Attaining workout intensity should be top priority for anyone interested in physical training. It will determine your results more than just about any other factor involved in a successful program. This is more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Train your mind to do what you want it to, and you will be able to push your body to its absolute maximum. Also, there are techniques you can use in your training to intensify the stress a workout will apply to your body. You must first learn to discipline your mind. Once you are able to withstand any amount of discomfort physical training can cause and truly push your body to the max through any amount of pain, you will be ready to make gains you never believed possible. I truly believe that intensity matters much more than genetics.
I am certain that 99% of trainers are limited by their weak minds, not their weak genetics. hats a cop out, my "genetics" were total weakling when I started training.110 pounds @ 5' 7.I have gained nearly 100 hard pounds since then. I was stuck at 155 for 3 YEARS!I still refused to quit and raised the intensity and have got much further than I ever believed I could. Do not let your mind believe such weak excuses. You must look at the details of your mental habits during your workouts. Change them for the better and know that you will not gain anything without working harder than you ever have. Point made, now on to the actual training intensity boosters. For one refer to my pre-workout energy stack in the previous article. I would also like to suggest a rather unusual method. Self hypnosis through mental suggestion. Get a book on it if you are interested in the power of your mind once it is absolutely programmed on a directive. Mindset is what sorts out losers from champs. Here are some workout boosters that raise intensity in your training.
#1 Pure Negatives
With these, load a weight on any exercise you choose about 30% heavier than your one rep max. Have a very strong spotter to help you get it up at first. You do only the lowering of this extreme weight and do it very very slowly. This method is particularly effective on benches, pull-ups and curls. Try to exercise more caution when using this on delts but still works great for them. Do remember to not go overboard with pure negs as they stress everything to the max .I always constantly rotate my intensity methods from week to week. Your body can adapt to anything so remember to change things up.
This booster has without a doubt improved my pushing strength more than anything. This method seems to be more effective on chest, delts, tris, and quads than on the pulling muscles. Full range is always needed on back, bis, calves, and hamstrings. With partials, keep loading weight on the bar till you can barely handle the weight in the first few inches of the exercise being performed. It takes advantage of the strongest part of the rep when your body has maximum leverage on the bar. This method allows you to use loads that are way beyond the norm for your training and this helps your body adapt.
#3 Superslow Reps
Everyone has a muscle group or two they have a hard time feeling contract and work. These are most commonly the lats and delts. Lots of people have big pecs and bis and their lats and delts are nowhere near. These slow-mo reps are the perfect fix for harder to feel groups. Most muscles can benefit from these. The training load will be less but the stress on the targeted tissue will be different and challenging because it is more evenly applied and will last for a longer period of time than it is used to. You will be tempted to speed up the reps as you get tired and that mega burn hurts but here is the perfect time to examine your mental habits during your training. Keep them super slow no matter what. Have a spotter to help get a few extras when you truly can do no more and you got yourself a damn good burn you can feel exactly where it needs to be. Please quit bouncing that bar off your chest 3 times during benches so you can briefly wear out your delts and tris if you really want to fry your pecs. No bouncing, just very slow incineration of the exact tissue you wish to develop. Try to keep these sets at least 20 -30 seconds long and never let that constant tension off no matter how bad it burns. This is exactly where your mental discipline will determine your results.
#4 Drop sets
This is definitely one of my favorites. It is a good obstacle course for your mind as well. Doing drop sets stimulates all the muscle fiber types from fast twitch(strength) to slow twitch(endurance) and everything in-between It can help you develop cuts and size because of this. I have noticed size and hardness from using this method. A triple drop set of 5 reps each is excellent. Grab a weight you can do only five times. After your done, reduce the load (somewhat-20-30 percent) and do as many reps as you can with that. After that one, reduce the load again and do as many as possible. To really work the area hard, have your spotter help so you can do a few negatives on the end of the last set and you'll have the blowtorch effect! Also remember to moderate your volume so you don't overtrain.
Most commonly used for bis, this method is a great shocker for any body part. Use a moderate weight you can do for many reps. Do 7 reps in the lowest part of the rep, 7 reps in the middle, and 7 reps in the top. These are best if used later in the workout after the heavy training is out of the way. They produce an awesome pump and burn. They are great for searing definition into a body part and can even help with mass. I love to use these when supersetting opposing muscle groups.
#6 Pre-exhaustion Supersets
This is an excellent plateau buster and works great on any muscle group. In this superset method, you will be performing an isolation movement first and then a compound movement directly afterward with as little rest as possible. An example would be side lateral raises for delts directly into barbell military presses. The isolation movement tires only the side delts and then they are immediately worked more in the military presses with help from the tris to push them even harder. This is definitely one of the most effective methods for shocking a stubborn body part.
#7 11/4 Reps.
This is one of my favorite methods for back. It is useful on all groups if done correctly. Perform a rep of any exercise you want, just perform it like this. Complete the rep and then at the point of completion, lower a little and then push or pull it right back into the contracted position. This way you get 2 peak contractions for every one rep you do. Some say this is the most important part of the rep and this takes full advantage of the contraction. Since this locks the fibers up very hard, if you do a few negatives on the end of your set it will stretch and tear them causing soreness and additional development.