Okay, so we all love to train and hopefully you’re already training HARD!! Going in and training your heart out and pushing yourself every session… But are you ready to spice up your workouts and take them to the next level?
#1 – Partial Power Portion Reps
The majority of exercises have portion of the rep that is more difficult and a portion of the rep that is easier… For example, on a bench press, moving the bar from on your chest to ½ way up, is the harder part of the motion and the second ½ of the rep, to lockout, is the easier part.
So for this brutal workout intensifier, you’re going to begin each set with 5-6 full repetitions of the weight, with a weight than means that the last reps are a struggle, then immediately follow it up with 5-6 partial reps, of the ½ of the motion of the rep that is easiest! This is a good form of going beyond failure, as once you’ve reached failure with the full reps, you’re then pushing your body further, demanding more in the form on ½ reps.
#2 – Tempo Variation
This is simply the principle of starting out with a slower rep speed, and then progressively getting quiciker with each rep, until a “normal” tempo is achieved and then maintained. For example:
Rep 1: Perform 5 second concentric and 5 second eccentric
Rep 2: Perform 4 second concentric and 5 second eccentric
Rep 3: Perform 3 second concentric and 5 second eccentric
Rep 4: Perform 2 second concentric and 5 second eccentric
Rep 5 onwards: Perform with a “normal”/comfortable tempo
This method allows you to really focus and on a strong squeeze and contraction when you are fresh at the beginning of the set, when you usually find the weight easier… It then allows to you slowly transition into purely focusing on raw, powerful reps as the muscle gets increasingly fatigued.
#3 – Flipping the Switch
Another method that utilises tempo in order to brutally pound your muscle into growth! This is where you perform your first 5 reps with a 3 second concentric portion of the movement, and then just a “normal” eccentric portion of the movement. Then from rep 6 onwards you “flip the switch”, where you perform the concentric portion of the movement with a natural tempo and eccentric portion of the movement over 3 seconds.
Reps 1-5: 3 second connentric & natural eccentric speed
Reps 6 onwards: Natural concentric speed & 3 second eccentric
This again, as with above mentioned methods, allows you to make the reps slightly easier as you progress through the set (rep 6 onwards in this case), allowing you to push beyond a limit where you would otherwise have failed! Also an awesome way of making your sets more exciting!
#4 – Pause Reps
Unlike the above mentioned, this is not a method that pushes you beyond a limit of failure, but instead a different variety of intensifier… This is the concept of implementing a short, 1-2 second pause at the bottom of the rep in between repetitions, allowing for any type of momentum or “bounce” that’s being used to move the weight to be removed, thus making the muscle do all the work and in turn working it harder! This is an awesome was to add more load, purely onto the muscle, without having to add weight onto the bar, of which can just increase the chance of injuries and tares!!
#5 – Mid-Rep Pauses
This is a similar concept to the above, however this time, instead of pausing between each rep, you pause mid-rep on the concentric portion of the movement! In a “normal” repetition, there is a large exertion of force at the initial portion of the concentric movement to get the weight moving, and then the muscle just has to provide enough force to keep the weight moving, using the momentum to aid it in it’s travel for the remainder of the range of motion. However, pausing mid-rep eliminates this, requiring you to exert a large amount of force, just like at the beginning of the repetition, but at the mid point, of which the muscle will not be used to! This exposure to such force with the muscle at an already semi-contracted state will cause a new type of stimulation for the muscle, and thus provide a boost in muscle growth and development!!
#6 – Ramp the Stack
This is a machine based method, hence the name! Don’t get me wrong, your free weights, your barbells and dumbbells are your bread and butter of bodybuilding, but machines are a very effective tool and every good bodybuilder will utilise these!!
This technique will induce some seriously skin tearing pumps!! However, be aware, that they will take a bit longer than traditional sets…
Start by putting the stack on the lightest weight possible, and perform 5 full, normal repetitions. Then immediately put the weight up to the next increment (usually an additional 5kg) and perform another 5 reps. Then, again, immediately put the weight up to the next increment (usually an additional 5kg) and perform another 5 reps… Continue doing this until you can no longer get 5 reps of the weight.
This is definitely a brutal, yet effective technique to add in at the end of a workout to really get a skin tearing pump, forcing blood into the muscle!!
#7 – Bodyweight Superset
I bet you’re thinking “bodyweight?!?!?!”… yeah, that’s right, and no, I’m not gonna talk to you about some gains losing, crossfit type stuff! This is a simple, yet effective, and none the less brutal way of forcing your muscles into growth!
Each superset conssits of a compound movement for 8-12 reps, followed by an accompanying bodyweight movement to failure with no rest inbetween… and trust me, after you’ve hit that heavy weighted compound movement for 8-12 reps, those bodyweight exercises are NOT easy!!!
Here’s a list of weighted compound + bodyweight superset combinations that you can incorporate into an tough, intense workout!!
Bench presses and push ups
Barbell rows and pull ups
Squats and bodyweight lunges or jump squats
Overhead presses and pike push ups
Barbell curls and chin ups (palms towards face)
Close grip bench presses and dips
Deadlifts and hyperextensions
Weighted sit ups and planks
Seated calf raises and jump squats
#8 – Pre-Exhaustion Technique
This is a really good method if you find that supporting muscles are the limiting factor or are reaching failure first on bid compound movements! For example if on bench press, your triceps are giving out before your chest, and it’s actually the triceps that causes you to reach failure! However, even if you don’t have an issues like this, it’s still a seriously effective way to shock the muscles and stimulate growth!
It simply consists of performing 3 sets of an isolation movement on the muscle/muscle group you want to target, followed by 3 sets of a compound movement that incorporated the desired targeted muscle! You perform the 3 isolation sets consecutively, as you would a normal 3 sets, and THEN move onto the 3 sets of compound movements.
For example, perform 3 sets of pec deck fly, targeting your chest, then perform 3 sets of weighted barbell bench press. You’ll find that your chest will fail a lot earlier, however this ensures that the targeted muscle, the chest in this case, reaches ultimate failure, limited by little or no other factors, giving you the ultimate stimulation and growth for that desired body part!
Here are a few other ideas for combinations that you can try this technique out with:
Leg extensions and squats
Pec dec and bench press
Skullcrushers and close grip bench presses
Machine pullovers and barbell rows
Leg curls and stiff leg deadlifts
Side lateral raises and military presses
BOOM! Now take these tips, incorporate them into your workouts, push yourself hard and make some serious GAINSSSS! Enjoy guys!!!