Exercise intensity **is an essential training variable. Modifying it helps prevent overtraining and also ensures you’re working hard enough.**

Absolute and relative exercise intensity uses two different points of reference.

## Absolute Exercise Intensity

The amount of weight used based off your 1RM.

## Relative Exercise Intensity

The amount of weight used based on your max at that rep scheme.

## Absolute and Relative Exercise Intensity Table

The Relative Intensity Tables below tell you how much weight to use to reach a specific intensity based on a percentage. So a little math is needed.

Let’s look at an example.

Imagine that we’re working together. And this week I have you working at a *moderate plus* intensity.

Looking at the table you see that the yellow blocks contain your moderate intensity values.

Suppose you can bench press 225 pounds for a set of 12. Working in the *moderate plus* block you can see that has a relative intensity of about 85 – 87%. So, for your set of 12 you’ll use 190 – 200 pounds.

**The Math:**

**Relative Intensity**- Need to know you 12RM (In this case it’s 225)
- 225 x 87.5% = 196.8 (197)
- 225 x 85% = 191.25 (191)

- Need to know you 12RM (In this case it’s 225)
**Absolute Intensity**- Need to know your 1RM (For this example it’s 335)
- 335 x 59% = 197.65 (198)
- 335 x 57% = 190.95 (191)

- Need to know your 1RM (For this example it’s 335)

*Chances are that you’re not using *fractional weights* so your weight gets rounded to nearest 5 pound increment. So, for an appropriate Exercise Intensity use between 190 and 200 pounds.*

*Note*: *Use the 1RM Table to easily find your 1RM or your rep max.*

I use relative intensity to plan workouts and absolute intensity to do my weight calculations.

This table works well along side the RPE scale.

## Download Absolute and Relative Tables

- Click here for reps between 1and 10.
- Click here for reps from 11-20.