Exercise is necessary for everyone! A minimum of 30-40 minute workouts, four days a week is highly recommended to lead a healthy life. People engage with different activities like yoga, lifting weights, running, playing a sport, dancing, or even simply walking. All these will help you live a long healthy life. Your hard work today will benefit you now and in the future. These physical activities will keep you healthy longer and also improve the aging process.
When it comes to working out, over time a common frustration is boredom and loss of incentive. When the progress is slow, it’s difficult to stay motivated and we become frustrated when we don’t see results which can often be due to unhealthy eating habits or an unhealthy lifestyle. But what about when you get bored and/or reach a plateau doing the same workout every day?
To avoid such situations, Designs For Sport recommends these tips to help you to increase your workout intensity. But before that, it’s important to know why you should increase your workout intensity.
Why should I increase my workout intensity?
We all want a healthy body and for that, we need to sweat. Gradually boosting one’s workout intensity will provide the best results. By doing the same workout again and again, our bodies become accustomed to the workout, we become more disconnected, and start getting fewer results. So spicing up your workout will provide more results and help mentally as well.
Overall health and fitness are important on both the inside and outside. By increasing one’s workout intensity, you will burn more calories and fat and start to build lean muscle mass. The intensity increase will help your body get on the right path for positive change and results.
How to increase workout intensity?
Anytime you change your workout routine, including increasing workout intensity, be very cautious to avoid injuries. Be sure to practice these recommendations under the supervision of an experienced trainer.
1. Lift Heavier Weights
If weight lifting is your thing, challenge yourself by continuously raising your dumbbell weight. When you are trying to hike the intensity, start buckling up and lifting heavier weights. You can improve your strength training program by overloading your muscles. Overloading of muscles means you should lift more weight than your body is used to. During this process, your body will become stronger and build lean muscle tissue.
Remember not to overdo this and to take it slowly. You do not want to injure yourself and safety is as important as proper form. Try to do as many reps as possible, if it is more than 15 or 16, gradually increase the weight in the next set, but remember to not overexert yourself.
2. Strive For Compound and Combination Movement
People who are already into strength training and lifting at the gym are familiar with compound exercises. For those who are new to this world, compound and combination exercises are movements that require the use of more than one muscle group. The effect of these moves will be on a group of muscles, and not limited to just a single body part.
These exercises are not just excellent fat-burning techniques, but also a wonderful way to increase intensity. This will improve your strength training as well as aid you to lift more weight. You are probably already doing some compound and combination moves without knowing it, so you can try adding in more exercises to improve your workout session. Examples of compound movements are tricep dips, lunges, squats, rows, and deadlifts.
Compound exercises also save time as you do more in less time and improve your endurance and balance, as well as stability. Try the following compound moves for better results:
- Kickbacks with one leg extended at hip-level
- Pull up and chin up
- Inverted bodyweight row
- Deadlift with lunge press
3. Interval Training
Increase your workout intensity by altering between short bursts of power and resting intervals. Recovery time is necessary in between sets.
Some of the ways to practices interval training are:
- Aerobic Interval Training- This session is best for beginners. Kick it up a notch higher than a moderate zone for a short time, then slow down to recover. For example, you can walk for 3 minutes and then run for 3 minutes.
- Anaerobic Interval Training- This training is for experts and advanced people. For this method, push yourself as hard as you can for a short interval, then rest briefly. For example, run for 4-5 minutes and then sprint for 40-60 seconds.
- Measured Intervals- In this training, you work hard for a definite period or distance, then recover for a predetermined time. And then repeat the same.
- Varied Intervals-For this approach, push as hard you can for as long as you can, then recover for as long as you can to get ready for the next tough interval.
4. Increase Time Under Tension
Time Under Tension, or TUT is the total amount of work you put on the muscles. It’s important to remember not to practice for too long because this method can increase the risk of injury. You might be wondering how slowing down will improve intensity, but it will.
For weight lifting, increase the time it takes for each rep by slowing down each move to increase the effectiveness. For example, if you are doing 12 reps of an exercise, try to do each rep in 4-5 seconds. By continuous training in this manner, you will begin to see the results more quickly. This will increase the stress on your muscles which is important to build lean body mass.
You can also change the duration of a set to reach the goal. For regular strength training, the amount of TUT is around 20 seconds. For hypertrophy, it is about 40 seconds, and for muscular endurance, it is about 70 seconds. To further increase intensity, make a 1-2 second pause at the top of the movement instead of immediately lowering the weight.
5. Circuits, Supersets and Dropsets
In a routine of straight sets we perform the routine with 3-4 sets of each exercise with 12-15 reps of each exercise. It provides results, but there is no harm in spicing things up and increasing workout intensity. You can practice supersets, circuits and dropsets to get better results.
The superset is a process in which you perform two exercises, right one after another without a rest inbetween. This will allow your heart and muscles to pump up and it is a great way to improve intensity.
Circuit training is a type of training in which you perform the entire workout as a circuit. For example, perform five exercises one after another without rest, and only rest after the completion of one circuit. You can perform the circuit 3-4 times as per your goal or time. While doing this you can go for fewer weights because it is an intense workout. This is also an excellent cardio session for your body where you will sweat a lot.
Dropsets is a way of training where you continue doing the exercise by lowering or dropping the weight. For example, you perform your usual set but after completion instead of stopping, you continue doing that exercise by dropping the weight stack until you hit failure, as in you can no longer perform another rep. You can perform this by using multiple or single weight drops.
Remember, all these types of training require the supervision of an expert. Do not overdo them and take it slow, as there is a high risk of injury.
These tips will be really helpful for achieving better results. Do not practice all these techniques at once, rather try each one out for a period of time to figure out which is best for you.
As well as these tips, your mentality is also important. Workout with a positive mindset. Don't get disheartened, even if you do not get immediate results. Keep working hard on yourself and be patient. Take care of injuries and perform each exercise with proper form and technique.