5 Ways To Add Intensity To Your Workouts
#1 Intensity booster - Forced reps
Force reps are a method that increases the intensity to your workouts by it making you push a set beyond failure. Forced reps are performed by taking a working set to failure, and then by using the assistance of a spotter – they will give you just enough help to keep the weight moving at the same pace as you were originally.
Let’s use the bench press as an example; using your 10 rep max, once you have completed 10 reps on your own continue to lower the weight and use to the assistance of your spotter to give enough resistance so that you can lift the weight at the same pace as before.
#2 Intensity booster - Supersets
Supersets are a combination of two exercises done one immediately after the other. For example, doing tricep press downs then immediately after doing skull crushers this would form a superset. This increases intensity as there is more volume being stressed to the muscle fibres in a lower amount of time and getting more volume into your workout sooner.
Often combining a compound set with an isolation exercise is a popular choice for getting a good pump and hitting the target muscle. This is a great way to boost intensity as you are performing twice as many sets in roughly the same time.
#3 Intensity booster - Drop sets
Drop sets are performed by completing a set on your regular weight to failure, and then immediately followed by lowering the weight on the same exercise by roughly 20% and then performing the same exercise to failure again. It is optional by how many times you ‘drop’ the weight, however, the general trend is doing 3 ‘drops’ in a drop set.
For example, using the lat pull-down and your starting weight is 100lbs, you would perform to failure on this weight and then immediately after dropping the weight to 80lbs. Then perform this weight to failure, and drop to 60lbs then perform this weight to failure – this boosts intensity as the muscle fibres are being immediately torn after being used to failure on the previous weight.
#4 Intensity booster - Rest-pause
Rest-pause is another method that pushes your set beyond failure and increases the intensity by adding further volume onto the end of your set to force muscle growth. Using the barbell curl as an example using your 10 rep max, you would perform 10 reps.
Rest briefly for 5 – 15 seconds and then perform another 1 – 3 reps which will be very difficult to complete as you have just performed a set to failure a few seconds prior. This is a great method of adding intensity to your workouts as you are performing reps within the zone of ‘failure’ straight after your working set.
#5 Intensity booster - Negative reps
Negative reps again are performed once you have reached failure on a particular exercise. When performing an exercise there are 3 portions of the movement. The positive (lifting the weight) peak contraction (at the top of lifting the weight) and the negative (lowering the weight). Using the barbell bench press as an example again, when lowering the bar to your chest… this is the negative part of the movement.
Negative reps are performed after you have reached failure on an exercise, once you have reached failure – use your spotter to lift as much of the resistance as they can off the positive portion of the movement and then you perform the negative part of the movement for another 2 – 4 reps.
This is a great way to boost intensity in your workouts as the negative part of any movement is your strongest, and failure on the negative portion of movement can’t be reached by performing a regular set.
Remember to always make your training go further by taking a shake
right after your workout to promote recovery.