In the life of every strength athlete comes the time when it comes to a stagnation in terms of muscle. intensity techniques are a tried and tested means to overcome such plateaus and continue to gain strength and dry matter. A plateau usually occurs when passing through the training set stimuli are no longer sufficient to cause a fitting reaction of the muscles to the load. This is particularly the case when a concrete training system is carried out with largely consistent exercises over months, without taking into account varied stimuli through the variation of repetition or sentence numbers or exchange exercises intermittently. Thus, intensity techniques serve to set new stimuli, so that the muscles are pushed to their limits and thus must adapt to the new challenges, which manifests itself in the increase of strength and muscle mass. So that you can see through the jungle of intensity techniques, we present you with the eight most effective techniques that you can use to enrich your training.

Drop and supersets

The most well-known intensity technique is the use of drop sets, which are also known as reduction theorems. The principle of drop sets is based on the progressive fatigue of the target muscle to increase the growth stimulus through the increased intensity. You start a drop set with a weight, which you can usually move 8-10 times. Once clean repetition is no longer possible, reduce the weight by 10% and do more repetitions until no more is possible. This process can be repeated freely according to individual preferences. The big advantage of the reduction sets is the variable applicability, since they can be carried out both on machines and with free weights. Only serious basic exercises such as squats and bench press should be done with the help of a training partner, so that the risk of injury minimized. Superset training, on the other hand, is an intensity technique in which two exercises are performed immediately after one another without a break. A distinction should be made between agonistic and antagonistic superset training, which differ in the composition of the trained muscle groups. In agonistic superset training, you perform two exercises in succession for the same muscle, such as barbell curls and scottcurls, to maximize stress on the target muscle in a short time and recruit as many muscle fibers as possible through the aberrant movement patterns. In antagonistic superset training, one exercise each for the biceps, and then one for the "antagonist", the triceps, which results in increased blood flow in the target musculature, ultimately resulting in stretching of the fibrous connective tissue, thus "giving space" to the muscle. for the thickness growth procures.

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Eccentric Training and Super Slow Repetitions

In contrast to the classical strength training, where the focus is on the concentric load, ie the lifting of the weight, concentrates the eccentric training approach on the release of the weight. The great advantage of this intensity technique is that it mainly stresses muscle fibers, which are less involved in concentric training, which means that the full potential of the target muscle is not exhausted by the classical training neither in terms of the maximum possible volume nor on the strength can be. The targeted eccentric training not only causes the growth of the targeted muscle, but also implies the increase in the total force of the target muscle, which can be moved more in the area of ​​concentric training more weight. In practice, the eccentric workout is used at the end of the workout to bring out the muscles. To do this, choose a weight that you can not move cleanly on a concentric path. You move it up with the help of a training partner or your free hand and release it as slowly as possible. This method is particularly suitable for train exercises as well as for curls. The implementation of individual sentences according to the Superslow principle has been one of the most popular intensity techniques since the beginning of bodybuilding. Basically, this form of training does not differ from classic hypertrophy training in terms of sentence and repetition number. The real difference, however, is that each repetition is executed extremely slowly and in a controlled manner, lasting a total of between 8 and 12 seconds. The goal of the technique is to maximize the time that the muscles are under tension, as there is a direct relationship between the duration of the tip contraction and the hypertrophic episode. In principle, every exercise is suitable for carrying out extremely concentrated repetitions, only when carrying out difficult basic exercises should you be protected by a training partner.

Pre-fatigue and forced repetitions

Often, exercisers are faced with the frustrating fact that the involved accessory muscles are fatigued in front of the target musculature, which prevents optimal performance. Consequently, the concept of pre-fatigue follows the approach of fatiguing the target musculature in advance by performing isolation exercises without unduly stressing the auxiliary muscles. Thus, this is no longer the limiting factor in the subsequent complex multi-joint exercise, so that the target muscle can be consistently utilized to increase the potential growth stimulus. So, if the triceps is the limiting factor, it's best to tire yourself with butterflys on the chest before continuing breast training with short or long barb bench presses. Forced repetitions are also classics among the intensity techniques. Basically, forced repetition is nothing more than the support of the concentric phase of movement by the free hand or the training partner in order to finish the current sentence with the targeted repetition number. The focus in the forced repetitions is similar to the eccentric training on the negative movement. The major drawback of this intensity technique, however, is that usually a training partner is needed to complete further repetitions according to this principle.

Advantages and disadvantages of intensity techniques

Intensity techniques offer numerous benefits, all of which aim to maximize the growth stimulus that is generated during the training. Consequently, these techniques primarily help to maximize the individual performance and growth potential of a muscle, which is particularly useful when classical hypertrophy training no longer provides the desired results. Thus, intensity techniques are a welcome and extremely effective tool for overcoming training plateaus through new stimuli so that even advanced athletes are able to get a bit closer to their genetic maximum in terms of natural muscle building. In addition, numerous intensity techniques imply a relatively high training volume with a constant or reduced time frame, so that the training time is significantly reduced, which, among other things, limits the release of the catabolic stress hormone cortisol. The big drawback of intensity techniques, on the other hand, is that most of the time a training partner is needed to use these training forms profitably. Many of these techniques can not be performed by athletes who train alone in Homegym. In addition, a considerable training experience is required for the application of intensity techniques, since these strain the muscles to a greater extent than the classic three-set training, which, if not carried out properly, can lead to injuries to the musculature or the supporting ligament and connective tissue apparatus.


If you are faced with a high performance plateau or you want to add some variety to your workout, intensity techniques are just the way to provide your muscles with new stimuli that stimulate muscle growth. However, you should already have 10 to 12 months of training experience and the ability to interpret your body's signals before venturing into the practice of intensity techniques as this will not only be pointless at an earlier stage, but will also put you at considerable risk of injury incapacitated for a long time in the worst case. But if you have the appropriate experience, you should supplement your training plan with one or the other intensity technique.

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