Finding a New Intensity Level When Exercising

April 10, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

The body is a funny thing. When a new exercise regimen is started, the body will quickly show results. The changes will continue for a while and then, suddenly, the progress seems to stop. The body hits a plateau and nothing more seems to happen. This is the telltale signal that a shakeup is needed, and changing training intensity is one way to do it.

There are different ways to boost training intensity, even advice for a best pre workout to help provide intensity resources, but they all can go back to the same results as the body gets used to a new format over time. Instead, a person needs to remember to keep changing the routine and process. Increasing intensity often includes doing far more than just the same routine faster; doing exercises different can force the body to train harder learning a process all over again.

Repetition – as noted earlier, more sets is the first level of increased intensity. Most exercising people do this almost naturally as their capacity increases. However, when the plateau kicks in, more sets alone won’t increase training results. So variation in increased sets can potentially overcome this problem.

Take a Quick Rest – many exercise approaches require the same level of work to maintain results once gained. However, the body still needs to rest and recover in between. Taking breaks now and then allows the body to recover, rebuild, and improve intensity with a rested system. A typical example is to avoid hard exercising every 6th week.

Build Up Endurance – Intensity can come from very fast and very hard exercises, but results can also be seen from very slow, controlled exercise as well. Consider lifting a barbell. Most people can lift a 35 lb barbell in a few seconds. Now take a full minute to lift it slowly from bottom to top. That’s a different story. The muscle has to work far harder to maintain holding the barbell as well as lifting. Slow, controlled work can definitely increase endurance for long-term intensity gains.

Pushing One More Time – Most people know what their limit is before they feel exhausted. However, pushing the body one more time forces it to produce muscle power just a bit further. Doing this regularly causes the body to build capacity. That said, the last lift or mile ran should not be done with a spotter or someone’s help. It only works when the person exercising does the actual work 100 percent.

Graduate Down – Particularly with lifting a workout with a heavy set of weights will have a limit of how many reps can be done. However, by immediately taking some weights off, or graduating down, a bit more exercise can be had on the same muscle group before full exhaustion. You will be surprised how easy it can be to push a bit more with some of the weights removed after a heavier session.

Change Up the Routine – The body automatically gets comfortable with routine, so changing up exercises erratically forces it to compensate with greater capacity to handle different stress factors. Changing a routine keeps the body guessing, and it keeps it working versus hitting a plateau.

In most cases, increasing exercise intensity often involves thinking differently than what’s been done for the last few weeks. The body often follows the brain, so when your thinking is outside the box, the body’s exercise will be as well. This in turn often increases training intensity with new challenges as well as new goals to reach.

Emille Stone is an endurance athlete and story teller who loves to help people engage with life better.

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