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Workout Intensification Techniques

Push your limits with these training methods

Doing the same workouts can be very repetitive. In this article we will teach you training techniques that will help you switch things up and get more results from your workouts. You can use them to push your body closer to failure or to get quicker sessions.

Super-set / Tri-set / Gian-set / Circuit

This method makes you perform two or more exercises back to back before getting any rest. It's a great way to get more volume in a short period of time.

A traditional workout:

  • Exercise 1, Set 1, 135 lbs
  • Rest
  • Exercise 1, Set 2, 135 lbs
  • Rest
  • Exercise 2, Set 1, 135 lbs
  • Rest
  • Exercise 2, Set 2, 135 lbs

With this method:

  • Exercise 1, Set 1, 135 lbs
  • Exercise 2, Set 1, 135 lbs
  • Rest
  • Exercise 1, Set 2, 135 lbs
  • Exercise 2, Set 2, 135 lbs
  • Rest

Pros

  • You could get better results by using them for antagonist muscle groups (APS - Antagonist Paired Sets), such as: Chest and Back, Bicep and Tricep...
  • You can do more volume in a shorter period of time.
  • You get quicker workouts.
  • You potentially burn more calories.

Cons

  • You might not be able to perform the same weight because of muscle and CNS (Central Nervous System) fatigue.
  • You would probably get better strength and hypertrophy results by using the traditional way.

Here's a workout that uses supersets:

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Rest-Pause

You perform the rest-pause by finishing a set, take 10-30 seconds of rest, then perform the same movement with the same weight. You can repeat them as many times as you can handle, but 2-3 times should be enough.

A traditional workout:

  • Exercise 1, Set 1, 135 lbs
  • Rest
  • Exercise 1, Set 2, 135 lbs
  • Rest
  • ...

With this method:

  • Exercise 1, Set 1, 135 lbs
  • Rest-pause (10-30 secs)
  • Exercise 1, Set 2, 135 lbs
  • ... until you're done

Pros

  • You can do more volume in a shorter period of time.
  • You get quicker workouts.
  • You potentially burn more calories.

Cons

  • You have a higher risk of injury if you perform the reps with bad form.
  • You might not be able to perform the same weight because of muscle and CNS (Central Nervous System) fatigue.
  • You would probably get better strength and hypertrophy results by using the traditional way.

Drop set

The drop set method is commonly used to push a muscle group to failure at the end of a workout. It's very similar to rest-pause, except you decrease the weight after each set.

A traditional workout:

  • Exercise 1, Set 4, 135 lbs
  • Done

With this method:

  • Exercise 1, Set 4, 135 lbs
  • Exercise 1, Set 4, 90 lbs
  • Exercise 1, Set 4, 45 lbs
  • Done

Pros

  • You can do more volume in a shorter period of time.
  • You get quicker workouts.
  • You potentially burn more calories.

Cons

  • You have a higher risk of injury if you perform the reps with bad form.
  • You might not be able to perform the same weight because of muscle and CNS (Central Nervous System) fatigue.
  • You would probably get better strength and hypertrophy results by using the traditional way.

In summary

These training methods will help you get as close to failure as possible, which will help you get better results. Keep in mind that all these techniques will add more stress to your CNS (Central Nervous System) and body, which can make you more tired than a traditional workout.

References

  • Eric Helms, The muscle & strength pyramids.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding.
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