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Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:39 am
When you are working out there are a few things we can control. The program or type of lifts, the volume (sets x reps), and the weight. The other, often over looked element, is the intensity. I sometime wonder when reading posts about people struggling with a lift that maybe they are not bringing the intensity. I know from personnel experience that there are days when I can only muster the drive to show up. So, do you go home on those days? How important is intensity to your success with your lifts? I feel it is huge.
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:44 pm
By "intensity" I assume you are referring to mental focus, or determination. There is a technical definition of intensity which is something like load times reps divided by time.
Yeah, there are days when I don't feel like giving it my all in the gym. On the other hand, I have learned that I am perfectly capable of driving my body to unsafe limits, so I have to dampen my "intensity" by planning and reason.
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:10 pm
Higgy wrote:When you are working out there are a few things we can control. The program or type of lifts, the volume (sets x reps), and the weight. The other, often over looked element, is the intensity. I sometime wonder when reading posts about people struggling with a lift that maybe they are not bringing the intensity. I know from personnel experience that there are days when I can only muster the drive to show up. So, do you go home on those days? How important is intensity to your success with your lifts? I feel it is huge.
Mmm I guess it's something I'll have to discover later on with a couple of years more experience but...
I find all that "intense" means is short rest - today for example I only got out 4 exercises in 45 minutes, it was hard work, I felt tired, I added 2.5k to my press (go me ;) ) and my squats felt like good form... it was a good work out.
But it wasn't intense...
Intense was before christmas, i kinda felt at my peak, no interuptions, three times a week for months
- and I added HIIT to my routine twice a week (monday was 5x5, wednesday was "light" 3x3 plus hiit, friday was PR day doubles/triples + hiit) That friday HIIT after trying for new squat records was totally draining... thankfully I work in an office so I could just drink, eat and breathe for an hour afterward.
The only difference IMO was that I increased my ability to sprint and likely helped my cardio capacity - I dont think it was somehow a 20% better work out than my monday, I just happened to be in a phase where I wanted to cut body fat down.
So... as I plainly put it... the intensity came with combining HIIT with my lifting, and that intensity didn't IMO do much else except tire me out and have the bennefit of cardio/sprint capacity.
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:01 pm
I can think of about 4 different types of intensity. All have benefits that are worth pursuing. I put example in brackets.
1 - heavy, as in percentage of max - (5-3-1) increases strength.
2 - effort, as in taking higher rep sets to failure multiple sets - (GVT) builds mass.
3 - elevated heart rate - (HIIT) builds cardio and lung capacity and iIncreases EPOC.
4 - maximum work in a limited time - (EDT) builds work capacity and endurance.
There may be other benefits but in almost all cases intensity trumps other factors. Of course you have to ensure proper recovery and nutrition needs are met.
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:39 pm
Personally I think the workouts you do on the days were your not really feeling it is what can seperate you from the rest.
Working out when your in the mood is easy, having the dedication to not miss a workout and do what you can on the day is what most people can't be bothered to do.
If i'm doing a workout and not feeling it I try an remind myself that being here doing it is what is going to get me where I want to be.
Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:26 am
As has been said "intensity" can mean different things to different people. In this thread it seems to be with regards to effort so i'm going with that deffinition.
Anyway, i'm a big believer in it. Infact I think the first year or 2 of training, if you eat enough and train with consistent "intensity" then whatever you're doing will work well.
I'll always opt for some kind of intensity. It's probably what I love most about training. If I go in feeling like crap for whatever reason and I just know the heavy weights won't happen, i'll lighten the weight, increase the reps, and keep the rest shorter. So you still get that intensity without further frying your CNS with heavy weights. Although if these days are consistent then you really need to look at your diet or sleep/rest.
I spend a lot of time in a commercial gym, and one of the things I notice all the time is that most people don't train with any intensity. Remember most people in commercial gyms don't get results. Really though, it's a joke. Most are training with the same intensity required to enjoy a warm bath or a nice Sunday Drive to nowhere. Even when they're actually doing their sets, there's hardly any intensity. Sometimes you "hear" what sounds like intensity but really they've been watching too many ronnie colemen videos. I'm deffinitly not against "grunting" but I am against grunting for the sake of sounding like you're actually doing something. What I like about this is it secretly infuriates me so it helps me train with more intensity
Anyway, rant over I guess!
Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:28 am
@ KPj: That is exactly what I am talking about. I to am driven nuts by people who come into the gym and have little intensity. I could care less about the weight you lift but have huge respect for those that put in the effort. And I know exactly what you are referring to regarding "grunting". I have no problem with the occational grunt but there are a few who use it to draw attention to themselves I guess.