, pause at the end position and lower slowly under control.


2.Make each set as intense as possible by continuing that set until no further movement volitional movement is possible, that is, to muscular failure. Continue performing strict repetitions until you are stopped in your tracks during the repetition despite your greatest effort. Remember, if you complete a repetition, no matter how hard it was, you MUST attempt another one! Make sure, however, you have the proper safety measures in place first, i.e. racks to catch the weight in a safe position and a competent spotter.



3.Make each workout as intense as possible by performing one only one set per exercise in the fashion described above. Remember intensity and duration are inversely proportional; if you do extra sets the intensity of your workout will decrease, reducing it’s effectiveness. In addition, keep your workouts as brief as possible by limiting the total number of exercises performed to one, or at the most two, per muscle group.


Good luck in your journey to healthier, stronger and happier you!


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