Setting new training stimuli with intensity techniques
If the classic strength training methods no longer show the desired results, then it is advisable to try something new. If you already have a certain level, you should try intensity techniques. They are an extraordinary challenge for the body. Here are the best tips:
Setting new stimuli with intensity techniques
Unfortunately, nature has arranged it this way. Despite regular and hard training, almost every athlete comes to a point where things suddenly don’t want to progress appropriately. Experts call this point a plateau, and this plateau occurs particularly often in muscle building. The muscles then neither wish to grow further nor become stronger. In this case, it is essential to set new stimuli. And intensity techniques are demonstrably very effective measures in strength training to take a few steps forward. Here are the best methods and what you should look out for:
Method 1: Intensity repetitions
This is by far the most popular of the intensity techniques. Many even use it instinctively. With intensive repetitions, you work until the muscles are completely exhausted, and when you really can’t do anymore, a second person helps you do one or two more repetitions.
- Advantage: Intensive repetitions are possible for most strength exercises. Exceptions are those exercises where assistance is not possible. This is the case, for example, with free rowing with dumbbells or barbells.
- Disadvantage: The person helping must have a great deal of sensitivity and should only help as necessary. This is not so easy.
- Extra tip: If you want to do eight repetitions of an exercise, for example, you should be able to do six repetitions under your own steam. Only for the last two repetitions should there be very light assistance.
Method 2: Pre-fatigue and post-fatigue
This method has two possibilities: You do a single-joint exercise immediately before or after a multi-joint exercise. If possible, you train the muscle that is the weakest link in the multi-joint exercise. For example, in the bench press, this is the triceps for many athletes. You can train these with the butterfly exercise or lying flyes.
- First training tip: Other great and frequently used combinations are leg extensions with squats, front or side raises with shoulder presses or pull-ups with chin-ups.
- Second workout tip: If you choose the pre-fatigue, you should reduce the weight of the main exercise a little. Otherwise, there is a risk of overload or incorrect movement execution.
Method 3: Rest-pause sets
A fascinating method where you do eight to ten repetitions of one exercise. Then you put the weight down, breathe deeply and calmly about ten times, and then do another four or five repetitions. Then you pause again to breathe and do three to four repetitions, and after another pause to breathe, do one or two more repetitions.
- First training tip: For rest-pause sets, only exercises whose technique you can really do well even when you are very exhausted are suitable. Since the movement is primarily predetermined, it can make sense to do rest-pause sets on machines.
- Second training tip: If possible, you should perform rest-pause sets with a training partner who can correct you or help you if you are exhausted.
Use intensity techniques sparingly
The presented intensity techniques are an enormous challenge for the muscles and the central nervous system. So you should only use them once in a while. Otherwise, the risk of overtraining is too significant. They should also only be used when you have reached a plateau and stagnate your performance progress.