High intensity is an interesting term. Some people refer to it as a state of mind while others use ‘high intensity’ to describe specific ways to workout that will cause some serious muscle breakdowns. Of course while those intense sessions leave you tired and sore they are also accompanied by the recovery and growth phase which we all love.
While you shouldn’t use high intensity techniques all the time, because they can be too damaging, they are a great addition to your regular workout. Some trainers recommend using at least one technique per body part to ramp up your training to a new level. Which technique to use? These are our 5 favorites and all of them work great.
Top 5 High Intensity Tips
- Drop Sets – This is a nice technique that is easily added into any routine. On your last set of an exercise you put on the maximum weight you can handle for 4 to 6 reps. After you crank out as many reps as you can, take off 20% of the weight and crank out as many more reps as you can. Drop the weight again by 20-25% and do more reps and then take another 25% of the weight off and do more reps to failure. This mega-set will tear a lot of fibers and give you an incredible pump so use it sparingly.
- Slow Negatives – This is another easy technique to incorporate. The idea is to do reps in 2 second up and 4 second down pace. For example, on a bench press you would take 2 seconds to press the weight from your chest to full extension and then lower it back to your chest in 4 seconds. This slow pace will fry your muscles on the negative portion.
- Rest Pause – This technique should be used on your last set with the heaviest weight you can handle for 5-6 repetitions. After working to exhaustion set the weight down and do a slow 10 count. Then pick the weight up and crank out another 1-2 repetitions. Set the weight down and count to 15 then try and do more repetitions. Finally count to 20 and go for another rep or two.
- Burns – After finishing your last heavy set immediately drop the weight by 50% and crank out as many reps you can at a quick pace. The idea is to flush the area with blood and build up a massive burn and pump in the muscle.
- Speed Training – This method is used for your entire workout. Studies have shown that workouts completed in 45 minutes or under are more effective. To help with that benefit try doing your entire workout resting only 20-30 seconds between sets. This is usually long enough to add weight plates. This faster past makes it much more difficult on your body compared to taking minutes at a time between sets.
These five techniques make great additions to your workout toolbox. You can use any of them at any time to add an extra kick to your workout. Just make sure not to use them too often in either a single workout or consecutive workouts unless you are giving your body plenty of time to recover and grow.