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- Don’t forget the details. Since so much of the training you are doing is going to be new and fun, there still needs to be attention put towards some things that are often tedious like breathing drills and correctiveexercises. This probably means 10-20 minutes of small details before you get to play.
One of the most critical aspects of optimizing training to the individual is finding the right volume to work with. We must know how much training the athlete needs to make progress (Minimum Effective Volume-MEV) and how much they can potentially tolerate (Maximum Recoverable Vol-ume-MRV). Finding the precise numbers is an inexact science, as it will change throughout the lifter’s career, and will require a process of trial and error to more finely tune, but by critically analyzing several factors about the athlete, we can make a very well informed estimate, to begin with. Let’s take a deeper look at these Individual Differences and how they affect MEV/MRV.
SexFemale lifters are generally smaller and less muscular than their male counterparts of similar qualification, this coupled with lower testosterone, causes each session to be less fatiguing and necessitates them to train at higher volumes. Male lifters will have lower MEVs and MRVs than female lifters.BodyweightA lifter’s bodyweight is highly correlated (hopefully) to their muscle mass. More muscle mass means more muscle to be damaged and this greater amount of damaged muscle will take longer to recover, lessening the amount of train-ing the athlete can do. Greater muscle mass also allows the athlete to better hold fitness. Higher body weights will lower both MEV and MRV. One potential caveat to this would be an athlete who carries very high levels of body fat, which could raise MEV. HeightA taller lifter will move the bar a greater distance on each rep causing more work to be done on each rep, this will make each set more fatiguing than it would be for a shorter lifter. Greater height causes both MEV and MRV to lower.StrengthThe stronger a lifter becomes the more stimulating each set of work they do is and the more fatigue a given set will generate. Strength is hard earned and also hard to main-tain. A lifter’s strength will cause their MEV to raise and their MRV to lower, this type of factor makes the training of very strong lifters’ a unique challenge.
ExperienceA more experienced lifter will have a greater special work capacity than a beginner lifter, and more than they had when they were beginners or intermediates. This greater special work capacity should allow them to train with more volume throughout the week. When a lifter becomes Very Experienced (ie. Consistent hard training for over 12 years), it is likely that they will not be able to tolerate as many sets of overloading work as they previously could because each of these sets will be so stimulating. Similarly to strength, an experienced lifter has done so much training in their past, that small amounts of training have a very little effect, so as a lifter’s experience increases, their MEV will also increase.