Thursday, March 7, 2013

Kick up the Intensity = Faster Results!

Too many people go to the gym with a ‘do whatever’ mentality and these are the people who never see positive changes in their bodies. You’ve probably seen them talking on their phones, texting, conversing with others for an extended period of time. Typically these people go to the gym for the camaraderie or the atmosphere. But you aren’t one of these people! You go to the gym with a ‘get it done’ attitude. You get in and get out once your workout is complete. However, you have reached a plateau and are no longer seeing results. Are you really giving it your all in the gym? Give these easy to follow tips a try and watch your results kick into overdrive.
1.       Pick up heavier weights – You can’t use the same weight all the time. Schedule heavy days that focus on strength and light days that focus on speed.
2.       Take shorter rest periods – Taking shorter breaks can help keep your heart rate up and burn more calories. The shorter rest periods can also help build more muscle.
3.       Superset – This is a simple technique used to increase intensity by combining two exercises that are performed back-to-back with no rest in between. Opposite muscle groups are usually supersetted together, such as chest/back or biceps/triceps, etc.
4.       Try circuit training – Circuit training is a great way to up the intensity in a routine. Simply perform a series of exercises consecutively with no breaks at all. This works best with a full body routine. Pick an exercise for each muscle group…choose a weight you can perform for 10-12 repetitions… work your way through all the exercises with no break in between them. Take a 2-3 minute rest then repeat the circuit. Perform 2-3 rounds to work up a great sweat and burn a lot of calories.
These are simple yet effective tips that can be applied to any routine. Just remember that you can always push yourself a little bit harder, ride a little bit farther, and sweat a little bit more.


  1. I've recently been following Joseph C. Donnelly's workout program and this states almost exactly everything he believes in as far as getting the most intensity out of your workouts goes. Supersets, shorter rest periods, and circuits have not only been a nice change in my workout but I have also seen quicker results in my workouts as well. Many people do just go to the gym with a "whatever" attitude with no plan. This is destructive to anyone who is trying to make substantial gains. Also, I believe that if you workout by yourself and not with a partner or a small group then you are setting yourself up for failure. Others can push you and motivate you to get those 3-4 extra reps that you normally wouldnt try to get on your own.

  2. I know several people who go to the gym for hours a day, and get discouraged after not seeing huge changes, like they did when they first started working out. Upping the intensity of your workout really is the only way to move past the plateau. Although any work out is better than no workout, people are wasting their time by doing the exact same exercises day by day hoping to see change. Your body gets accustomed to routine, and needs you to shock it from time to time. Personally, I am interested in incorporating supersets into my workout routines. After all, if you are going to take the time to work out, why not be as efficient as possible? Train insane, or remain the same!

    1. "Train insane, or remain the same!" I love it Amber. That’s my mentality every time I step foot in the gym.

  3. I like that you mentioned pairing exercises. I use this idea with my athletes in order to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Here is an example of two typical pairings:
    1A. Lower Body Push ex.) Back Squat
    1B. Vertical Pull ex.) Pull-up

    2A. Horizontal Push ex.) Bench Press
    2B. Hip Extension ex.) Glute-Ham Raise

    I like to pair a lower body push exercise like a squat with a vertical pull exercise like a pull-up because the compliment eachother very well. The back squat has a high spinal compressive component while a pull-up can be utilized as a spinal decompression technique. Also, while the athlete is recovering their lower body for the next set they can knock out a set of pull-ups with the upper body.

  4. Many people go to the gym and workout then go and talk about how they’re not getting anything out of it or how it’s just a waste of time. I ask them what they did for a workout and they say “O a little of this, a little of that”. Basically went and wasted their time. I’ve learned through my years of collegiate sports that it’s not about the weight you lift but about the amount of work you put in. In high school we would go in the weight room and lift the heaviest weight we could however many times we could lift it and would get nothing out of it but being sore. I’ve now learned that super setting, circuits, light days and heavy days, and working either arms or legs one day and switch the next is the best way to work out and actually benefit from it.