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BBT’s 6 Variables of Training to Maximize Your Training

By: Nazirah M. Jones M.S., CPT-NASM





Get ready to unlock the full potential of your body with BBT Fitness! Our coaching program focuses on six key variables of training, each designed to help you reach your fitness goals faster and more efficiently than ever before.


But it's not just about the workout itself - it's about understanding the science behind it. With a deep understanding of these six variables, you'll have the power to take control of any training session and make the most of every minute in the gym.


At BBT Fitness, we believe in a holistic approach to fitness, and these six variables are the pillars that support it. From strength and endurance to flexibility and balance, we'll guide you through every aspect of your training, ensuring that you leave the facility feeling stronger, healthier, and more confident than ever before.


What are the 6 Variables of an Exercise?

  • Intensity (How hard it is/ how much effort do you give)

  • Volume ( How many reps you do!)

  • Load (The amount of weight you lift!)

  • Tempo (How fast or slow you move in the rep)

  • Rest ( How long you take a break)

  • Biomechanics (How are you moving/ what are your movement patterns)


#1 Intensity

What is it:

Training intensity refers to the level of effort a person exerts during exercise relative to his or her maximum effort. Intensity can describe the difficulty of an exercise, typically based on the amount of weight you lift. But at BBT Fitness, we commonly discuss intensity in terms of effort. Simply put, how intensely did you move?

Who Controls Your Intensity:

You Do! Intensity is one of the few things we can't control! Your effort determines your intensity, if you show great effort and bring intensity, you will get significantly different results than an individual who does everything on the paper right but lacks intensity. But at BBT Fitness, our coaching staff is trained to help develop your intensity!

Intensity Guidelines by Training Goal

  • Conditioning: In my opinion, this is the most important training aspect of conditioning (or Fatloss Training). High Knees performed with high intensity vs running a long distance with no intensity, the intensity will win in terms of conditioning. 50-70% 1RM

  • Hypertrophy: We want to be intentional about what we lift. 75-85% 1RM

  • Power: Power training is all about fast, explosive movement. (Intensity!) 30-45% 1RM

  • Strength: 85-100% 1RM


#2 Volume: Number of Reps

What is It:

There should be an inverse relationship between weight and the number of repetitions. That is, as the weight increases, the number of reps should decrease, and vice versa. Specific training goals are also important to consider, e.g. 1-6 reps for power and strength goals, 8-12 reps for general strength, and 15+ reps for endurance.

  • The goal of Training: The training goal when it comes to volume is to see how much work you can do, such as the number of reps you can perform on an exercise.

  • Training Level/Age: When you are new to training doing reps for 12-15 should be sufficient. The goal is to get your muscles to adapt to movements.

Who Controls Your Volume:

Inside your training program, the total about of reps is already preset for you. In our Bootcamp-style classes, the coach tells you how many reps you will complete. In our Team Style sessions, the reps are laid out for you.

Volume Guidelines by Training Goal

  • Conditioning (Fat Loss, Cutting, Losing Weight): 12 to 20 reps

  • Hypertrophy (Gaining Muscle Mass, Building muscle): 6-12 reps

  • Power: 1-10 reps

  • Strength: 1-5 reps

#3 Load

What is it:

Load refers to the amount of weight you lift throughout a training session. The heavier the load lifted, the fewer the number of repetitions that can be performed.

  • The goal of Training: When it comes to loading have a progression strategy. Meaning throughout the course of a training program the amount of weight you can lift should gradually go up as you improve.

  • Training Level/Age: New lifters should focus on proper technique before adding loads that can cause harm to the body. Once you are able to control your load we can move you up in weight.

Who Controls Your Load:

At BBT you will control your own load. We will help you gradually work your load up the more you train with us.

