My Top 5 Intensity Techniques for GROWTH!
Growth sounds simple. You work out, you grow. However, there is a little more that goes into it. The body is a resilient thing, and it will also do whatever it can to remain at homeostasis. This is just a term for your body’s baseline. The body wants to be comfortable. This leads it to adapt whenever it is given a strong stimulus.
This stimulus can be multiple things, but it is typically the resistance from weights that you are lifting. The muscles receive little micro tears that are then repaired. However, this time they are repaired in a way that makes them not only stronger but larger.
Now, what happens when just going to the gym isn’t enough? The body eventually gets to a point where it’s going to take a ton of stressors to change. You’re going to need some more ways in which you can grow instead of just adding more weight to the bar.
So, here are my top 5 techniques for increasing your intensity for growth.
Super sets are a very commonly used technique within the gym. They are easy to implement and don’t require much equipment. Super sets just mean that you are taking two exercises and doing them back to back. They may be opposing muscle groups or even the same. For example, you may do a tricep exercise with a bicep exercise, or you may do two bicep exercises. Either way, you are bouncing between movements on after the other.
How is this beneficial? Well, for starters it’s super time efficient. This lowers the amount of time that you are working out by killing two birds with one dumbbell.
Besides time, if you are doing opposing muscle groups, it allows for one to recover while you move to the next. Let’s say you are doing bicep curls and you super set it with a tricep push down; you crush the biceps and then move to the triceps for more work. Yes, you are still working out and reducing your recovery time, but it’s just enough for you to get back to the biceps and crush another intense set.
In a short amount of time, you can get more work in, thus creating more growth for your muscles.
This technique can be used with lower weights, but also with heavier and more complex movements. I don’t recommend putting two complex movements together, but one complex movement with an accessory movement would be great.
The drop set is famous. It’s also one of the most painful (it’s a good pain) techniques. It creates awesome pumps and really allows you to take your training to the next level. It’s pretty simple. As you are lifting a weight, let’s take lat pulldowns as an example, you can only do the initial weight so many times. This limits the amount of muscle damage that you can do. So, all you have to do is lower the weight some and you can keep going with the lat pulldowns. You continue to do this until even the lightest weight is too hard to do. It will burn, and it will build up some lactic acid in the muscle. This helps to stimulate growth within your muscles. It’s also a way that you can get some great results without always using super heavy weights. It doesn’t cause a ton of neural fatigue that often comes with heavy weight, just fatigue with lighter weight. Thus, making this a great method if you are trying to let a muscle heal up.
When pursuing growth, volume is crucial. Volume is typically defined as the amount of reps that you are giving to a specific muscle group or movement. Using a drop set is one way that you can increase this variable in your training.
This technique is somewhat similar to the drop set. However, you aren’t lowering the weight. You are going to stick around the same weight, typically you’ll use a lighter one, and go for failure. Once you can’t hit anymore reps, all you do is take about 15-20 seconds of rest. You immediately pick it back up and get some more reps. This is a method that allows you to go past failure by utilizing a short rest. The amount of extra reps you get won’t be super high, but it will get you closer to a high number of reps. This can be continued until you NEED rest.
Partial reps were popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. Typically, when you are doing an exercise you will want to perform it at full range of motion. However, with this technique you are only going to do part of it. This can begin as a normal set, doing the full ROM. However, once the weights begin to fail, you can start doing partials.
Why does this benefit you? When we workout we want to get blood flow to the muscles. This allows them to grow, while also increasing the “pump”. Doing partial reps continues to pump blood into the muscle, thus stimulating growth.
It is a great way to get past failure and continue to work the muscle in an intense way.
It is advised that you do this with moderate to light weights. Partial reps on a very heavy lift could lead to injury due to form breakdown. Just be cautious with this method!
These are massive super sets, plain and simple. You take 3 or more movements and perform them in super set fashion. You perform the reps that are needed and then move to the next movement. The idea is to keep your rest between movements at less than 60 seconds. This help to keep the intensity high during your session.
This method is a great time saver! You can accomplish a lot in a very short amount of time, just like a super set.
Again, just like a super set, it allows for some sort of rest for muscle groups. So, if you are doing legs and shoulders, you can bounce between the two to allow some rest in the non-working muscle group. This will extend the amount of time you can perform exercises, but also increase the amount of volume that you are accumulating.
In short, if you are looking to grow you need to increase your volume. This can be done with these 5 intense methods. They will help you push past failure and grow those muscles the way that you intend to.
One great thing about them is that they allow you to push past failure, even when you want to quit. Amazing results are achieved when things get the most uncomfortable. So, give them a try and see for yourself how much you can push your growth!