It’s All One Big Science Experiment: Intensity Techniques
I have an absolute surprise for you and it’s going to blow your mind. Remember growing up you had to do science experiments for class and your final grade depended on it? Well consider your workout regiment the same.
Getting in shape is a science experiment, you’re the project, your results are the grade and you never really have a final. But guess what that means? LOADS of experimentation to continue to get results.
The Fallacy of a Perfect Workout
Let’s understand one thing. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT WORKOUT. Period, point blank. Are there times when some are better than others? Yes, but more often than not, you’ll always analyze things, refine it for the next session and then execute. We have workouts that are close to being perfect, but there will always be something lacking. Especially when you try new things.
How to Experiment
In a lab, there are many variables to consider. Sample size, condition, hypothesis. We aren’t going to deal with all that, because all we’re looking for is a great workout, so we’ll be using some intensity techniques to help you with the sample size, which is usually just you and a training partner or two. With that being said, there are some things you need to track.
Water Intake: Make sure you are adequately hydrated for the workout. Never go into a session dehydrated.
Food: Be well fed going into the session with small meals and snacks throughout the day. DO NOT try to make up for lack of eating with a huge meal. You will pay for it and hate yourself due to food not being digested enough before you start hitting it.
Rest: I get it, life happens. But if you can prevent yourself from going into a workout fatigued, do it. Go to bed earlier, eat a bit more carbs, something. Pre-workouts should really be your last resort. Nutrition fuels you, rest gets you recovered. So don’t discount the role of rest.
How to Experiment
When you want to throw in something to mess with, like drop sets, negatives and the like, they need to be done so intelligently. Yes, I know, what fun is in that, but the smarter you are with throwing in these techniques, the better the session will be overall. We’re going to use legs as an example because I’m sadistic.
Leg Curl: Here we’ll do 4 work sets of 10 reps per set…but with the last sets, we’ll do a drop set of two drops to pump the hams full fo blood. Technique: drop sets
Squats: 4 sets of 8 to 10, pretty straightforward here, Technique: none
Leg press: 4 sets of 15, with a narrow stance. On your last set, you do another drop set taking off too plates at a time until you get to one and then push to failure. Technique: Drop sets
Leg Extension: Pick a weight that you can do for 10 reps. We are going to do 10 reps, rest 30-45 seconds, bang out 8 more, rest another 45 and then bang out 5 more. These will have your legs on fire and twitching. Technique: rest pause
Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 4 sets of 10, Technique: none