Everyone in the fitness and bodybuilding industry talks about intensity . Supplement companies develop, manufacture, and sell products with the intensity of your workouts in mind. Intensity seems to be the holy grail of any achievement in our physique, regardless of our goals.
But What is intensity? According to the definition of Dictionary.com «, intensity is doing something that costs us or the degree of force with which it manifests a phenomenon (a natural agent, a physical quantity, a quality, an expression, etc.). »
This sounds good, but what does this mean in terms of reaching our goals? Anyone who has developed their own exercise protocol is going to try to persuade you to believe that their method is the best. We know that many programs work, but not everyone gets results. Many authors of strength training will say that intensity is one repetition maximum. Others will say that high intensity training is carrying out an exercise until muscle failure. Many times we see in the photos of magazines that they try to visually encapsulate the intensity of the workouts of a professional bodybuilder or athlete. Doing the same routines that we see in these magazines does not mean that we will have the same level of intensity that is shown in the photos.
My take on intensity : We can spend all day trying to visualize, quantify, and define, but it will be useless for us if we don’t apply it! I am not going to create a new exercise program, but I am going to encourage you to question what you are currently doing. The intensity application to reach your goals around three qualities: hard work, focus / goals and believing in yourself.
Work is the first quality needed to apply intensity. I’ve mentioned before that many programs work, but not everyone gets results. Most of the time it is because the athlete is not working hard enough for results.
Can you train to fail? That topic is from another article that I already wrote a while ago. If you always work to failure you will have to significantly reduce the volume of your training to avoid the drainage of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Muscles may be able to recover, but if your central nervous system doesn’t, you won’t be able to complete successive workouts with the same intensity.
Without focus or attention, there is no purpose to hard work. Setting your goals defines your focus . If your goal is to be a bodybuilder and increase your muscle mass , then you should be focused on using optimal and perfect form for each exercise, with a full range of motion , a good muscle pump, and setting a goal that is only cosmetic in nature. If your goal is to increase your strength, then your focus is on increasing the amount of weight lifted over a period of time and setting a goal that is measurable. If your goal is to become a better athlete, then your attention or focus is on developing the functional strength that will lead to your chosen activity and improve your skills in that activity. While many people would like to have all three of these characteristics at the same time, it is probably best to focus on just one at a time. You must have a clear focus in order to apply the appropriate level of intensity necessary to achieve your goals.
Focus is also what makes intensity effective.
Believe in yourself
In order to apply a maximum level of intensity that you need to achieve the desired results you have to believe in yourself and believe in the training method you choose to employ. What’s the point of following a specific training plan, if you don’t believe in your ability to execute that plan, or even your own plan?