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7 Fun Ways to Increase Your Workout Intensity

workout tips Oct 25, 2019
 

If you’re like me, you probably get bored doing the same dang thing day in and day out in the gym. I like to spice up my workouts each time by adding in new challenges that amp up the intensity. There are sooo many ways to add a new spin on a standard exercise movement. 

Below are just a few of my personal favorites.

1. Supersets

Supersetting is when you complete 2 exercises back to back without rest in between.

There are a couple different ways to do this: you could perform an exercise that works both a primary mover and a supporting muscle and then burn out the supporting muscle with the second exercise. Example: Bench press superset with a tricep kickback.

You could also superset exercises from two totally different muscle groups. Example: Bicep curl superset with overhead tricep extension. 

2. Drop Sets

Drop sets require you to lift until failure and then drop to a lower weight, continuing to lift until failure, and repeat. I love a good drop set! I think these are fabulous for increasing your strength.

They have been especially valuable for me with upper body movements because it takes a bit longer to build up enough strength to up your weights.

During that awkward phase where the weights you’re using feel just a bit too light but the next weight up is just a tad too heavy still, you can incorporate drop sets to add extra volume and prep the muscle for heavier weights in the future.

3. Slowing Down the Negative

While it’s always important to keep the negative or eccentric portion of the movement slow and controlled, I like to throw in an extra slow negative sometimes, meaning 2-3 seconds long.

This increases time under tension, and I find that it also helps create better mind muscle connection. The slower you go, the easier it feels to really focus on form. I love doing a slow negative on movements like bicep curls and lateral raises. 

4. Run the Rack

Recently, I’ve been loving throwing this into my workout! Pick 3 to 4 heavy weights for whatever movement you’re doing.

Complete 10 reps with each, one after the other, starting with the heaviest weight. It burns so good! This is very similar to a drop set. The difference here is that you’re not lifting until failure with each weight. You pick a set number of reps to perform for each weight pre lift. 

5. Pulse Reps

I love adding pulse reps to the end of a set to burn out the muscle. Pulse reps add extra time under tension by requiring you to perform partial reps.

Rather than fully returning to the starting position, you only go halfway and then repeat the movement.

For example, with a squat pulse, you wouldn’t fully push yourself back up. You would come about half way back up and then drop into your squat again. Oooo it burns so good! These have been especially fabulous for booty building. I love pulse reps for glute kickbacks, smith machine squats, and sumo squats.

6. Hold the Last Rep

Holding the last rep for an extended period of time also increases your time under tension before returning to the starting position. This is another great strategy when you’re in between weight sizes OR if you finish the set and still feel like you have extra reps in the tank.

I frequently add a 10 second hold in on the last rep of hip thrusts, leg extensions, and lateral raises.

7. High Rep Burnouts

It’s always fun to end your workout with a good burnout exercise to ensure you leave nothing on the table by the end of your session. For example, you could incorporate a bodyweight or light weight movement and perform as many reps as possible in 2-3 minutes.

I like to incorporate a bodyweight glute bridge, hip thrust, squat, or walking lunges. 

I hope this was helpful for you! Your workout doesn’t have to be boring. Get creative with how you choose to increase the intensity and play with different training styles. Leave me a comment below and let me know which one of these is your personal favorite after you give them a try! 

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