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Frequency of training is measured as the number of training sessions for a given muscle group or lift per unit of time. A certain level frequency must be given in the administration of a training stimulus in order to maintain or build upon a previous training stimulus. Optimal recovery time between training sessions is important in maximizing adaptive processes. As a rule of thumb, one would think that as the intensity of the training stimulus increases, there would be a decrease in need for training frequency.
Because the novice is so readily capable of improving all physical attributes simultaneously, it makes a great deal of sense to pick an intensity range, such as 80-85%, that will provide a nice blend of technical improvement, increased muscle mass, and improved maximal strength. Lately, and perhaps traditionally too, sets of five have been used for this purpose. 5s are appropriate for the novice because they offer a nice blend of size and strength without introducing too much of a muscular endurance component that often interferes with technique development in the novice lifter.
The competitive plan for the intermediate is markedly different from that of the novice. By the time a trainee reaches the intermediate phase of strength training, they should be participating in meets. As such, the meet calendar becomes an important consideration in the overall competitive plan.
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