T Nation

Intensity, Density & T/TUT: Strength Gain

First, let me state my understanding of the definitions–since I have heard differing definitions. Intensity = The metric employed to qualify the lbs of resistance relative to the one time maximum (e.g., if 100 lbs were the max, working with 75 lbs would be working with 75% intensity). Density = The metric employed to qualify the total lbs resisted in a given unit of time (so the guy who does 16 sets of 8 reps in his 45 minute workout obtains greater density than the guy who oogles at the T-Vixen on the squat rack and only manages 12 sets of 8 reps before his 45 minutes are up). TUT (Time Under Tension) = the metric used to qualify the amount of time spent under tension when performing a set. (Total Time Under Tension [TTUT] would be the some total of all TUT at workout’s end). Ok, now for the question. Which do you think, for you, has been the greatest factor when it came to yeilding increases in strength? Of course, all 3, it would seem, contribute to strength gain but which one (if any)in your experience out as being superior for securing strength gain?

Your vernacular is very good. Now, I have a question for you.

What type of strength are you looking to improve?

I’m inquiring with respect to all types of strength but am most interested in an increase in strength which results in the ability to move more lbs (for any/all types of weight training exercises). At this point, I’m not striving to lift greater lbs myself–just doing some (admittedly anecdotal) research.

You can’t isolate just one, because without a consideration of intensity, density and TUT are worthless (i.e., increasing the density or TUT of 1-lb. squats won’t accomplish jack). There is also direct entailment of TUT by density (though not necessarily vice versa) to further complicate things.

In that case, I’d have to go with intensity.

I agree with the above. Intensity will be your best measurment.

strentgh is matter of firing (contracting) more muscle cells. This is accomplished in 2 ways. High intensity for the concentric motion since you have gravity helping you in the eccentric and accelerating a weight at a rapid rate. So what that means is lift really high intensity for a low number reps or lift at medium to low intensity for really fast reps for a low number of reps. Both methods will get your body used to firing more muscle. laters pk

Yes, that’s rather obvious. I was hoping for a more “charitable” interpretation of my post! Which 1 of the 3 do you think would yield greater strength gains provided the other 2 remained constant as per your current workout regime? That is, if you could only increase 1 of the 3, which do you think, in your experience (for you), would render best results for strength increase?

A good way for me to relate this is to compare it to Ian King’s 12 weeks to Super Strength. He would have you working the upper body two times a week, working many different angles and exercise types. The weeks were split into 3 weeks light, 3 weeks heavy, 3 weeks light, 3 weeks really heavy.

I’d have to say that during the light weeks, he focused on amazing TUTs (eg. 12 reps of 1 1/3 flyes, urg). And during the heavy weeks, he focused on high intensity.

Other coaches (Christian springs to mind) would have you do lots of sets of high intensity (ie. 10 x 2).

At this point, I’d have to say it varies to the individual. I’ve had much better luck with King’s program than any “powerlifter” program that I’ve tried. But obviously, that’s just me.