Working out a muscle group with simple techniques only provides a limited pump and muscle growth to your body. Simple variations are beneficial at the beginner's level and prevent injuries. Though, if you have been working out for a while and want to take your workout techniques to an advanced level, this article is for you.
Contrary to simple techniques, intensity techniques allow you to go beyond conventional failure to work the muscle harder. These advanced workouts provide a stimulus to get larger and stronger than ever.
However, intensity techniques are not everyone’s cup of tea. As mentioned above, beginners definitely do not need them. The following is the list of advanced intensity techniques and how to use them.
This is the most popular, therefore, the most abused intensity advanced training technique. You’ll need a spotter to provide enough assistance for the trainer to be able to complete the rep.
- The pump comes when the trainer gets fatigued and relies on the spotter for assistance to do forced reps.
- The bench press is the most obvious example of forced training.
- Forced reps are not supposed to be done in every set like some trainers do. Forced reps, when done correctly, are extremely taxing on your recovery mechanisms.
- A spotter should only provide enough help to keep the weight moving. They should not take the weight away from the trainer.
The cheat reps are all about really overloading the muscles you’re intending to train. These are the reps that involve cheating the weight up by using other muscles than the actual muscle you are currently targeting.
For example, To do an overhead press from a standing position (barbell or dumbbell). Perform a push press instead of a strict press, which uses the legs to assist the upper body in lifting the weight overhead. Once the weight is overhead, use a 4-6 second eccentric to progressively decrease the weight.
Strip sets also called drop sets, are a creative technique that allows the trainer to keep an exercise session going through fatigue by employing lower reps, lighter weights, or a similar exercise.
Barbells are used for these exercises. Do a set, then get two spotters to pull off a certain amount of weight without racking the bar. Keep putting on the pounds. Continue stripping as needed. This will completely exhaust a muscle. It's similar to drop sets, but there's no respite in between.
This method focuses on the descending part of an exercise (eccentric contraction). Slowing down the rate at which the entire movement is done and adjusting the overall tempo are used to create this effect.
For maximal intensity, most people concentrate on the shortening phase (concentric contraction). Negative movements, on the other hand, tend to put more strain on the tendons and supporting bone structures.
This means that with a negative repeat, most micro-tears occur. Muscle damage increases the body's ability to adapt and grow back bigger and stronger.
Lower the weight slowly to the regular starting position when completing a bicep barbell curl, for example. On the way down, hold your breath for 3–5 seconds. You'll notice a difference right away!
As the name suggests you are just performing a partial movement of the exercise. Choosing a range and then performing the exercise with the same weight you have been using for the complete range of motion. This movement usually, but not necessarily involves the toughest range of motion of the exercise and allows much more weight to be used.
Usually, partial reps are supposed to be done at the end of a set, because doing them, in the beginning, will make you tired at once.
- Doing pure partial reps in the power rack is the most effective way to perform a controlled range of motion. Using pins set at the power rack is quite an appropriate way to perform partial reps.
- The range of motion should be selective or of choice. The partial reps can be done anywhere in an exercise’s range of motion. For example, moving the bar only a few inches with a suitable weight are a great way to build density, power, and confidence.
- The motion should be continuous. If you have done with your regular reps continue with the partial reps without placing the bar on the rack. Doing this will help you develop more muscle tension and give you more muscle strength.
- Finishing a partial set with a little stretching is the best way to keep your muscles in maneuver. By doing this, your muscles will get ready to perform the next set so far and so on.
Burns is a high-intensity training method that uses shorter reps to push your sets over full-rep failure. You can use this strategy to blast your muscles into new growth without pausing to lessen the weight.
These are usually performed in a stretched or contracted position. They are tiny, quick movements used at the end of a set to let the muscle recover. Calf raises are the most commonplace to observe. At the end of a set, simply bounce up and down at the bottom position until your calves are burning.
Perform a set of isolation exercises for a specific muscle group. Then, with no rest, shift to a compound movement rapidly but for the same muscle group, e.g. dumbbell flyes then barbell bench press. The target muscle becomes fatigued, allowing the secondary movers to push the target muscle harder.
A variation of this technique is the pre-exhaust giant set. A good example is the triceps, shoulders, and chest. This variation will push the limits of the triceps, and work the shoulders hard.
- Start with a triceps isolation exercise, for example, push-downs.
- Go to the shoulder press, which targets the triceps and shoulders muscles.
- Next, do a bench press, which works the triceps, shoulders, and chest.
With each progressive set, another muscle group will be able to assist. Try hamstrings for the lower body. Start with leg curls to isolate the hamstrings, then go on to stiff-legged deadlifts to target the hams and glutes, and finally lunges to target the hamstrings, glutes, and quads.
The idea of pre-exhaust can be applied to a whole workout. If you want to work your triceps harder, do them first, then your chest. Your chest workout will be limited, but your triceps will be pushed much harder if you do chest first. This can be done on the biceps, back, shoulders, and chest, as well as the calves and thighs.
Variable Resistance Training
In variable resistance training, you use different workout equipment like resistance bands or chains. The sole purpose is to vary the resistance through the range of motion of an exercise. Creating more resistance in order to produce more power is the aim behind this training.
This training technique essentially allows you to lift more where you are strongest, which leads you to the maximal strength at the weakest part of the exercise.
Time Under Tension
Time under tension is often used for strength and conditioning in bodybuilding. It basically relates to how long a muscle is strained during a set. For an average lifter, a set of 10 reps will take anywhere from 15 to 25 seconds, depending on lifting speed. You can trigger significant muscle breakdown and sleeve-busting muscles by putting a muscle under lengthier periods of pressure. Follow these steps to perform time under tension correctly:
- Beware of the lockout
- Maintain a steady tempo
- The main focus should be the eccentric portion of the movement
- Focus on form
- Incorporate drop sets to help you
- Maintain a high intensity
All the advanced techniques are beneficial in many ways, but breaking through the plateau is the most significant out of them. However, the emphasis of your workouts should be on variety and intensity. You should never do the same workout twice in a row. Having these advanced training techniques in your arsenal can really help mix your workout exercises and intensity.
Along with magnificent benefits, these also serve a variety here. Incorporating these techniques in your training session helps you get some extreme gains, both in strength and mass. Most importantly, don’t get too tempted with these techniques, and do not forget to switch it up every week!
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