T Nation


I’m having problems with the concept of "intensity"in Bodybuilding. How much should you increase it from microcycle to microcycle.


Intensity is commonly described as a percentage of you one rep max on that lift.
1 rep for a 1RM is considered more intense than 10 reps for a 10RM, even though they are both maximal efforts.

As for increasing from cycle to cycle, what do you mean? what cycle are you doing?
it a pretty ambiugous question hence the lack of replies
It is common to alternate btween strength based cycles (4-6 reps) and hypertrophy cycles (8-12 reps). dispite the names both will build muscle. do each for 4-8 weeks then switch.
I have no idea if this has answered your question or not.

Kudos Whetsu,
I think you did a great job answering the question…;o)

Paul…Whetsu is correct. Most people alternate between strengthed based cycles (3-6 reps per set) and hypertrophy based cycles (8-12 reps). When using the lower rep schemes, you would be using heavier weights in terms of % of 1RM…hence they are more “intense” than the hypertrophy based rep scheme counterparts.

Like Whetsu said, both will build muscle, you just have to make it a point to make sure you are lifting more weight with each consecutive workout whether it be adding more weight or adding more sets.

Say one week I did 4 sets of 5 of 200 lbs on the bench press. Total weight lifted was 4000 lbs. So, the next time I do bench press, I want to lift MORE weight. I could do so by either adding more weight (205 lbs) and use the same set/rep scheme…or I could just add another set and do 5 sets of 5 using the same 200 lbs or more reps and to 4 sets of 6. Make sense?