For any of us trying to make continual progress in the sport of bodybuilding or fitness, our workouts require a high level of intensity. It often involves digging deep and pushing your self just a bit out of a comfort zone. I had trained for years like this, but after finding myself with a few nagging injuries, I really began to take a look at exactly what I was doing. I took a step back and began to refocus on perfect execution of all movements. In the past years it wasn’t that my form was poor, it was just that I pushed the heaviest weights possible, not concentrating on contracting and utilizing the muscles I was targeting.
After a period of refocusing my efforts to perfect execution, I had alleviated those injuries, but I found myself in a rut of feeling like I was not putting the required intensity into to my workouts. I never wanted to go past that comfort zone and take the risk of re-injury. Again, it was time for me to take a step back and look at what I needed to change in order to regain that intensity, without the risk of injury. Here is what I came up with.
3 Techniques to Intensify Your Workouts Without Injury
These are not new and exciting, but used properly will allow you train with high intensity and off set the risk of injury from careless training.
A partial repetition is defined as only moving the muscle through a specific part of the strength curve of a movement. With any designated exercise, your body will be stronger a specific portions of the movement. When properly executing partials or increased intensity you would complete the full range of motion of the exercise to failure, and then complete additional partial reps of the movement at the strongest part of the movement for additional repetitions. An example would be bicep curls. You would complete full ROM curls until you hit failure, and then add additional reps only ¼ to ½ way up.
Partials can be a very safe and effective way to add intensity to your workouts. This intensifier should not be used for all exercises though as it not safe for some. Partials work extremely well for exercises like bicep curls, hamstring curls, leg extensions, and even some chest pressing movements. On the other hand, you may not want to use them for exercises like squats because the risk outweighs the benefit.
2. Rest Pause
A rest pause set is defined as completing a set to failure, then resting a short period of time, then completing additional reps. This is extremely effective, and safe for almost any exercise. An example of this would be completing a set of 8 squats, resting for a 10 count, and then completing 2 additional reps.
3. Drop Sets
A drop set is defined as a set taken to failure initially with a heavier weight, and then repeated again with a secondary weight that is lighter again to failure. This is another very safe way to add intensity to your workouts. An example would be bench pressing 225-lbs for 10 reps to failure, and then immediately doing another set 1t 135-lbs for 10 reps.
Utilizing these techniques you will not only be able to concentrate on perfect execution of movement, but also take your intensity to the next level. When utilizing these techniques its not something you should include for every set, or even every workout. Sprinkle these intensifiers in to keep the body progressing and not let your program become stale.
About the Author
Marc Snyder is an active NPC Bodybuilder and current 2013 Mr Ohio. Marc has created a balance in his life with the sport he loves and the family of 2 kids and a wife that he lives for. Marc has been involved in many avenues of the fitness industry. He is a certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach. He also has experience in clinical exercise physiology working in the field for nearly 2 years.
It is now Marc’s goal to educate and guide individuals through yèt-their health and fitness journey by utilizing the knowledge he has gained over the years. He operates SnyderAthletics.com an online nutrition and training website to help people. achieve their goals.
Please follow Marc on his journey of continued progress by following him on his website at SnyderAthletics.com , facebook at www.facebook.com/NPCMarcSnyder and twitter at www.twitter.com/SnyderMarcA. He post his daily lifestyle tips on these feeds for you to access and utilize in your health and fitness journey.