Frequency of training is a valuable component in the arsenal of the natural athlete. How often you are able to train is by in large determined by the amount of intensity applied—-along with workout volume.
During the years I spent in the commercial gym, I would often take notice of the varying levels of intensity applied towards one’s individual training.
On one hand I would see some members that seemed to be “going through the motions,”(same exercises, same resistance, same rest-periods etc.) never really stretching themselves out and never really appearing to make at least any visual progress, and on the other hand, I saw extreme-levels of intensity applied, partner-assisted rep upon rep, drop sets ad infinitum, & much too heavy of weight/resistance causing compromised form (and not to mention a greater risk for injury.)
It’s not my place to say either approach is wrong, or something to be ashamed over—everyone has their own goals/reasons for what they do, but being someone that has spent time in both of those camps at different times when I first started out, I feel the sweet-spot lies as it so often does somewhere in the middle.
Training with weights has been a passion and a priority for much of my life. I’m forty-four years old as of this writing and plan to still be hitting the iron at age eighty-four.
I enjoy the whole process from planning workouts & diets, to reading up on the latest exercise science, to journaling and writing about some of the experiences I have had and insights I have found through my own experimentation.
I figured out a while back that if I was going to do this for the long haul, I had to structure my training in a way that is conducive to longevity.
Luckily, I have found that structuring workouts in that fashion also creates possibly the best way to enjoy a balance of results in the short-term, and keeps the long game intact by a slow, yet steady progression towards my goals.
So how does one apply this effectively to their training?
Working in the very upper limits of your strength is great, but the more time you spend there, the less frequent you can train that particular exercise (and train in general.)
I think the best course of action you can do is to find a challenging yet doable weight and always terminate a set before you feel like you will have to “grind” out the next rep.
A good rule of thumb is when you start to noticeably feel the reps slowing down it is a good time to call it a set.
Applying this to your training will keep you on the path of progress in strength, keep your central nervous system happy, lower the chance of injury, and is a key to longstanding health & fitness.