High-Intensity Training: Your Key to Quicker Strength Gains

High-Intensity Training can help you get stronger, bigger and better, without having to spend hours inside the weight room.

Whether it's the offseason or the middle of your season, training is a must if you want to improve. Although you might think it's difficult to get in a quality workout between work, school, family commitments or a hectic life in general, it's not impossible.

High-Intensity Training (HIT) is a method that can help you get stronger, bigger and better, without having to spend hours inside the weight room. With HIT, it's not about doing the most sets, but it's about making the most out of the sets that you do.

How Does It Work?

HIT calls for2-3 sets per exercise. Your first set is a light set that should help you focus on proper form and getting the muscles firing. You shouldn't feel any pressure to reach failure with this set. if you're going for 12 reps, you should be able to do at least 15-16 but stop at 12 anyway. This initial set will likely be reserved for the one or two primary lifts in your plan on a given day.

For Set 2, you will go a little heavier but still should be able to finish without failing. If this set was to be a 12-rep set, you should strain at rep 12 but still be able to complete it with proper form. All your exercises will have at least this set and the last one.

Your third set is your money set. This is the one on which you go all-out. When you reach the rep count on this one, you should be at total failure. In other words, you can't complete another rep, even if you wanted to. If the set calls for 10 reps and you got 11, you didn't go heavy enough. If you fall short of the rep range, don't worry about it. That's better than going too light. Just make sure you adjust the weight accordingly next time so you're consistently aiming for that goal of getting all your reps but also using all you've got to get those reps.

In between these sets, you should rest no longer than 90 seconds. During this period you could be sipping water, focusing on the next set and taking deep breaths. Don't get lost in chatting or your iPhone, as you might take too much rest time.

The Workouts

This HIT workout is in a three-day split. You'll alternate training days with off days. If you train on Monday, take Tuesday away from the gym. When you're out of the gym, you should focus on eating healthy, doing some form of cardio and resting. This plan is basic but it will work for you, especially if you're new to this type of training. The best part? You should be in and out of the gym in no more than 45 minutes. If you see that an exercise calls for only 2 sets, that means you need to perform just the moderate set and the money set (so no warm-up set).

Day 1: Back & Biceps

  • Bent Over Barbell Row - 3 sets of 15, 10, 8-10 reps.
  • Dumbbell Pullover - 2 sets of 12, 10 reps.
  • Reverse Grip Pulldown - 2 sets of 12, 10 reps.
  • Seated Row - 2 sets of 15, 12 reps.
  • Barbell Curl - 2 sets of 12, 10 reps.
  • Incline Dumbbell Curl - 2 sets of 15, 12 reps.
  • Preacher Machine Curl - 2 sets of 15, 12 reps.

Day 2: Off

Day 3: Legs

  • Squat - 3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps.
  • Leg Press - 2 sets of 20, 15 reps.
  • Single Leg Extension - 2 sets of 20, 15 reps per leg.
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift - 3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps.
  • Standing Leg Curl - 2 sets of 20, 15 reps per leg.
  • Seated Calf Raise - 3 sets of 20, 15, 12 reps.
  • Standing Calf Raise - 2 sets of 20, 15 reps.

Day 4: Off

Day 5: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

  • Incline Barbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 12, 10, 8 reps.
  • Flat Dumbbell Flye - 2 sets of 12, 10 reps.
  • Decline Barbell Bench Press - 2 sets of 12, 10 reps.
  • Seated Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 12, 10, 8 reps.
  • Rear Delt Flye - 2 sets of 12, 10 reps.
  • Overhead Dumbbell Extension - 2 sets of 12, 10 reps.
  • Rope Pressdown - 2 sets of 12, 10 reps.

Day 6: Off

Day 7: Repeat Sequence, Starting With Day 1 Workout

Photo Credit: Galaxia/iStock

READ MORE:


Topics: SQUAT | DEADLIFT | BUILD MUSCLE | WORKOUT PLAN | BICEP CURL | STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING | HIGH INTENSITY | ROW