The magnitude of the load and how to optimize your training

Sergi Mateu

19 in July, 2018

The magnitude of the load is the quantitative aspect of the stimulus used in the training and is determined by 5 aspects: volume, intensity, duration, frequency and density.

Training is understood as the process where the athlete is subjected to well-known and planned stimuli that cause controlled fatigue, which after optimal recovery processes results in an increase in sports performance in sporting discipline.
This process of fatigue, rest and performance improvement is known as overcompensation or supercompensation. The body restores tired and damaged structures with extra plus, making them stronger and more efficient depending on the balance between these variables of fatigue (load) and rest / recovery.
If the dose of fatigue or burden exceeds the level of individual performance, talk about overtraining, and the performance will worsen because it does not give the optimal stimulus, especially if the recovery and rest are inferior to what would be needed. Conversely, if the load does not represent a minimum of intensity, it will not cause the desired adaptations.

Progression and physical improvement
To understand the complex process of progression and physical improvement we have to take into account four variables:
· The nature of the load, which would be the one that is going to work and is determined by the specificity and the potential of training, for example race, swimming, cycling ...
· Orientation The burden has to do with the combination of physical, psychological, technical and tactical plans.
· The organization The burden consists in the systematization of the training load in a specific period of time to achieve a cumulative overcompensation effect. This is what has been called the last years as a macrocicle (several months), mesocicle (one month) and microcicle (from 3 days to one week).
· The magnitude Load is the quantitative aspect of the stimulus used in training

Quantitative aspects of the magnitude of the load
The magnitude of the load is determined by 5 aspects:
· The volume It is the amount of work done in a training session. For example athletics would be 8 series of 200 m plus 12 series of 100 m, in fitness would be the total sum of all the series and repetitions in the training, 4xXUMX plus 12x3-12-10 plus 8x3.
· The intensity It is the qualitative aspect of the load: to greater work performed by unit of time plus intensity of training. We use values ​​such as watts, heart rate, stress perception scales, among others. In cycling or rowing it would be holding down Watts in a while. In athletics or swimming it would be to keep a certain amount of time, or to maintain a certain heart rate. This point is key to understanding the different types of high intensity work (HIIT) that are so fashionable today, becoming the first global trend according to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)
· The duration of the charge is the time when the stimulus is subjected and it is determined by seconds, minutes or hours.
· Frequency It refers to repetition of stimuli of the same orientation in the same session or between different sessions. For example, in fitness and bodybuilding it would be how many times you train the same body part per week. This is a very important point in the training, since, as mentioned before, excessive or too low frequency will make the training not maximized.
· The density It is the relationship between the duration of work and the recovery within the same training session. The formula is used in the following format 1: 2, where the work time would be the first number and the recovery would be the second. For example, a density of 2: 1 would be 30 "continuous race and 15" recovery. 1: 4 would be 30 "paddling to maximum intensity and 2 'paddling at recovery intensity. I 1: 1 would be 1 minute current and 1 minute resting, actively (lowering intensity) or passive (stopping the exercise completely).

The training process is a process where many variables intervene and all of them must be controlled. The relationship between them and the knowledge about the sportsman to train, becomes the key and differentiating aspect between two coaches and trainers.

the author

Sergi Mateu

Responsible for fitness of Claror Marítim

Specialized Teacher in Physical Education (MEF), Bachelor of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences (LCAFE), Master of indoor cycling instructor (Keizer), Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer.

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