Posted April 20th, 2016 under Workouts
How Do I Increase the Intensity of My Workouts?
Tags: Increase workout intensity, Revolutionize, NPC, Nutrition, Fitness
So a very good question has come up a few times over the past few weeks from some of you which can simply be summarized to... "How do I increase the intensity of my workouts?"
I'll do my best to break it down for you without writing too much (but if I do, and I most certainly will, I apologize in advance...). Here we go:
- First and foremost, the SETS... On my program, I only provide the WORKING SETS for each exercise. This DOES NOT include WARM-UP SETS! Depending on how much weight you plan on lifting for that exercise, you may need anywhere from 2-6 warm up sets before the prescribed sets that I provide on the spreadsheet. The reason behind it is to prevent injury, allow your central nervous system to adapt and prepare for the weights you'll be using in your working sets, and add more work capacity (increasing how much you work) for a better, more intense workout.
- So for example, let's say your 1RM Squat (1 rep max until failure) is 200lbs. You may warm up with just the bar (45lbs total) for a certain amount of reps (8-12 is a good start), then add 15lbs to each side (75lbs total) for another 8-12 reps, then add an extra 10lbs more (95 lbs total) for 8-10 reps, and so on and so forth. You may find this to be very easy and you may not require all these warm up sets. This is why you should experiment with how much weight and how many sets you need to prepare yourself for a weight that CHALLENGES you for the prescribed amount of sets and reps provided. Mind you, you differ from everyone else in the gym. You may need 4 warm up sets or you may only need 2, while a guy who can squat 700lbs sure as hell needs at least 5-7 warm up sets to allow his nervous system to accept that much weight. So experiment with the weight and always think to yourself, "am I warmed up enough to take this beating?"
- In terms of the WORKING SETS, I prefer that you use the SAME weight throughout the entire working sets. This means, after you finish your warm up sets, you will attempt each working set with the same weight for relatively the same amount of reps. So if you warm up to 185lbs for 8 reps, you will remain with that weight until you finish your working sets. How many sets should you do? That depends on your goal. To achieve an intense workout, you must exhaust the body enough to the point JUST BEFORE you reach failure. You will see why when I create my new program. Many people do TOO much work on the first set and end up leaving nothing left in the tank for the next 3 sets. When you feel like you have 2 to 3 GOOD REPS left in you, STOP. Your set is over. Rest, then repeat. This will ensure you work your muscles to sub-maximal potential without risking injury and over-fatigue. If you find yourself doing more than the recommended amount of reps with a certain weight (like squatting 185 for 17 reps for example), then the weight is obviously too light and you should probably increase it to a weight that you can probably hit for around 8-10 reps (or what ever your goal is) while leaving enough in the tank for the next set. If at anytime the weight you use causes you to compromise good form by the 2nd or 3rd rep, you are using WAY TOO MUCH weight. In hindsight, if the weight doesn't scare you to some degree (palms sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy...) then it's too light.
- You are always free to MODIFY my program to meet your goals. If even after all I said is not enough you are always more than welcome to add or modify the sets, reps, exercise, etc to increase the intensity. Just make sure you allow yourself to progress each week to hit heavier weights. Roughly, the goal is to increase the weight by 2.5lbs-10lbs each week in order to keep up with muscular adaptation and increase work capacity (which increases intensity). If you want my opinion on an exercise you would like to add to the program let me know as well, I will most certainly give you my 2 cents.
I hope this was informative and helpful (I'm glad I apologized in advance). If you have any questions about what I said, if you need something cleared up, just let me know!
Happy lifting! :)
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Written by:Schweitzer Hsu