Frequency, effort and volume.
These three terms make up the different ways in which you can manipulate your TRX and resistance band workouts to constantly keep progressing and improving.
Think of them as three tools at your disposal to manipulate and allow progression.
A good TRX suspension training or resistance band Program, like mine here (shameless little plug) should apply them throughout.
Ensuring you progress in strength and body transformation.
A little understanding of them is a great asset to know…
Training Variable 1: Effort
How hard should you push each set?
Effort is normally suggested in the form of RPE (rate of perceived exertion) from 1 – 10.
Properly applied effort is our aim. Not simply ‘going to failure’.
10 means pushing the effort to absolute failure so you have ‘nothing left in the tank’ to do another rep.
A level 9 would mean you finished the set believing you could have done 1 more rep.
A level 8 would mean you finished the set believing you could have done 2 more reps.
Whilst pushing yourself to failure is important for development it should be utilised at the appropriate times and not ALL the time.
This could lead to more fatigue breakdown occurring in your body than there is recovery / re-building (protein synthesis).
This has a detrimental effect in many ways not only on how depleted and tired it will leave you but also on how mentally exhausting it can leave you.
A good Program slowly builds up the RPE as the plan progresses, with the maximum RPE range being reached towards the end.
This allows technique mastery with the physical adaption of being able to handle greater intensities. More effort is not always better.
Properly applied effort is our aim. Reserve training to failure (or near failure) for when it fits within the context of the Program as a whole and is specifically directed.
Try and adhere to RPE scale where you can as a rough guide.
Remember, it is your feet’ position in most cases for TRX suspension training that will determine the overall intensity and effort you place your body under.
For example, I split My TRX and Resistance Band Programs into Blocks.
People may find in Block 1 that some restraint is needed to not ‘push themselves’ too hard. Block 1 is the mastery execution phase where the emphasis is to practice feeling your muscles move and contract internally.
Then in Block 2, we unleash the body’s improved potential with increased intensity and effort from the get-go.
Training Variable: Frequency
This refers to how often a muscle is trained. I agree with a lot of the literature and with science-based fitness peers that training a muscle twice per week max is the most effective, and above all, the most maintainable for the average working person…
However, it all comes down to level of the program and intensity of programming.
We all adept and recover differently, that is why I have created Programs for all levels, so you can advance as your fitness performance increases at your own pace.
It’s good to utilise various splits with rest days to ensure muscle groups will have time to recover.
This is important for protein breakdown and protein synthesis as it must return to baseline levels before being placed under intensity again for the next workout.
Training Variable: Volume
This is the total amount of work you are doing. It is easiest to equate this to total sets.
Simply put, if you’re doing more overall sets week by week and managing it, it’s a good sign that you will be progressing with your overall fitness goal.
More volume isn’t always better and will not mean you progress even more if you increase the volume further.
Our aim is quality of volume over quantity.
Putting your body under too much stress by overtraining can lead to mental and physical setbacks.
Whilst these are good markers for progression within your TRX suspension trainer and resistance band workout…
It doesn’t always mean more reps, more sets or using your body to apply more weight is the only way to progress.
Other improvement progressional markers are:
- Better and more confident in technique
- A better internal focus of mind-muscle connection and contracting the muscle when performing the exercise
- Better breathing
- Better body placement and range of movement using a TRX or band.
Allowing space for those personal improvements along with focusing on progressive overload by increasing rep / set ranges and intensity variables week by week, plan by plan, is important
A key improvement marker to use overall is strength.
If you are handling the increased intensity each week, then you are getting stronger and thus progressing.
Let’s get to it!
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