Don’t Resist Resistance: Raising The Bar on Intensity

Nothing produces faster and more dramatic change in the human body than working out with short bursts of high intensity that’s characteristic of a properly executed strength or resistance program.

Circuit training is a great way to get more intensity out of less resistance, and is appropriate for anyone who has limited time and equipment. More closely resembling an aerobic program, circuit training has become a boom in the fitness industry over the last ten years because of its adaptability and overall safety. If your goals are strictly toning and reducing body fat, and you're not as interested in building muscle mass or brute strength, circuit training could make an excellent choice.

If you're not comfortable with the rapid pace of circuit training, stick to a more traditional program with a somewhat longer recovery between sets (one to three minutes). Shorter rest and higher reps build endurance and tone, while longer rests and low rep ranges build muscle and strength. Customize your routine accordingly.

4. Increased Volume

Adjusting the total number of sets performed per exercise is another way to vary overall intensity. Intensity adds up, so that one very intense set can deliver as much as two or three moderately intense efforts. The more intensely you train, the less you need to do. If you don't want to crank up intensity, add another set or two.

5. Increased Resistance

This will be the topic of an upcoming article on Double Progressive Resistance.


Simply showing up at the gym and going through the motions will deliver only a minimal amount of real results. Take each exercise seriously and apply one or all of the above intensity boosters. Make every set count. The old standby intensity booster, increased resistance, is the topic of my next article, Double Progressive Resistance. Please stay tuned...