What is dose response and why do we use it?

What is dose response and why do we use it?

Sometimes understanding your coaches technical jargon can be difficult. Even reading online articles and short blogs can be overwhelming with heavy fitness lingo that might not be clear to most of us. I’ve often found that, most of the time, they don’t even need to know it!

Yet here I am contradicting myself by throwing another buzz out there. But this for me is something that doesn’t get thrown around near enough (in my opinion) – dose response. What is it? To make it really simple, we use an intended dose (think of reps, sets, tempo, loading, movements etc…) to get an intended response (think to get stronger, to get bigger, to decrease bodyfat, to endure more etc…) so it’s really a way of saying why you’re doing that workout and what it should do for you.

It gets overlooked because a lot of people don’t really know why they’re using those numbers or what the exact intended response is, because they don’t understand how it works. Generally it’s regurgitated, vague information that they wouldn’t back up in an argument if it got technical.

Dose response is so important because if you understand it you really do have a wealth of knowledge in your hands for how to program for people effectively to help them move forward. The reason this is so powerful is because the dose response for every person is different. There are generalisations out there that people adhere to and believe that it’s working (because of whatever they’ve read) but it’s usually because they’re new to the exposure of training/working out (1-3 years is a beginner remember) so almost anything will work.

Still, even knowing what to prescribe isn’t enough. Knowing how it should feel and how to spot it is another large part of the puzzle. Picking up on body language, perceived effort and fatigue, repeatability and technique are all factors that need to be considered when deciding if the dose is adequate to create the intended response.

If you’re near to the bishops stortford area and aren’t getting the results you want at your current gym, visit a facility of professional coaches where our job is to make sure what you’re doing is the best thing for you. We have a theme for the day of training and then tailor it to all individuals to make sure it’s perfect for them to get the most out of their training. We change movements, reps, speed of movement (tempo) and sometimes sets to ensure it’s everything you need in your training to move forward.




Lift Off CrossFit is based in Bishops Stortford, Herts. Our experienced team of coaches have made Lift Off the regions premier CrossFit box.

We welcome all levels of experience and pride ourselves on treating all members as equals.



If you are interested in coming down to meet us, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you!

 01279 755 333
 Unit 1, Twyford Business Centre
London Road, Bishops Stortford
CM23 3YT