Three great training intensity tips

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Successful individuals in all areas of life - sports, business, and creative endeavours - invariably possess one common trait, among others: exceptional focus.

It’s well established in the bodybuilding community that muscle growth can only be maximised by pushing your body further than it naturally wants to go. Here are a few of Arnold's favourite muscle-building secrets to extend shock your body into new muscle growth

Forced Reps: This requires a training partner to monitor you closely during a set, then as soon as you fail, he or she helps you just enough to pump out 2-3 extra reps. This can get tricky, though: it’s very difficult for someone else to know just how much help you need, and it’s common for spotters to either help too much and make the set too easy or not help enough and put you at risk of injury.

The key is to work with a training partner long enough that you know each other’s limits. Also, when using this and the following two techniques, make sure you don’t overdo it. Don’t employ forced reps (or rest-pauses or partial reps) on every set; save them for your last set of an exercise, and cycle them in and out of your training.

Rest-Pauses: This technique is similar to doing forced reps, only you don’t need a training partner to do it (though it’s wise to have a spotter when training to failure and beyond). Here’s how it’s done: do a set to failure, then put back the weight and rest for no more than 15 seconds or so and do a few more reps with the same weight. You can even do multiple rest-pauses, performing your first set of them and resting another 15 seconds before doing a few more reps.

To avoid overtraining, limit yourself to three rest-pauses on any given set. This technique seems to work best, and is safer, on machine movements like Smith-machine shoulder presses, triceps push downs and chest press machines, and with free-weight exercises in which the bar or dumbbells can be dropped and picked back up quickly, so as not to waste time. This includes barbell curls and dumbbell rows.

Partial Reps: With these, unlike rest-pauses, you continue your set after failure without resting. The idea is that even though you’re too tired to do full reps, half- or even quarter-reps are still within your limits. Partial reps work great with biceps curls, in which you do as many half-reps as you can after failing. On chest presses, you would go down only part of the way, then back up to full elbow extension. Again, using machines makes it much safer.

SOURCE: Muscle & Fitness

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