Increasing your training intensity is one of the best ways to help promote muscle growth and fat loss. Though it may seem hard at times, there are many benefits to increasing your training intensity. Follow these steps gradually to help build your best self quicker!
Reduce Rest Periods
The easiest thing you can do to increase your intensity is to reduce your rest periods. If you’ve been resting for 60 seconds during your sets, bring it down to 45 seconds and then down to 30 seconds. This will drastically increase your heart rate and give you more time to lift. It’s also great for muscle growth because it keeps your muscles under somewhat constant tension.
Train Full Body
Another great way to intensify your workout is to work your entire body in one session. Some people might say that full body workouts are just for beginners and they are not a good way to really target your muscles. This just isn’t true.
Doing a full body workout allows you to work your entire body in one session without wasting time doing some fluffy exercise that helps to give your ego a boost. Do a set of heavy bench presses followed by some bent over barbell rows, some squats followed by hamstring curls.
Once you’ve properly warmed up, perform a set as normal. Once you’re sure you can’t do any more reps, lower the weight and do some more reps. Then lower the weight again and do some more. On and on until you know you just can’t do any more reps. This is one set and it is amazing.
Drop sets work best with compound exercises such as bench press, squat, barbell row and shoulder presses because they completely smoke all your main and supporting muscles. If you really just want an ego boost and a good pump, you can do it with some barbell curls but it just wouldn’t do all that much except increase your chance of an injury.
Embrace the Negative
For most exercises, the negative part of the rep is when your muscle does the most work. For example, in a barbell curl, lifting the bar up is the positive and the lowering of the bar would be called the negative.
Now, it might sound easy. You just lower the weight, right? But, if you truly emphasize on the negative part of the rep, you can really increase the amount of tension that you cause to your muscle.
Instead of lowering the weight for the usual 1-2 second count, lower it in 4-6 seconds. You will most likely have to lower the weight than usual but the increased time under tension will mean more gains and that is never a bad thing.
If you’re trying to build muscle, you might want to consider upping your calories by 200-500 calories to make sure you recover from these brutal workouts. If you’re cutting, more power to you. These tips will help you to burn more calories and help you to maintain, or even gain, more muscle.