A lot of times you will hear the word “intensity” thrown around in the training world. The terminology is often misused; “that workout was intense” is not the same as intensity.

Intensity is the level of a given exercise relative to your One Rep Training Max or ORTM. ORTM is a % of the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a single rep.


Before we calculate One Rep Training Max lets calculate a One Rep Max:

Using a spotter bench press 45 lbs for one rep, then add 10lbs to the second set, third set, and so on. Do this until you reach you can barely lift the weight anymore. Let’s say it is 120lbs.

To calculate ORTM we take 90% of 120. 120 x .9 = 108. We can round up to 110.

Now that we have our ORTM let’s use intensity figure out how much weight we want to work with during our program.

Never fall below 65% intensity (110 x .65 = 71.5 (use 70) & never go beyond 95% intensity (unless testing ORM) (110 x .95 = 104.5 (use 105).

For our bench press workouts we want stay between 70lbs and 105lbs.


The reason we do not fall below 65% is because this is the threshold at which the body will stop responding to the weight because the load is too low.

Try this example routine:

ORTM x .65 = X for a set of 10

ORTM x .75 = X for a set of 6

ORTM x .85 = X for a set of 3

ORTM x .95 = X for a set of 1

Dedicate & Succeed,

Justin Kukla