prevent strength plateaus with high intensity training

You have already established a solid strength training history.  You have a strong strength conditioning basis on which to build.  You have reached a plateau in your training and you are highly motivated to push yourself ever onward.

Maybe it’s time for you to begin high intensity training.  In the weight room.  Oh yes, it is very possible.  Without spending more time in the weight room, you can increase the intensity of your training regimen.

You will need a longer recovery periods from high intensity training, so you’ll want to mix it with lighter training days or rest days.  Remember, it is during rest/recovery that you get stronger and prevent training injuries.

Once or twice a week is plenty for a high intensity workout.  Keep the training time to about 30 – 45 minutes and about 10 exercises.

Here are a couple of ways to change up your lifting to increase your intensity:

  1. a basis of strength

    Breakdown or Drop Set Training:  Begin with a normal training set where you complete 10ish reps to fatigue (after warm up).  When you’re at muscle failure, continue to perform reps, in rapid succession, with decreasing weight.  Drop 5 – 25% of the weight so you can do 2 – 4 more reps (more is okay if your form stays top notch).  Drop again, drop again.  This type of training is easiest to implement with free weights and on selectorized/cable equipment.

  2. Negative Training:  Generally you train the negative (the eccentric contraction) by adding resistance on the lowering (muscle lengthening) phase of any lift.  Eccentric training lets you add about 30% more force.  Be aware that this type of training is likely to result in DOMS.

There are other methods of high intensity weight training too, so you never have to get stale in your progress or bored with your workout.  The weight room is lego-land . . . it has the potential for infinite workout routines!

I want to share the words of a friend from her facebook status:

Michelle B…wants to thank Wendy for officially giving me the best weight routine in the world!!!!  Not only is it intense and working but it is fun too!! I love you Wendy!!!!!