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How To Increase Intensity ?

In today’s day and age we seem to work more, sleep less, and have much less me time.  When you get to the gym, you may be under a time crunch, unlike the professional bodybuilders, who workout for a living.

I will offer a few ways to get more results from your workouts in less time.  Increasing your workout intensity is accomplished by more than just gradually increasing the amount of weight you lift over time.

The following techniques can be used to spice up your workouts, both mentally and physically as well as decrease the amount of time needed in the gym to get results.

The first technique involves drop sets. Drop sets involve the technique of completing a set of reps with a certain amount of weight, then immediately dropping the weight by about 30% and completing as many reps as you can with the new weight.  When employing this technique, you will not have to complete as many overall sets for the body part you are working on.  For example if you normally do 4 exercises of 4 sets for chest for a total of 16 sets, you can use drop sets and get by with only 3 exercises of 3 sets. Drop sets will contribute to a huge pump in the muscle being worked as well as a ton of lactic acid buildup.  I highly recommend an NO product if you are going to use drop sets to aid in the dispersion of the lactic acid.

Stretching the body part you are working in between drop sets is highly recommended.

Super sets.  Super sets involve setting up two exercises in a row. For instance if you are working on chest, you may set up your barbell bench press and then your incline dumbbell press.  After completing your set of barbell bench presses you will go directly with no rest, to the incline dumbbell press and complete a set.  In between super sets, it is recommended that you stretch the body part you are working to prepare you for the next superset.  Another example would be for triceps.  Lying barbell extensions (skullcrushers) and cable tricep pushdowns.  You can combine any exercises you want or even body parts, such as chest and back, or biceps and triceps.  By super setting you are cutting down on your time spent, but increasing the intensity, by not giving the body part a rest. Again with this technique you will generate an enormous pump as well as more lactic acid than normal.   An NO product will help with eliminating the lactic acid buildup.

Slow sets.  I can’t express enough how important this technique is!  Walk into any gym in America and what do you see.  People all over the place doing very fast reps.  Everyone is in such a hurry to get done, they perform their sets way to fast and let momentum take credit for much of the work. The proper count is 2 seconds for the concentric part of the movement (shortening of the muscle, or upward motion of a bicep curl.) and 4 seconds on the eccentric part of the movement (lengthening of the muscle, or downward motion of a bicep curl.)

Employing slow sets involves slowing down your reps way below normal.  By slowing down the eccentric movement of a rep you can make sure that momentum and gravity are not getting credit.  By employing this technique you will make sure the maximum amount of muscle fibers are firing while performing your set, thus maximizing intensity, increasing workload to the muscle, and decreasing the overall number of sets needed to exhaust the muscle.

Each of these techniques works great on their own or can be combined for the ultimate hardcore workout!  For example, many times I have set up a super set of barbell bicep curls and cable tricep pushdowns. I will also drop set my super set for an added intensity boost.  I will load the Olympic bar with a 10lb plate and a 25lb plate per side.  I would complete 10 reps, rack the bar and take the 25lbs off each side, immediately grab the bar and complete about 8-12 more reps.  Rack the bar, walk over to the cables, using 100lbs, perform my tricep pushdowns for about 10 reps,  immediately drop to about 70lbs and complete around 8-12 more reps.  3 rounds of this and your arms are pumped!

By using incorporating these techniques into your workout routine, you will notice an increase in your results in a short period of time.  Since these techniques involve high intensity and tax the muscles so completely, you must make sure you are eating the proper nutrients and supplementing with a good protein to give the muscles what they need to recuperate after such total breakdown.  Try to incorporate these techniques into your next workout, I know you will be happy with the results!