While increasing weight load is the most well-known method of progress, increasing training density is another way to make things more difficult. In other words, do more work in less (or the same) time.
Here are some tips for making your training denser.
Hold yourself accountable for rest periods.
The following is a breakdown of a typical powerlifting training session:
Lift something heavy for about 10-15 seconds, then rest for 8-10 minutes. Then, repeat this course for about an hour, followed by some assistance exercises before heading home. It is critical to stick to rest intervals. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to become distracted and waste too much time between sets.
Remove any potential distractions.
Distractions compete with staying on track with rest intervals. This could be checking your phone or striking up a conversation with someone when you know you only have 20 seconds before the next set begins. Remove all distractions if you want to increase the density of your training.
Reduce the variety.
When it comes to increasing the density of your training, variety is your worst enemy. The more variety you incorporate into a training program, the more set-up is required. We never realize how much time we spend setting up equipment and loading/unloading plates during each training session. You can’t spare that 10-15 minutes if you want to get a lot of volume in over a 45-60 minute period. In other words, the “densest” sessions may only include four different exercises, rather than six or eight.
Maintain a constant duration.
Maintain the duration at 40 minutes and simply try to do more work in that time by adding more sets of squats. Instead of just doing 10 sets, you’d aim to complete as many as possible, possibly ending up with 12 or even 15 sets.
Don’t be afraid of loading drop-offs.
If you want to succeed with a density-based training program that includes higher-rep sets and shorter intervals, you must be humble when the loading begins to drop.
Include back-off sets.
The true density benefits come from accumulating volume – whether it’s to increase muscle size or to aid in fat loss. Back-off sets of 6-20 reps following your heaviest strength work can quickly increase the density of your overall training sessions.
As the clock strikes twelve o’clock. Allow your pace to carry you through to the end of the set instead.
Don’t expect an increase in high-intensity density work to result in the same increase in energy expenditure as an increase in moderate-intensity density work.
When it comes to increasing the total amount of work in a given session, more reps will always “outdo” lower-rep work – even with more sets. In other words, use strength work to build or test strength, not to create a more dense training session. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a tough middle ground where you’re not building strength optimally and aren’t really making your training any denser.
Exercise pairings should be placed close to one another.
You can get a lot of volume in without moving around the gym if you combine a front squat and a chin-up in the same power rack. If you swap those chin-ups for lat pulldown, you’ll be doing a lot more walking. This is especially important in a commercial gym, where someone may jump on a piece of equipment while you’re only a few feet away.
Exercises that target non-competing muscle groups in pairs
Pair antagonist muscle groups, not synergists, to get the most out of each exercise grouping and still be a functioning member of society the next day. Combining chin-ups and biceps curls may not be the best option if you want to own the worst pair of Decepticons around. Alternating between chin-ups and dips, on the other hand, allows you to go hard on both exercises without exhaustion from one interfering with the other.
The Content is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider.