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Ways to increase the Intensity !

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  • #16
    I gained 12 to 15 lbs, most of it fat, my LBM varied between 101 and 107 lbs, and BF% between 15 and 25% (scale) right now about 105 lbs (at ~ 22% BF).

    After I did my first year of SL 5x5, I did: 3x5, then I did 2 or 3 cycles of 8 weeks Madcow 5x5. Then I tried Wendler for about 8 weeks (was not really successful). I had the most success with Madcow about 2 years back, did my best PRs (meaning tiny improvements) and then had a catastrophic drop in strength. I did 2 Ultimate Diet 2.0 tracks (6 weeks and 4 weeks). I did Ferris based strength training when I did a light warm up, and 1-2 sets of 8 reps with rope jumping in between. I did classic Lyle McDonald's split (4x a week) mixing machines with barbells (dead-end, since I was so exhausted, my lifts were going down). I tried a KB only schedule to Right now I am doing 8-5-3-1 up pyramid at a 2x a week split of SQT-OHP-DL, snatch and BP-BBR and a support day of KBs (or skip) and abs (plus a boot-campy style warm-up in a MA class).

    I still did not build up back to my absolute maxes (155 SQT, 205 lbs DL, 70 lbs OHP and 92 lbs BP (yes, 92 lbs, but never 95) maxes, but seem to be getting there with my micro-loading.

    EDIT: I have to add that I feel about the fittest and healthiest I have ever been in my life, but I am not happy with the padding around the waist (comes with improved sleep and no crazy appetite though) and I still do not have the visible deltoid when arms are not flexed.
    Last edited by Leida; 11-04-2013, 03:09 PM.
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
      lying French presses
      Ha ha what the heck are these? "Mon cherie coffee, you are the most delicious of all the pressed coffees, I shall be faithful to you always, my love."

      Leida, your goal used to be 15% body fat. I believe you confuse low body fat with muscular with strength. If you ate more you could get stronger but you freak out any time you gain any fat so you would sabotage yourself.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #18
        NOT TRUE!

        I have been eating at appetite for over a year and I gained 12-15 lbs at that time. Mostly fat. At NO increase to strength, actually at a decrease. I gained strength at deficits and when I did have gains, waaaay back when.

        That is exactly why I think I have reached the ceiling. The strength is not impacted by how much or what I eat (meat or dairy or starch). Obviously, if I stim with jack3D I lift a little more.
        Last edited by Leida; 11-04-2013, 03:31 PM.
        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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        • #19
          Lying French press with an EZ-bar is one of my all times favorite arm exercises! I do them without locking out on top and when close to failure I lock out on top for a while and do singles rest-pause until full concentric failure. Every once in a while I get a spotter to help me to go beyond concentric failure to blast the eccentrics. Don’t do this if you are newbie lifter or have joint problems, very easy to get a tennis elbow, just saying…
          "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

          - Schopenhauer

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          • #20
            I've just got back in from the gym and today(Maybe because of this thread)I was really aware of just how little intensity people were putting into their workouts. They appear to be just going through the motions, maybe they are not even aware of it ?
            As I worked through some of my sets doing drop sets, negative emphasis reps, partials and static holds I'd open my eyes and often catch someone staring as if they thought I was some crazy guy, they would quickly look away and go back to their 3 sets of 10 reps as was written down by the pathetic excuses for instructors.........do they ever stop to wonder why they look the same year after year ?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
              I've just got back in from the gym and today(Maybe because of this thread)I was really aware of just how little intensity people were putting into their workouts. They appear to be just going through the motions, maybe they are not even aware of it ?
              As I worked through some of my sets doing drop sets, negative emphasis reps, partials and static holds I'd open my eyes and often catch someone staring as if they thought I was some crazy guy, they would quickly look away and go back to their 3 sets of 10 reps as was written down by the pathetic excuses for instructors.........do they ever stop to wonder why they look the same year after year ?
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread83292.html

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Leida View Post
                What do you think I was doing for the past 3 or so years?
                All of the above
                Hey it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong and definitely won't be my last, LOL !

                Maybe you should give the strength routines a break and concentrate on hypertrophy for a while and see where that takes you. Who knows maybe that might be the break your body and mind needs to help blast through that wall !

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Leida View Post
                  NOT TRUE!

                  I have been eating at appetite for over a year and I gained 12-15 lbs at that time. Mostly fat. At NO increase to strength, actually at a decrease. I gained strength at deficits and when I did have gains, waaaay back when.

                  That is exactly why I think I have reached the ceiling. The strength is not impacted by how much or what I eat (meat or dairy or starch). Obviously, if I stim with jack3D I lift a little more.
                  If you've mostly gained fat, then I doubt your diet was geared towards strength/muscle gain.

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                  • #24
                    A good article thanks for sharing, I don't agree on all his points for the most part he's bang on !

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                    • #25
                      Eccentrics or Negatives are another awesome technique.

