Increasing the weight load is the most well known way of progressing, increasing training density is another means of making things more challenging. In other words, more work in less (or the same amount of) time.
Below are some strategies for making your training dense.
Be accountable to rest intervals.
Here’s the breakdown of a typical power lifting training session:
Lift something heavy over about 10-15 seconds, then, take a break over about 8-10 minutes. Then, repeat this course for about an hour, then do some assistance exercises and go home. Its important to adhere to rest intervals. If you’re not careful, you can easily get distracted and wind up wasting too much time between sets.
Distractions compete with sticking to rest intervals. This might be checking your cell phone, or striking up a conversation with somebody when you know you’ve only got 20 seconds left before the next set needs to start. Clear out the distractions if you’re trying to make your training more dense.
When you’re trying to make your training more dense, variety is actually your enemy. You see, the more variety you work into a training program, the more set-up that’s required. We never realize that we might spend 10-15 minutes of every training session setting up equipment and loading/unloading plates. If you want to get a lot of volume in over a 45-60 minute period, you can’t spare that 10-15 minutes. In other words, the “densest” sessions might only include four different exercises, as opposed to 6-8.
Keep the Duration Static
keep the duration static at 40 minutes, and simply try to do more work within that time period by adding more sets of squats. So rather than just doing 10 sets, you’d aim to complete as many sets as possible, ending up with 12 or even 15 sets.
Don’t be afraid of drop-offs in loading.
If you want to be successful with density-based training programs that involve higher-rep sets and shorter intervals, you’ll have to eat a bit of humble pie when the loading starts dropping off.
Incorporate back-off sets.
The real density benefits come with respect to accumulating volume – whether it’s to increase muscle size or help with fat loss. Adding in back-off sets of 6-20 reps after your heaviest strength work can quickly increase the density of your overall training sessions.
Don’t speed up
As the clock winds down. Instead, just allow your pace to carry you through to the end of the set.
Don’t think that increasing high-intensity density work will yield as great an energy expenditure as increasing moderate-intensity density work.
More reps will always “outdo” lower-rep work – even with more sets – when it comes to increasing the total amount of work in a given session. In other words, use your strength work to build or test strength, not to try to make for a more dense training session. Otherwise, you wind up getting stuck in a tough middle ground where you aren’t building strength optimally, and really aren’t making your training any denser.
Position exercise pairings in close proximity to one another.
If you pair up a front squat and a chin-up in the same power rack, you can get a lot of volume in without having to move around the gym at all. Conversely, swap those chin-ups for a lat pulldown, and there’s a lot more walking involved. This is an especially important consideration in a commercial gym where someone might jump in on a piece of equipment while you’re a few feet away.
Pair Exercises which Target Non-competing Muscle Groups
To get the most out of each exercise grouping—and still remain a functioning member of society the next day— pair antagonist muscle groups, not synergists. If your goal is to own the baddest pair of bicepticons around, pairing chin-ups and biceps curls might not be the best option. Instead, alternating between chin-ups and dips would allow you to go hard on both exercises without exhaustion on one hindering the other..
This is one of the best fat loss training methods.
|Basic rules for creating density workouts.