“INTENSITY & Progressive Overload”.
Read that again. I can never fail to emphasize it’s importance when it comes to getting consistent results at the gym.
They are the key to muscle growth and burning more calories.
But sadly HOME WORKOUTS comparatively aren’t challenging enough for our body.
Many of us would be failing to match the same-earlier intensity level that our bodies are adapted to.
“Damn! Just pumping up with the resistance bands at home isn’t doing the job as well! It has never been so easier”.
“These home workouts are feeling like a piece of cake”.
Obviously, you would go heavy if you had access to weights. But how would you increase the intensity of the workouts if you aren’t having many weights?
(1) Decrease the time between your Sets
Irrespective of the exercises you’re doing, just keep the rest intervals between sets as short as possible depending upon your cardiovascular fitness levels.
This will put the metabolic stress on your body.
Put ON that stopwatch on your mobile and track those seconds.
Shorter the rest interval, more challenging the workout for you it would be. Don’t cheat, be consistent with your timings.
10-30 secs rest between the sets would be great.
Beginners don’t go too hard on this. Adjust your rest timings accordingly if your heart is thumping too fast!!
Even if you’re increasing the rest time, it shouldn’t be till the extent when your heartbeat goes back to normal.
(2) Play around with the Rep Speed (Training Tempo)
Try doing the reps in a fast tempo (controlled-way, not just swinging the weights with momentum. I’m assuming that at least you’re having a pair of dumbells at home with you).
As soon as you finish the set of fast reps, you’ll try to push some more reps slowing down the tempo at the eccentric/negative phase (lowering down).
If you’re doing the biceps curls, you will extend it slowly maintaining the muscle-mind-connection feeling the burn. Feel the pump and the muscle moving.
Remember – Time Under Tension? The eccentric part of the movement is the hardest and the most demanding.
Try playing around with the tempo which should make you struggle to score those last reps.
This can make you feel even the ‘lighter loads’ intense. Try 3-4 seconds on the negatives before you blast the weight to the top!
(3) Going Full ROM followed by the Partial Reps
Blast that muscle doing full reps (full range of motion) followed by the partial reps.
Your focus while doing the partial reps would be on the eccentric part of the movement.
Yeah, just the way you’ve seen those bodybuilders doing it.
You’ll also recruit maximum muscle fibers this way and half reps on top of the full ones would be cherry on the cake!!
(4) Paused Reps
Paused reps will enforce you to use your strength to explode the weights to the top.
You’ll get better with the explosive movements.
Works even with the bodyweight squats and lunges.
Try pausing it down and mix-match any of these methods till it gets freaking challenging for you.
Make sure you maintain the correct posture and balance, focusing on the form while pausing and exploding.
“Keep in mind that you are trying to intensify your workout making the most of it, and not looking for the easier way out”.
If you’re doing it easily, the workout isn’t intense enough yet.
This method works great with the compound movements!!
(5) Doing Super-Sets
Try doing 2 exercises of opposite muscle back-to-back. Another way is doing back-to-back exercises of the same muscle.
This will also decrease your inter-set rest time and you’ll be hitting two muscles back to back overloading them in a very less time i.e more total work achieved in less time.
The metabolic stress is real in this. BURN BURN BABY, sweet pain!!
#BONUS (6) Increase Reps/Sets/Overall Volume of the Workout
Intensity and Volume go hand in hand.
When intensity goes up, the volume goes down and vice versa.
Here we’re focusing on maximizing the intensity. But with the home workouts, try to keep both of them on the higher side.
The intensity of your home workouts anyhow won’t be matching with your gym sessions. The primary element of HIGHER LOADS would be missing.
So it would be a good idea to keep the reps, sets, and the overall volume of the workout little more to overload your muscles as much as you can.
It would be a bit difficult to overload your muscles if the primary element i.e LOAD is missing out from the equation.
But still, these methods would do an amazing job making you burnout and your home workouts worthwhile!
Even If you have a pair of dumbbells at home, blend & match these methods together and figure out which one works best for you.