A few readers have noticed and asked about my use of the “IQ” notation after each exercise and workout. IQ is my own personal shorthand for “intensity quotient,” or put another way, the average weight per rep for that exercise or workout.

 

Quantifying and Documenting Your Training

One of the great advantages of weight training is that it allows for objective quantification and documentation of not only the stressors you subject your body to, but also your body’s reactions to those stressors.

 

charles staley, athlete journals, powerlifting, mature athlete

 

Breaking Muscle Shop

With that in mind, it’s a shame to not take advantage of this unique opportunity. It’s basically a science experiment of one, after all. You can increase the weight and see what happens. Or you can lift the same weight for more reps and see what happens.

 

"In my own training, I’m constantly looking at my volume and average intensity for each exercise, and also workout to workout, month to month, and so on."

There are a number of different philosophies about how you should ideally progress the volume, intensity, and density of your training from week to week and month to month, but before you even get to that point, you need to be monitoring and documenting these factors to begin with.

 

The Two Most Important Factors

The two most important things that serious lifters should monitor are the volume (quantity) and intensity (quality) of the loads they lift. Tracking volume is done by multiplying the weight lifted by the number of reps you lift it for - simple enough. Average intensity is determined by dividing volume by total reps performed.

 

In my own training, I’m constantly looking at my volume and average intensity for each exercise, and also workout to workout, month to month, and so on. On a given week, I might notice that I’ve performed much more volume. In such a case, the next thing I’ll do is look to see if that additional volume was at the expense of intensity or not. If so, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important to know.

 

"One of the great advantages of weight training is that it allows for objective quantification and documentation of not only the stressors you subject your body to, but also your body’s reactions to those stressors."

One way to more fully appreciate the important of these numbers is to look at these numbers for a lifter who is much stronger than you. Those numbers will be much higher - in every single case - no exceptions. This means that if you want to get much stronger, your numbers will have to somehow get much bigger.

 

So if you’re not doing this already, I strongly urge you to start tracking these variables, with an eye on increasing both gradually over time.

 

This Week’s Training

I managed to hit a few very nice numbers on key lifts this week. One thing you might notice is that I’m performing overhead work twice a week, and placing those exercises first in the workout. This is in preparation for my weightlifting meet I’m scheduled to do on May 2nd.

 

RELATED: 7 Strategies for Success in Your First Olympic Weightlifting Meet

 

Very soon (within three weeks or so), I’ll be continuing this progression through the addition of even more sport-specific drills such as push presses, push jerks, and ultimately, clean and jerks. For now however, the objective is to build basic overhead strength in mobility, since I haven’t focused on that for several years at this point.

 

That’s all for now. Enjoy the videos and please leave your comments and questions below!

 

Weekly Training Volume: 57,359 lb (Last Week: 32,840 lb)

 

Significant Lifts:

 

  • Low Bar Squat 345x2
  • Power Clean 220x1
  • Block Pull 475x1

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bodyweight: 199.6 lb

Volume: 12,376 lb

Ave Weight/Rep: 150.92 lb

 

Squat

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 225 lbs × 2

Set 6: 275 lbs × 2

Set 7: 315 lbs × 2

Set 8: 345 lbs × 2 (Video Below)

Set 9: 325 lbs × 2

Set 10: 325 lbs × 2

Notes: IQ: 185

 

 

Power Clean

Set 1: 88 lbs × 3

Set 2: 110 lbs × 3

Set 3: 132 lbs × 3

Set 4: 154 lbs × 2

Set 5: 176 lbs × 1

Set 6: 198 lbs × 1

Set 7: 220 lbs × 1

Set 8: 209 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 140.06

 

Deadlift

Set 1: 405 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 405, no belt

 

45-Degree Back Extension

Set 1: 120 lbs × 12

Set 2: 120 lbs × 12

Set 3: 120 lbs × 12

Notes: IQ: 120

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bodyweight: 200.4 lb

Volume: 14,978 lb

Ave Weight/Rep: 120.79 lb

 

Military Press

Set 1: 45 lbs × 10

Set 2: 65 lbs × 8

Set 3: 85 lbs × 6

Set 4: 105 lbs × 4

Set 5: 115 lbs × 2

Set 6: 115 lbs × 2

Set 7: 115 lbs × 2

Set 8: 85 lbs × 10

Notes: IQ: 78.18

 

Bench Press

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 205 lbs × 2

Set 6: 215 lbs × 2

Set 7: 225 lbs × 2

Set 8: 235 lbs × 2

Set 9: 240 lbs × 1

Set 10: 185 lbs × 8

Notes: IQ: 154.57. No belt

 

Chin Up

Set 1: 7 reps

Set 2: 7 reps

Set 3: 7 reps

Notes: IQ: 200.4

 

Hammer Curl

Set 1: 80 lbs × 8

Set 2: 80 lbs × 8

Set 3: 80 lbs × 8

 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bodyweight: 200 lb

Volume: 13,915 lb

Ave Weight/Rep: 176.32 lb

 

4" Block Pull

Set 1: 135 lbs × 5

Set 2: 138 lbs × 5

Set 3: 225 lbs × 5

Set 4: 225 lbs × 5

Set 5: 315 lbs × 3

Set 6: 365 lbs × 2

Set 7: 405 lbs × 2

Set 8: 435 lbs × 1

Set 9: 465 lbs × 0

Set 10: 465 lbs × 1

SET 11: 475 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 249.16

 

Power Snatch

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 65 lbs × 3

Set 3: 95 lbs × 3

Set 4: 115 lbs × 2

Set 5: 135 lbs × 1

Set 6: 155 lbs × 1

Set 7: 165 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 86.87

 

Safety Squat

Set 1: 155 lbs × 5

Set 2: 155 lbs × 8

Set 3: 205 lbs × 5

Notes: IQ: 168.88

 

Back Extension

Set 1: 135 lbs × 10

Set 2: 135 lbs × 5

Notes: IQ: 135

 

(Video of this entire session with commentary below)

 

 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bodyweight: 201 lbs

Volume: 16,090 lb

Ave Weight/Rep: 176.32 lb

 

Military Press

Set 1: 45 lbs × 10

Set 2: 65 lbs × 8

Set 3: 85 lbs × 6

Set 4: 105 lbs × 4

Set 5: 125 lbs × 2

Set 6: 125 lbs × 2

Set 7: 125 lbs × 2

Set 8: 95 lbs × 8

Notes: IQ: 81.19

 

Bench Press (Dumbbell)

Set 1: 100 lbs × 10

Set 2: 140 lbs × 10

Set 3: 170 lbs × 8

Set 4: 190 lbs × 8

Set 5: 190 lbs × 8

Set 6: 190 lbs × 8

Notes: IQ: 160

 

Life Fitness Dual Pulley Row

Set 1: 60 lbs × 10

Set 2: 60 lbs × 10

Set 3: 60 lbs × 10

Notes: IQ: 60

 

Bicep Curl (Dumbbell)

Set 1: 80 lbs × 8

Set 2: 80 lbs × 8

Set 3: 80 lbs × 8

Set 4: 80 lbs × 8

 

A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles Staley trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done in his workout sessions.

Topic: