Experiencing stagnation for the past few weeks? your workouts do not lead to results anymore?
This is quite normal! We all got there at some point in our career.
At the beginning, your muscles respond well to your workout and you can quickly enjoy the first results as well as a great motivation.
However muscles have the bad habit to easily adapt to your program inexorably leading to stagnation.
But don’t worry! there are high intensity techniques that will take you to the next step in your training.
If you type on the Internet: ‘high intensity techniques’, you will find dozens of articles on the subject. Indeed, there are loads of techniques to help you boost your workouts.
I do not pretend to know and have tried all of them. So, I have chosen to only speak about the techniques I have tried myself. I think it’s more productive and informative to talk about something you’ve experienced.
For the rest, I invite you to read other great articles on Internet.
Let’s start with an unpopular and controversial method in the world of bodybuilding. You will probably not find it in high-intensity techniques articles, however I consider the centurion as such a technique as it goes out of a classical training scheme.
It’s pretty simple: you have to perform 100 repetitions for a given exercise. Obviously, you will take a relatively light weight (compare to your max) and perform those 100 reps. It is generally advised to do it in 2 or 3 sets max. For each pause, take as many seconds as remaining reps you have.
First set of 60 reps; take 40 seconds of rest before lifting again. Try to finish, otherwise stop again. If you have stopped at 80 reps, take 20 seconds of rest this time and so on … with a maximum of 3 breaks.
If you can perform 100 reps at once, the weight is too light. If you do more than 3 breaks, the weight is too heavy.
This technique is disputed among our community. Indeed, the weight has to be very light in order to perform 100 reps. But some are saying that by doing 100 reps, you will recruit more muscle fibers resulting in a gain of strength when going back to a classic workout.
This method is mainly known to even out uneven muscles (such as shoulders) or to recover from an injury. But it is rarely advised to use it for an entire program (only one exercise of your workout).
I still wanted to try this method on a full cycle.
To be honest with you, I have not really gained strength. Weights are too light compared to a conventional workout and after 4 weeks I even think that I lost some strength (hard time to lift an easy bar).
Having said that, I should have done 2 weeks of this method as I have been recommended.
I can’t really say that I had extraordinary results but on the other hand, I’ve never had better congestion. This method also increased my cardio. In fact, what I liked the most about this technique is to completely change my program. I have never made such long sets, such a different program.
I think that this technique is useful if you want to completely get out of your routine, gain in cardio and get ripped, but just a little bit. Method to not use more than 2 weeks for sure!
I have already mentioned this technique in my article Motivation.
Someone will help you to perform a last rep of an exercise that you couldn’t have done if you were on your own.
You are on the bench press with 120kgs on the bar. You perform 9 reps but can’t do the 10th. You spotter will then help you to lift this last rep.
But bear in mind that your spotter should not lift the bar for you. He should only be there to give you a little help when lifting the bar.
This technique is used when trying to gain some strength but mainly to lift heavier.
I find this method quite interesting especially if you struggle on a bar (9 reps of 120kgs for 2 months) and therefore you are looking to be a bit stronger. I managed to increase my max thanks to this technique.
In fact, this ‘extra’ repetition will allow you to perform that same rep on your own after a while.
However you cannot use this method all the time because you have to be with a spotter. It is also a very intense technique therefore not to be used every time at the risk of falling into over training.
This method is very similar to another technique that we will see later.
You start with a compound exercise (poly-articular) and directly perform an isolation exercise for the same muscle.
You start with bench press and directly perform a dumbbell fly without rest between the two exercises. 10 to 12 reps for the compound exercise and 6 to 8 reps for the isolation movement.
When you perform a set, you do a certain number of repetitions before stopping because your muscle is tired. You’ll notice that for compound exercises such as the bench press, you still have some strength in your chest but no more for your triceps and/or shoulders – so you stop your set.
Post-exhaust method overcomes this problem by thoroughly working your muscle. Choosing an isolation movement as a second exercise will allow you to recruit a specific muscle only and make it work until complete exhaustion.
I really like this method especially for biceps and arms in general. In addition to having an excellent congestion, you really work out your muscle until exhaustion. I quickly gained in volume.
However, I think that this method generates fewer results for large muscle groups.
Again, this technique requires a lot of energy so do not use it too often.
This article is quite long so I decided to stop here. However, I have some high-intensity techniques left to explain and I invite you to read the second article on this subject.
Enjoy your training and explore new ways of lifting!