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Fitness Tips For 1/28/2015
Your Intensity Threshold
by Donnie Whetstone
Intensity is the active ingredient in all exercises. Yet intensity
alone is only part of the equation. Consistency is another element
that is needed. The two make an unbeatable pair in getting the
quickest adaptive response from the body.
Now this is not indigenous to just bodybuilders who are no strangers
to this concept. The general public has a lot to gain from it. This
is evident with the medical community acknowledging the benefits of
intensity in training.
As a Certified Personal Trainer it's the base of my business,
providing consistent, intense workouts for my clients. However, here
is where it get tricky. Not everyone has the same intensity
There are a number of factors that can affect a person's intensity
threshold. Some are controllable like diet and lifestyle. Some are
not like injuries, age and hereditary conditions like hypertension
are a few. This does not mean all is lost. It means it will take
longer to accomplish the goal.
The consistent intense workouts that I do are the primary reason
why I eat well all year around. Of course I don't walk around with
a chastity belt around my mouth but I do keep the eating in
perspective. With intense training there is a definite correlation
between performance in the gym and activity out of the gym. When
clients experience this, then the need for a lifestyle change is
realized. The amount of intensity needed in a workout depends on
how far and fast an individual wants to go.
Competitive bodybuilding is the extreme side of the spectrum. Holding
the cliché "Drastic results require drastic means". Fortunately
extremes are not necessary for the general public to get intensity in
their workouts. During the course of a workout I get and keep my
clients in an area I refer to as the zone. It's an area outside of
their comfort zone and yet they are still able to efficiently
complete their workout. How far a client can train efficiently in
this zone is their intensity threshold.
The second catch is the consistency. Which means if a client trains
with me 3 days a week for 30 sessions, then their subsequent workouts
must be as intense or a bit more intense that the previous for the
entire 30 sessions. The body then adapts to the consistent stress
imposed on it which brings about change.
There are a number of ways to add more intensity to a workout that
is lacking it. The most basic is to increase the weight of an
exercise. I love heavy weights but heavy is not a prerequisite for
increasing intensity which is a common misconception. Rule of thumb
when I'm with clients is moderate poundage. Challenging but
Another way to increase the intensity is by increasing the rep or set
range, still using moderate poundage. This is an excellent method of
heating things up a bit. Speed is also effective. Not in terms of rep
speed but rest between sets. Then there are the ATP's, Advanced
Training Principles. Superset, tri-sets, compound sets, force reps,
negatives, continuous tension, rest pause (my favorite) and a slew
of others I will talk about in the future.
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Your Intensity Threshold
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assume any liability for the information contained herein.
The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion
of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice.
Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed
health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you
begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.