High Intensity Training refers to a type of strength training. The term ‘intensity’ has varied meanings in the field of strength training. A good knowledge of one’s physical response to different levels of intensity helps to devise varied methods to increase muscle growth. One should consider the two variables of load and volume in high intensity training.
Load simply refers to any mass or weight one can lift. Load during a set is generally expressed as a percentage of the most numbers of a single repetition (1 RM). Lifting heavy and lighter loads can result in hypertrophy which is the main process of increasing muscle mass. It is best to use heavy and lighter loads in combination for good outcome. This is possible because of the fact that two different kinds of hypertrophy sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar that occur with resistance training. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy refers to an increase of the non-contractile protein fluid called sarcoplasm. This is generally brought about by lifting lighter loads for higher reps. This type of hypertrophy generally does not result in strength gains but gives an overall muscular development. Myofibrillar hypertrophy refers to increased muscle fiber which contract and in effect generates muscle tension. This kind of hypertrophy mainly occurs when carrying or lifting heavier loads for lesser number of reps.
Training volume generally refers to duration of training. It is often expressed in terms of time, distance or total amount of work done within a given workout period. Volume also means the number of sets performed during a training period.
Both high and low volume training programs are found to yield good results. But to maximise muscle growth the recommended way is to use high intensity, high volume training programs. But hyperplasia, an increase in the number of muscle cells, may result from intense high volume training.
Intensity training has both positive and negative influence over our endocrine system.
- Positive responses to training can boost physical appearance and organ functions.
- Pituitary gland tends to increase endorphin levels, which can help reduce tension and anxiety after workout.
- A dreadful after-effect of over-training is an attack on your body's immune system, leading to minor or major illnesses.
- Over training can boost anabolic hormones, producing an opposite effect, leading to a decrease in luteinizing hormone and free testosterone levels.
- While small increase in cortisol levels helps in release of growth hormone, increased levels could lead to catabolic damage, resulting in adverse effects on your body, mind, health and mood.
Lots of variations exist when it comes to intensity training, but the original idea of high intensity training is to conduct weightlifting sessions in short, powerful and intermittent sessions to stimulate muscle strength in a most effective way.
In essence, any training program must aim to increase utmost weight for both high and low rep sets. This is the way to guarantee continued growth. Training programs should carefully use the factors of load and volume that would suit the various intense training sessions. With proper care and knowledge any good training program will yield positive results.