Chapter from My Book The Next Level Body: Intensity

 Intensity

When a lot of people hear the word intensity they have no clue what it means.

To them, intensity is when you become crazy and with loose screws.

This isn’t the case.

Intensity just means that you need to go all out on everything you do.

Go all out with each working set in the gym.

The 1 heavy set is the only one that matters.

Once you learn and apply that principle, you will make faster gains.

To do this you can’t be distracted.

You need one hour of all in commitment and total focus.

That means put on your headphones and get ready for the low volume high intensity attack.

When you’re training with intensity, it’s important to avoiding wasting energy on light weight.

Use the light weight as a warm up tool.

Don’t over exert yourself and become tired before your heavy set.

After your warm up the objective is to go all out to failure for one set.

This means that you need to make sure you take enough rest and are ready for this killer set.

How to train to failure

  • Control the eccentric (negative part of the lift)
  • 3-1 tempo, 3 seconds on the way down, 1 explosive concentric on the way up
  • Hold the contraction for 1-2 seconds at the top
  • Repeat the process

When you’re training to failure for one set, it’s critical that you remove momentum from your reps.

Momentum is terrible for muscle gains.

You want total muscle control during your set.

If you have to use momentum, the weight is too heavy.

The controlled eccentric will increase time under tension, which in turn will promote more muscle gains.

These exercises are to be taken through the full range of motion.

That means all the way down and all the way up.

Doing this will lead to the most long term muscle gains.

The more intense you train the more muscle you will build.

Now, you might be wondering what that means.

For starters, when you’re in the gym, the whole purpose is to create muscle damage.

You need to create muscle damage in the gym so that the body can grow and come back stronger.

You don’t grow in the gym.

You grow outside of the gym.

Training intensely to failure means you’re only going to train 3-4 times per week.

I train 4, although some people make great gains with 3 times per week.

If you do these workouts correctly you will need some days to let your body recover.

You need 6-10 hours of sleep and proper nutrition to recover from these hardcore workouts.

Take the recovery and eating just as seriously as you take training.

Back to the training.

The lack of momentum when lifting the weight, means that your muscles will be getting all of the work.

When you train this way you will be sore for several days, and it will make recovery even harder.

This is why you need to be out of the gym by 1 hour.

If you can’t get it done in one hour you wasted your time.

4 day per week HIT Training

Legs:

  • Squats: Warm up- 1 Heavy all out set 6-9 reps
  • Hack squats: 1 set 12-15 reps
  • Vertical leg press: 1 set 20-25 reps
  • Reverse hack squat: 1 set 6-9 reps
  • Romanian dead-lift: 1 set 12 reps
  • Leg curls: 1 set 6-9 reps
  • Single leg curl: 1 set 12 reps per leg
  • Standing calf raises: 1 set 15 reps
  • Seated calf raises: 1 set 15 reps
  • Donkey calf raises: 1 set 12 reps

Chest shoulders and triceps Day 2:

  • Incline bench press: warm up then 1 heavy set 6-9 reps
  • Flat bench press: 1 heavy set 6-9 reps
  • Incline dumbbell press: 1 heavy set 8 reps
  • Dumbbell pull over: 1 heavy set 8 reps
  • Side lateral raises: 1 heavy set 8 reps
  • Bent over side lateral rear delt raises: 1 set 12 reps
  • Tricep extensions with bar: 1 set 12-15 reps to failure
  • Dip machine: 1 heavy set 12 reps

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Back and Biceps

Weighted chin ups: 1 heavy set 5-7 reps

Dead-lifts: 1 heavy set 6-8 reps

Seated machine shrugs: 1 heavy set: 10-12 reps

Barbell bicep curls: 1 set 8 reps

Dumbbell hammer curls: 1 set 8 reps

Preacher curl machine: 1 set 15 reps

Day 5: Legs or weakest body part, use the same exercises

This system works, the low volume with heavy weight will allow you to build hard dense muscle.

Use the same exercises every workout and focus on getting stronger on those exercises.

Use progressive overload.

This means that you focus on adding weight, or doing more reps with the same weight.

On heavy compound movements, once you can do 12 reps, it’s time to increase the weight.

If you can’t do 6 reps, you went too heavy and you need to stick with the same weight.

I repeat, don’t change the exercises.

Do the same exercises and focus on getting stronger on those exercises.

This might seem like super low volume.

I assure you this is enough to grow muscle, provided that you lift heavy enough and eat enough food.

The whole purpose of training is progressive overload.

1 week you bench press 225 lbs for 5 reps, the next week you do it for 8.

When you continuously make this kind of progress you’re setting yourself up for success in building your body.

Focus most of your efforts on getting strong in the 6-8 rep ranges on these exercises.

What exercises to focus on in the gym

  • Squats
  • Romanian dead-lift
  • Dead-lift
  • Weighted chin ups
  • Incline bench press
  • Flat bench press
  • Power cleans

If you focus on getting stronger on these exercises, you will build a great body.

None of these exercises require any special equipment except a dip belt, for weighted chin ups.

Weighted chin ups are great because they work your back and biceps at the same time, if you go heavy enough.

When you’re doing weighted chin ups, make sure that you control the eccentric portion of the exercise.

When you’re squatting or dead-lifting, make sure that you fill your stomach up with as much air as possible.

Brace your core tight, as if you were about to take a stomach punch from Mike Tyson.

On the incline bench press, lower the barbell slightly below your chin, this places the emphasis on the upper chest muscles.

The upper chest is an area that most people lack.

This is due to too much flat bench pressing.

The flat bench press is still a great exercise.

Focus on the incline bench press first.

Do the incline bench press before the flat bench.

This way you get a full development of the pecs.

Another detail to remember is that incline bench is harder than flat bench.

Flat bench allows you to lift more weight than the incline bench press.

The stronger you get on incline bench press, the stronger you’ll be on the flat bench press.

Just remember that the intensity that you use on your heavy sets is most important for creating the stress needed for your body to grow.

Intensity over volume.

Intensity builds immensity.

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Thank you for reading.