Intensity Techniques For Training
Intensity Techniques for Training
When it comes to training, we all want to walk away feeling like we’ve given a session our best. If you’ve been following the same program for a while, you may start to feel bored or that your progress is slowing - this is where intensity techniques come in! Here are five simple strategies to introduce into your training regime that your body may not yet have adapted to. Give them a go to overcome plateaus and help you walk away from your session feeling like you’ve emptied the tank and achieved the best possible results!
- Supersets. The one that everybody has heard of, but do you know how to decide which exercises should be in a superset? To break it down, a superset is 2 exercises in a row, with minimal or no break in between. The general rule for choosing your exercises is that they should use either the same muscle group, or antagonistic muscle groups, meaning muscle groups that do opposite actions. For example, you may do two back exercises like seated rows and lat pull-downs, or a back exercise and a chest exercise like seated rows and chest presses.
- Rest intervals. If you haven’t been working to a set rest period, now is the time to start! By timing and limiting your rest, you intensify your workout. For example, you may do a set of 10 deadlifts, then set a timer for 3 minutes before starting your next set. The next time you do deadlifts, you may rest for 2 minutes and 45 seconds, and then continue decreasing the rest time for future workouts. Start with a time that challenges you, but doesn’t stop you from finishing your whole workout!
- Staggered sets. This is a great way to give some attention to your smaller, often neglected muscle groups. For this technique, you train a very small muscle group between your regular sets in what would be your rest time. This works well because smaller muscles require less blood to keep them fuelled, meaning that training these muscles in your rest period allows the main muscle group you are training to rest, and you to catch your breath. For example, you may do some calf raises between squat sets!
- Rest pause. A great way to make sure you’re progressing without having to increase your weight or pressure yourself to a strict rep increase. This is a very short rest period of just a few seconds, so that you can attempt a few more reps at the end of your working set. Your rest period should be as short as possible whilst allowing you to increase the number of reps that you achieve in total! For example, you may finish a set of 10 bicep curls, stop and rest while taking 4-5 deep breaths, then squeeze out another 2-3 (or more if you can) reps.
- Rep speed changes. This is a great one to increase the time under tension. All you need to do is time each phase of your reps, similar to the way you would time your rest for the “rest intervals” intensity technique. A common example would be to time your squats by counting to 5 on the way down, holding at the bottom of the squat for another count to 5, then counting to 5 on the way back up.
At the end of the day, progressive overload is always the most important thing when it comes to training. As long as you are increasing either the weight that you lift or the number of reps that you do, you will continue to see progress. However, if your body is well adapted to pushing and training hard, these intensity techniques can be a great way to get a sweat on, overcome a plateau, shake up your training and feel more accomplished in the gym!Task: Try each of these intensity techniques in one of your workouts over the next 5 weeks and see if you notice a difference in how you feel!
Task: Try each of these intensity techniques in one of your workouts over the next 5 weeks and see if you notice a difference in how you feel!
Don't want to miss anything?
Get the latest recipes, workouts, success stories, tips and more right in your inbox.