HighIntensity, LowIntensity... what about MediumIntensity?

Now I finaly understand Charlies concept of HI/LI vol planning/periodisation model… tnx to him and tnx to our faculty textbook :slight_smile:
In fact this is not HI/LI but rather specific volume/non-specific volume or, as we call it here general/specific ratio rule! But in sprinting, specific execrises have high inesity and general low, so this is the same (right?)
Trad periodization model (vol-int trade off) doesnt says anything because it is mixing apples and oranges… how can you calculate overall volume and intensity when you use different exercises (example, DL and MB passing, sprint etc.)
But something here is confusing me…
Charlie, I would like to ask you why there is no MediumIntensity volume? How come? I can suggest some answers:

  1. Only HI vol will take you where you want… sport form and excelence
  2. Only LI vol will have general preparation function, active rest, injury prevention and base-building for HI
  3. Doing MI will take you only into unneccessary greater overloading causing only fatigue and not causing rest nor specific sprint proficiency…

Please, am I right about this one?
Charlie, anybody?

Exactly right. CF believes that medium intensity is too slow to optimally enhance speed but fast enough to fatigue the CNS.

The forum reviews and Vancouver DVDs cover this in more detail.

Yeah meduim intensity is eliminated from ths CFTS it isn’t high enuffintensity tos tart any fibre converstions or adapations and not low enuff to have posotive benefits if anything its detremental!

A memorable quote from the old, old forum by either Herb or Flash, speaking of their philosophy of training, was something along the lines of:

“Go fast, go slow or go home…we are extremists here!”

Great, tnx!

Another question… where is the distinction line between LI/MI/HI excercises? And what about progresive loading (because of adaptation) to LI/HI? Or better to say, increasing LI/HI intensityes according to athlete progress?
In GPP DVD Charlie introduced doing medball in three int: low, medium, high
low - warm-up (tossing, running, tossing, low intensity)
medium - partner, wall medicine ball
high - explosive medball tossing, behind, crouch & run-out, acc etc.
Can you tell me more about this topic?

A couple of thoughts as they come to my mind:

  • what is High Intensity today for a young athlete will be Low Intensity tomorrow as the athlete grows… implications of this ?

  • once the level of general fitness is in place,what kind of adaptation are we really expecting further from Low Intensity work?

Not to puzzle things further,just to keep this discussion up,very interesting!

Yes, exactly… but (there is always but) there is not only change in intensities but in exercises used, dont you think?
Young athletes uses less specific exercises (they are not needed in that stage because progress can be done with general exc, saving spec exerc effect to later sport carrer). Using spec exer too early, will shot-out their capabilities later…
So we are not talking about HI/LI volume ratio, but about GE/SE volume ratio (general exercise/specifics exer) and their intensities…

We are especting to prevent de-adaptation, improve restoration, and injury prevention, psychology rest (using same exerc will take only out of the track… motivation), creat stabil-base… etc?

Yes, I forgot… another thing bothers me…
In GPP, why did Charlie put explosive medbat throws with tempo session in the same day?
Isnt better to put expl. medball with hills and acc? So then, one day will only consist of HI, and another only of LI exercise…
Excuse me if I am missing something here…

I believe there is a progressive adaptation, as you say, but this is again within these “limits” of LI/HI as per athlete’s development/stage, as Pakewi says, or per session as such.

Some explosive medicine ball work can be used on tempo days early on in the season, but as intensity and overall demands increase further, they should be placed on the HI days only and on lower volumes, if required, I believe.

The rest of the medicine ball exercises are classified as rather low intensity; although working with a partner, or against the wall is of higher intensity vs. the “warm up” throws, they are not as high as the medicine ball accelerations, for example.


Tnx Nik! I was thinking exaclty on that
But other question is: how do you classify exercises according to HI/LI?
For me tempo (75%) is not so LI… I would say that jogging is more LI… or sleep… have the lowest Int?
Where is the thin line that differentiate between LI/HI?

Good question, and if we go far on this…we could think that; “calm” people need less intensity to get high and “nervous” people ( like most of sprinters ) need more “excitment” to get same high, am i right or just “flying” on this ?? :smiley:

who’s that on your avatar Flying?

Shawn Crawford. Awful technique, 2 different spikes, outstanding genetics!!!

According to the recovery rate that such intensities allow you to have and to your preparedness for the next HI session; if Tempo at 75% is high for you, make it low!!


That what I was thinking!

Nik,excuse my punctualization here,but your post gives me chance to bring in some more food for thought : we have to distinguish between “preparedness” and “readiness” here,and the implications of the two for Low Intensity parameters.

Readiness could be defined also as the momentary capability of the organism to perform a task,while preparedness is a more complex parameter identifying the general capacity of the organism.
You may be better prepared but not ready to perform,as well as ready to perform,but not prepared enough.The only time when you see actual improvement in performance is when your preparedness level has grown,and you’re ready to show it!

In your post what you’re referring to is actually “readiness” to perform High Intensity activity the day after a Low Intensity stimulus.
Now how do we define Low Intensity requirements in the light of “readiness” and “preparedness”? In this light what are the implications in the choice of different activities such as “jogging”,or “sleep”,or different intensities of work ,“75%” or “85%”?

I’ll start: “sleep” is a parameter which dramatically influences your readiness to perform,but how does it directly contribute to the expansion of your preparedness level?

Hoping to be followed in this discussion of extremely high potential…

When I said that tempo is too intense for me, I was thinking on HI/LI continuum, that tempo is more intense than slow jogging… by the way, running speed in tempo is quite fast so I think it couldnt be considered as light intensity… this is just game of word for me… so I would suggest that HI/LI should be replaced by specific/non-specific wich is more correct and it can be used in general training…
Because in sprint, specific exercises have High intensity they can be called HI, but non-spec exer in sprint (tempo,medball,abs) have rather medium intensity (in someking intensity scale) so it is unapropriate to call them LI… this is my point! Any comments?

I think this is great explained in Siffs Supertraining… or in Zatsiorsky S&P of ST in two-factoryal adaptation theory…
How do I look at the things? Like this…
Preparednes is constist of two components:

  1. Fitness wich is stable and slowly changable
  2. Fatigue
    Preparednes can fluctuate because of tiredness, time of day, hormonal activity… etc.