Forced reps are great but these incredible techniques
a whole new world of results for you!
Intensity techniques are among the greatest weapons in your
arsenal for building a truly astonishing physique. However
they are not for everybody. Beginning trainers should
definitely NOT use techniques such as these.
Intensity techniques allow you to push beyond conventional
failure in order to work your muscles harder, providing an
irresistible stimulus for the muscles to get larger and
Try these techniques in your next workouts. You can even
try using several of these techniques in one set if you
really want to work yourself hard. Be careful not to
overuse them, however, as they can be extremely demanding
and difficult for your body to recover from.
1. Triple Drop and Rebound Sets
This is a variation of the Triple Drop Set. The Triple
Drop Set is where you start with a heavy weight, do a set
to failure, reduce the weight, do another set to failure,
reduce the weight a third time and do a final set to
Do the regular Triple Drop Set then quickly go back and
do your starting (heaviest) weight again for a more few
reps. Usually you will be able to get one or two reps
with it. The reason for this is that the last of the
drops uses a lighter weight, which recruits different
muscle fibers than when you are using heavier weights.
2. Isolation/Compound Rebound Sets
Do a Triple Drop Set of an isolation exercise, e.g. flyes,
then immediately go back and use your starting (heaviest)
weights for a set of a compound exercise for that muscle
group, e.g. dumbell bench press.
This is a type of advanced Pre-Exhaust training. Pre-
Exhaust training is when you do an isolation exercise (an
exercise that involves motion at only one joint, such as
a dumbell flye) immediately followed by a compound exercise
(an exercise that involves motion at two or more joints,
such as a bench press).
The idea with the Pre-Exhaust training is to basically
exhaust your target muscle group (in this case the chest),
by first working directly with one exercise, then doing
another exercise that utilizes other muscles to assist it.
This increases the intensity of the work done by the chest
as the assisting muscles will you allow you to push
the chest further.
By utilizing a triple-drop set format for the isolation
exercise, you dramtically increase the exhaustion of the
target muscle, allowing you to push it extremely hard.
3. Jump Sets
This is a way of doing a large number of heavy sets for
several muscle groups without losing as much strength
from set to set.
Jump sets are best used on antagonistic bodyparts such as
back and chest, biceps and triceps, or hamstrings and quads.
For example, if you plan on doing 5 sets of chin-ups and
5 sets of bench, start with 3 sets of chin-ups, then 3 sets
of bench, then go back and do your remaining 2 sets of
chin-ups and 2 sets of bench. The extra rest will allow
you to be stronger on your last 2 sets than you normally
Jumping between antagonistic muscle groups also seems to
benefit strength. This can also be done going back and
forth on every set instead of groups of sets. This is not
a superset - take your normal rest period between each
set. This technique enhances recuperation by providing
more rest to the bodyparts but within the same workout
time. This allows you to do more weight for each exercise.
4. 2 Up - 1 Down Negatives
This is a variation of negative training that is best done
with machines. Use two arms or legs for the positive phase
of the movement then lower it the weight using only one
arm or leg.
This type of negative training is useful if you do not
have a partner to work with as it is done completely solo.
A good example of this technique is the machine bench
press. Set the weight to about half of what you would
normally use for the exercise. Press the weight up with
both arms then remove one and lower the weight with one arm.
When using this technique, you can alternate arms/legs or
do the complete set of reps with the one arm/leg, then the
complete set of reps with the other arm/leg.
5. Combination Sets
With this technique, you will use two different exercises
alternated with each rep, e.g. lying tricep extensions and
close grip bench, dumbell flyes and dumbell press, rows
and deadlifts. You should use exercises that are easily
switched from to the other within a set.
To take the set even further, when you fail on one
exercise, continue with the one you are stronger in until
you fail on that one, too. For example, when combining
rows and deadlifts, continue with deadlifts after failing
on rows. Your legs will help push your back further. This
whole technique is like an extended pre-exhaust superset.
6. Rep Targeting
Set a target of a certain amount of reps and get that
target of reps no matter how many sets it takes you to get
there. For example, if you pick a target of 50 reps on
chin-ups, say you get 30 on the first set. Rest a little
while, e.g. 10 to 30 seconds. Do another set. Say you get
10 reps this time. Rest 10 to 30 seconds again. Get 5 reps.
Rest. Get 3 reps. Rest. Get 2 reps. Done.
A different version of this is what I call Time
Subtraction. The amount of time you rest between sets is
the amount of reps you have left to get to your target.
For example, if your target is 50 and you get 30 reps,
your rest period is 20 seconds. Say on the next set you
get 10 more reps. This leaves you with 10 reps to go so
rest 10 seconds then go again. If you get 4 more reps,
and you have 6 left, rest 6 seconds.
7. Add Sets
These are the opposite of drop sets. Start with a light
weight for high reps and add weight on progressive sets.
This works the slow-twitch, higher rep fibers first, then
the fast-twitch, powerful fibers. This technique works
very well for calves as they recover very quickly. It also
works very well with selectorized machines. You can combine
this technique with drops sets, doing add and drop sets or
drop and add sets like a pyramid.
8. Static Hold Weight Pyramiding
This technique only works on plate-loaded machines or on a
barbell exercise with two spotters.
Start with a moderate weight that you can do a static
contraction with for a long period of time. Hold that
weight in the contracted position of the exercise you are
working, e.g. pec deck.
Have a partner add plates to the machine while you continue
to hold in that static position. Keep adding plates (small
ones such as 2½'s, 5's, 7½'s or 10's work best, depending
on the exercise and your strength levels) until the weight
starts to drop. At that point, pull off one plate. Hold
until it starts to drop again. Pull off one plate and
hold. You may come to a point where your partner is pulling
off weights as fast as he can just to keep up with your
Make sure you have effective communication such as a nod
or a grunt when you want the next plate off or on. Continue
this process until you end up at your original weight (you
can continue to no weight if you want).
This is an incredibly intense static hold and will fatigue
pretty much every muscle fiber in the target muscle group
except for the explosive ones. To hit them as well, when
you are the top of the pyramid using the heaviest weight,
do as many partial, explosive reps as you can in the
You may also wish to try this technique with a barbell
and two spotters. Make sure that they add and remove
weights simultaneously in order to allow you to keep the
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