Intensity is something most trainers will baffle on about but what most of them comeback to is ‘’training hard’’ and getting a pump. In my opinion, intensity must be defined and you must earn the right to claim that you train with ‘’intensity’’ and this is when your results will really fall into place. With a shocking number of people in the gym afraid to push themselves anywhere the parameters of true intensity I wanted to help you search for the definition so you know it is OK to go to that dark place.
To clarify I am talking about anyone who is medically healthy and wants to improve their body composition, not just bodybuilders.
Reach Failure, Go Beyond
Reaching failure is one thing but to go beyond is where the results come! Within the CNS we have motor units and to maximise large motor unit (high threshold motor units) recruitment we need to make the muscle work harder than ever before. Due to the fact it is humanly impossible to lift heavier each week, we need to trainer ‘’harder’’ meaning you keep the rest periods shorter or get more reps for example. Forcing the body into a state of adaptation is a highly effective way to transform the body and you will increase your calorie expenditure immensely when you train like this.
Some may argue going beyond failure requires a training partner which we don’t all have but I disagree with the former. Use rest/pause which means to reach your usual point of failure and then rest for 3-5 seconds and do as many more reps as you can, and then repeating this until there is nothing left to give! That is the true definition of going beyond failure.
With resistance training or interval training your rest periods should be sporadic to the point that you sustain a constant pace during the workout. Rest periods are not there to allow you to fully recover before doing another set, enabling all the pain within the muscle and cardio system to vanish. If your rest periods are 60 seconds then that is what they must be, I would personally recommend for rapid fat loss to use this kind of range between sets. This will help keep the cardio system engaged for the entire duration of the workout leading to maximum calorie expenditure.
Don’t get is twisted I am not trying to say you MUST feel sick during your workouts this is not the case. What I am saying is that sometimes it is a very good indicator that you are training at a very high intensity and that you shouldn’t fear it. If you need to be sick then so be it, then complete your workout. So many people get a slight tickle in their stomach and they back off – if you want intensity bragging rights then you need to kick on from here. Of course, there is a distinct difference between being ‘’ill’’ and being ‘’sick’’ because you are training hard!
Have you got the right to say you train with intensity?
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