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Workload Capacity

Today you are getting me fresh off a cup of coffee, listening to Tool, and surrounded by the doggos.  Speaking of Tool, if you listen to rock music and have not listened to their newest album.  Get on it!  It is and amazing piece of work.

It's funny, as you go through Tool's discography you come to realize that each album gets longer and longer.  The same is with their songs.  This actually makes me think of a way to improve our fitness and that is workload capacity.

First let's look at the definition of both words.

Workload is the amount of work expected to be done.  Capacity is the actual or potential ability to perform.

Workload capacity is the actual amount of work that you can currently perform.

Let's break this down and see what it will look like.  Then let's look at how we can improve this.

I am going to use the kettlebell swing as an example to guide us through this.  Why the kettlebell swing?  We could use any exercise to for this.  I feel it will be easier to us an exercise we can do for high reps that is utilizing an external load. 

We will start with a set and rep range of 10 sets of 10 reps and a load of 35 lbs to explain this.

When we look for workload what we need to is multiply the set with the reps with the weight.  It will look like this.


With this workout we moved a potential of 3500 lbs.  That means our current workload is 3500 lbs.

How can we increase this?

Simple, just add 1 rep to each set.


With one rep we increased our workload by 350 lbs.  This is an improvement from our last workout.

As we continue to do our workouts in this fashion, over time our workload capacity and fitness level will improve.  This does however beg the question, when do we increase the weight?

That will depend on the exercise.  Exercises will tax our bodies in different ways.  Something like a kettlebell swing we maybe able to get away with getting up to 20 reps before we change the weight.

Something more taxing on our central nervous system like a deadlift.  We may increase at 5 reps.

This leads into the most important thing we can do in our training program.  This is recovery, if we can properly recover from our workouts we will improve no just work capacity, we will improve in our fitness.  I won't get much into recovery since that is a whole other topic that we can discuss on another day.

Lifting a heavy weight is great and I say cuddos to anyone who can pick up weights 3 or even 4 times their body weight.  Life is not one lift at a time, life is multiple lifts done multiple times though out the day.  This is why workload capacity is a big part of my training philosophy.  I feel the way we live life is more geared toward work capacity.  In order to live a more functional and healthier life, we need to improve this area of our fitness.

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