If you believe that exercising isn't supposed to be easy and you aren't afraid of sweating a little in order to get results, then high-intensity resistance training may be for you. Whether you want to torch fat, tone your body or build serious muscle, an intense weight-lifting program will help you meet your goals. As you might expect, getting the most out of resistance training requires routines that go above and beyond the average. Including certain techniques into your routine will enhance the intensity and accelerate your journey to results. Exercise with proper supervision to reduce injury risk.
Part of what makes an intense workout routine intense is that it helps you accomplish a lot of work in very little time. Barbell complexes fit this description perfectly, as this strategy is fast paced and leaves little time for rest. A barbell complex is a set of five or six exercises, all involving barbells, that are performed back-to-back. You'll perform an entire set of each exercise before moving on to the next, with no rest time in between. In fact, you can't even let go of the barbell until the complex is complete. As a result, barbell complexes require an all-out effort for a much longer duration than traditional, set-by-set training.
High intensity workouts are typically designed to be exhausting, so a pre-exhaustion superset routine fits the bill when it comes to intensity. Pre-exhaustion supersets push your muscles to the limit, so get ready to feel the burn. The first exercise should isolate a muscle that is also involved in the second. For example, you can target your triceps with triceps pushdowns and further challenge them with the bench press, which also targets your chest and shoulders. In this way, you'll make sure the target muscle of the first exercise is exhausted as much as possible. This method also challenges the muscles that have to help the initial target muscle on the second lift.
Super Slow Training
Efficiency and speed can be important for increasing intensity in workout routines, but going super slow can also ratchet up the intensity. But that doesn't mean you get to be sluggish. Instead, you may want to include super slow sets into your workout routines. For super slow training, you should aim to lift and lower the weight as slow as possible, to increase the amount of time your muscles are under tension. This method eliminates your ability to use momentum to move the weights and forces you to work against gravity when lowering the weights.
Minimal Rest Periods
Training with minimal rest periods will increase the amount of time you are training and minimize the amount of time you're at rest during workouts. This will help you burn more calories and provide more stimulus to your muscles in less time. Additionally, keeping rest periods shorts encourages your body to produce more growth hormone and testosterone, which are hormones that encourage the burning of body fat and the building of muscle. Thus, this type of high intensity workout routine can essentially do it all when it comes to improving your body composition for beach season, spring break -- or making your ex jealous.
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.