You see them every day. People who are filing up space at the gym. They’re going through the motions, their minds a million miles away and their bodies moving by rote. It’s no surprise that their body’s never change. These people are the antithesis of your workout game-plan. You turn up at the gym to put your body through a muscle quivering, growth inducing muscle explosion! All you need is to discover how.
The key to continued progress, an insanely intense workout, is progressive intensity. Whether you are lifting a weight, sprinting on the beach or spinning on a cycle you need to do more than before in order to be better than yesterday. Learning how to boost the intensity sensibly and safely is vital to ensure that the gains keep coming – and that they aren’t accompanied by injury.
The techniques that follow are not for beginners. Don’t tackle them unless you have a minimum of 9 months training under your belt and have got your exercise technique nailed.
3 Weight Training Intensifiers
Forced reps: This involves having partner provide just enough assistance to allow you to complete reps you otherwise would not have the strength to complete. You perform your set as normal, performing as many reps as possible unassisted. Then, when you reach the point where you are unable to complete another rep on your own, your partner gently provides just enough assistance to help you perform an extra one or two repetitions.
Forced reps is an advanced training technique. It is important that your partner stays absolutely in tune with your movements throughout the entire exercise. Only use a partner that you trust on this technique. The partner needs to be as attuned to the lifter as possible, matching the lifter’s speed and movement as they provide assistance. The partner must also ensure that they pull up evenly on the bar.
Supersets: A superset consists of two exercises for opposing muscle groups done back-to- back without rest. An example would be a set of barbell curls immediately followed by a set of tricep pushdowns. Supersets decrease the amount of time necessary to work opposing muscle groups by eliminating rest periods. They also dramatically increase work-out intensity. A further benefit is that supersets decrease the danger of developing unbalanced strength around joints.
To enhance the intensity even more, use supersets to work two exercises for the same muscle group back-to-back without rest. To really blast the biceps, for example, superset barbell curls with seated dumbbell curls.
Pyramiding: Pyramiding involves doing a series of sets, increasing the weight and decreasing the number of reps in each successive set. It is best used on such functional strength movements as the bench press, squats and dead-lifts. Always ensure that you have a partner to assist when pyramiding. The following pyramiding rep scheme should be used:
1st set = 10-12 reps 2nd set = 5-6 reps 3rd set = 3-4 reps 4th set = 1-2 reps
For each set, use heavy enough weight that you can just manage to complete the required number of reps.
Mental Focus – The Key Ingredient
The intensity enhancers detailed above will give you the tools to push your body to the extreme in the gym, however, the most important ingredient in making each workout better than the last, happens before you pull into the gym parking lot. An hour before your workout, take the time to mentally rehearse the upcoming session. Find a quiet place where you can visualize yourself performing each exercise. Vividly picture yourself powering through your sets with ease, going beyond your previous rep limits, smashing through your weight limit and killing it during your cardio sessions. At first it will seem a little weird doing this but persevere and you will end up programming your subconscious into having a sizzling workout every time.