When we talk about training factors, one of the most common discussions points we hear is about the level of intensity we should operate at.

This topic is all over the board these days. I think the reason for this is, at its core, physical exercise can be found to be somewhat mundane due to the repetition and consistency involved. That’s just human nature!

To combat that feeling of boredom, lack of progress, frustration and other human emotions, everybody from individuals to huge corporations have injected an element of “excitement” into the world of training.

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When “marketing” exercise programs, think of just how often we hear great shouty superlatives… you know the sort of thing…words like: “insane”, “super”, “mega“, “high-intensity”, “crazy” and countless other such ramped up hyperboles! Look no further than the burgeoning supplements market for some really crazy names and badging!

This wording simply grabs your attention. It “ups” the ante and it can easily help motivate people to get going on their exercise. And that’s not a bad thing.

The one thing we must remember however, is that “we are what we are”. And that is- a physiologically evolved living creature complete with metabolism, cellular processes and a cognitive control over our thoughts and activities. We need to work in compliance with these things if we want to be successful.

Put more simply, we are built to survive. That is in our hardwiring – period!

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There is one key to survival, and maybe that should even be called a synonym:

Survival = “sustainability”

After all, we can do virtually anything for a while but if we do not continue with it, we eventually revert right back to “Start”. And that cannot be our goal.

So lets step back a bit and move back toward good science. We know that muscles adapt to different types of stress. We also know that if we can control the stress triggers, we can manipulate the adaptive responses….the very essence of training.

One major goal is to develop an adequate amount of mass or muscle tissue. Although perhaps counter-intuitive, we know that moderate resistance with moderate reps will result in adaptive “hypertrophy” (the opposite of atrophy) and we will achieve our aim of adding lean mass.

Now, there is also a lot of talk about making sure we vary the intensity for best results and I couldn’t agree more. Include mixing high reps/light weight, low reps/heavy weight. Athletes of all levels and disciplines need explosive ability so they will want to include power movements and plyometrics as well.

With all the high-intensity talk these days – and there is plenty of it for good reason – it is easy to overlook the moderate phase of training where we add lean mass. It is not only an essential factor in fitness, it is also this “moderation” that is sustainable on and on and on. It is what our bodies want!

It will never be outdated because it will always be an essential factor in any successful training program. It is not ‘rocket science’ but it is definitely ‘science’!

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