Load Guidelines by Training Goal

  • Conditioning: loads should be 67% or less

  • Hypertrophy: loads should be 67-85%

  • Power: loads should be 75-90%

  • Strength: When it comes to strength the load should be set for the greatest you can lift for a one-repetition (1RM). loads (%1RM) should be 85% or more

#4 Tempo

What is it:

Tempo is referred to as the speed at which you lift a weight. In training, the tempo is typically shown in a 3 or 4-digit number with each number referring to the speed at which part of the exercise should be performed. For example, (Eccentric/Isometric/Concentric) can be seen as (4/2/1) when it comes to a slower tempo.

  • The goal of Training: Tempo plays a critical role in the success and effectiveness of an individualized program. Manipulating tempo can change the complete intent of the training program.

  • Training Level/Age: For beginners, we will generally start with a steady tempo to ensure you could maintain your weight.

Who Controls Your Tempo:

At BBT Fitness, the coaches will be in charge of the training tempo depending on the focus of the day.

Tempo Guidelines by Training Goal

  • Conditioning: Tempo for conditioning generally be very quick to ensure that your heart rate is up.

  • Hypertrophy: During hypertrophy training, we want to focus on the number of tension placed on the skeletal muscle, so the tempo will look like (4/1/2/2), meaning 4 seconds on the way down, 1-second pause at the bottom, two seconds to drive from the bottom, and two seconds to reset.

  • Power: Power focuses more on explosive movements. (x/x/x) = as fast as possible.

  • Strength: Strength will have a moderate tempo focus which looks like (2/1/2,2), meaning 2 seconds on the way down, 1-second pause at the bottom, two seconds to return to the original starting position, then two seconds to rest and go again.


#5 Rest or Rest Intervals

What is it:

Rest or rest intervals refer to the amount of time between exercises. When we are designing the training program, we are generally designing the program with preset rest times of either 30 seconds, 60 seconds, or 90 seconds. Rest times depend on two sets of factors. The goal of training and your training level/age.

  • The goal of Training; The goal of training dictates if we are resting in less time or more. In BBT Conditioning (our Bootcamp style program) and BBT Strength & Conditioning (BBT Slimthick and Cutcamp), we are typically resting for less time. In BBT Power Training (FitThick and Strengthcamp) we will typically build more time to recover from heavier lifts.

  • Training Level/Age: Typically individuals newer to fitness, may need more time to recover between sets versus those who are more conditioned may be able to recover faster.

Who Controls Your Rest:

At BBT Fitness, we do! One of the benefits of training in our coaching program is that we often control the rest in sessions. In our Bootcamp-style classes, the coach tells you to move. In our Team Style sessions, the time is laid out for you with a coach on the floor ensuring that you are moving.

Rest Guidelines by Training Goal

  • Conditioning (Fat Loss, Cutting, Losing Weight): 15 to 45s.You generally never want to be fully recovered from conditioning

  • Hypertrophy (Gaining Muscle Mass, Building muscle): 60 to 90s:

  • Power: 60 to 120s:

  • Strength: 2- 4 Minutes: At BBT Fitness, we generally don't focus on only strength training.

Examples: Here are some common examples:

  • Example: If your goal is muscle development/ weight gain...

    • Let's say that you are doing a Barbell Back Squat for 4 sets of 10 reps at about 70% of your max. if you rest for 60 seconds, we will be in the ideal range to grow your muscle. if you wait for 4 minutes between the next set, you will have lost some of the edges off of your workout, and not be ideal while adding more time to your workout. This can easily take a 50-minute workout and make almost 2 hours.


#6 Biomechanics

What is it:

Biomechanics refers to how well you move your body. Here at BBT, we typically analyze members based on their ability to move.

  • The goal of Training: In training, biomechanics play a massive role in your success. When focusing on biomechanics we can help eliminate any muscle imbalances you may have.

  • Training Level/Age: All training levels need to focus on biomechanics. Understanding the basic movement patterns will decrease the risk of injury.

Who Controls Your Biomechanics:

When it comes to your biomechanics, all of your coaches are here to ensure you have the proper biomechanics on the training floor. Without the proper biomechanics, you can cause serious harm to your body.



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