                      One of my favorite ways of doing these requires a partner, very simply you push the weight up and have your partner apply extra resistance on the way down. Obviously you fight the resistance so your lowering takes maybe twice as long as your lifting.

                      Another easy way is to use Negative emphasis, that is lowering the weight slowly under your own steam and really concentrating on squeezing the muscle and fighting the resistance all the way to the bottom.

                      The most effective of all though is probably Negative only reps. These require a resistance maybe a 1/3rd higher than you would use for regular reps. You have the weight lifted into the upper position or in the case of dips and chin ups just use a bench to get into the top position and lower yourself down taking between around 6-10 seconds. If you can do more than 6-8 reps it's time to up the weight.

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                      • #26
                        The problem I have with this whole idea of intensity is that it tends to be a vague and meaningless term.

                        Are you saying trying to make certain things more difficult is "intense?" How can you be certain making things harder is actually productive?

                        Supposedly making things heavier is more intense and also productive. Even though that may be true, I find that more volume and less heavy is also intense and seems to be more productive.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                          The problem I have with this whole idea of intensity is that it tends to be a vague and meaningless term.

                          Are you saying trying to make certain things more difficult is "intense?" How can you be certain making things harder is actually productive?

                          Supposedly making things heavier is more intense and also productive. Even though that may be true, I find that more volume and less heavy is also intense and seems to be more productive.
                          Within the training cycle, for an intermediate trainee, you manipulate volume and intensity both. Manipulating volume only would be adding more reps but never increasing the weight. Manipulating intensity happens any time you increase the resistance, whether through things like OldSchhool's talking about (making the lift itself harder) or by adding weight to the bar or stack, or more bands, etc...

                          You can also manipulate the intensity curve throughout the exercise, like by adding chains. At this point, you're getting advanced and manipulating multiple parameters at once. For the moment, I personally leave this kind of stuff to Louie Simmons and other very advanced, knowledgeable coaches.
                          The Champagne of Beards

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                            The problem I have with this whole idea of intensity is that it tends to be a vague and meaningless term.

                            Are you saying trying to make certain things more difficult is "intense?" How can you be certain making things harder is actually productive?

                            Supposedly making things heavier is more intense and also productive. Even though that may be true, I find that more volume and less heavy is also intense and seems to be more productive.
                            Exercise intensity is best defined as how hard you are working relative to your momentary ability. If at the beginning of an exercise your muscles are capable of producing one hundred pounds of force but you are only working against a resistance of eighty pounds your intensity is eighty percent. As your muscles fatigue over the course of an exercise the eighty pounds of resistance requires an increasing percentage of your decreasing momentary strength. When your strength has been reduced to just below eighty pounds all of your momentary strength will be required to just hold the resistance and you will be working at one hundred percent intensity.
                            There will always be a time when progression of weights is required to increase size and/or strength but every attempt should be made to squeeze the most out of every set you do if after optimal gains. Intensity is inversely proportional to volume though so if the intensity increases so must the volume decrease. As I have said before the weight is only part of the story especially if after maximum hypertrophy. For example I could get you to pick a weight you can bench press for 10 reps and tweak your technique( which would be virtually unnoticeable to any observers) and you would struggle to get 5 reps....the tension on your chest though would be far greater and cause much deeper inroads into the muscles capacity.

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                            • #29
                              Improving form by putting more tensión on the muscle fibers gives a higher strength intensity and more bangs for the bucks! But traditionally "intensity" have been defined by numbers of reps, where 1 RM is defined as 100 % intensity. The HIT guys defines "intensity" by closeness to failure if I understand them right. Lifting 10 K divided on 100 set and short rests and close to failure will be metabolically much more intense than lifting 2 K and 15 sets and long pauses between the sets and keeping 2-3 reps in the tank. But yes "intensity" is an ambigious term...
                              "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                              - Schopenhauer

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                              • #30
                                I've just got back in from the gym and today(Maybe because of this thread)I was really aware of just how little intensity people were putting into their workouts. They appear to be just going through the motions, maybe they are not even aware of it ?
                                I am lucky, because my gym has a mix of people, and some folks who come at the same time as I do work very interesting routines, from traditional heavy sets to cross-fit stuff to hanging routines.

                                Maybe you should give the strength routines a break and concentrate on hypertrophy for a while and see where that takes you. Who knows maybe that might be the break your body and mind needs to help blast through that wall !
                                We'll see. I am not at all opposed to finally benching 95#, but I won't see it as a tragedy if I never would. As long as I come back to the locker room feeling satisfied with my workout, not the whole "I just went through the motions' feeling you have described above.

                                Because, I think anyone who trained a few months have that innate ability to actually tell if they were challenged by the session, just spent time for nothing better to do or damaged their body after the workout (it's a hindsight, but hey, part of the learning experience, lol).
                                Last edited by Leida; 11-05-2013, 07:16 AM.
                                My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                                When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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