Workout progress stalled? It is likely to be time to up your density training.
If you’re an everyday exerciser, you’re accustomed to phrases like “sets,” “reps,” and “load” — all of which you’ll alter to make a exercise more difficult or simpler.
Featured in Autumn Calabrese’s newest fitness program, 9 Week Control Freak, “density” is one other such variable.
And when you be taught to work with it, density training is usually a useful device for getting stronger, building muscle, and burning fats quicker.
Here’s the right way to use it.
What Is Workout Density?
“Essentially, density refers to the amount of work you perform per unit of time,” says Angelo Poli, ISSN, creator of the MetPro exercise and nutrition app.
The quicker you full a exercise, the upper your exercise density.
Let’s say that final week you carried out three sets of ten reps of barbell curls with 40 kilos on the bar.
This week, you wish to see if you are able to do a little bit higher (that’s the purpose of figuring out, proper?).
How may you do it?
- You may enhance the weight and carry out the identical reps and sets.
- You may enhance your reps and do an additional rep or two on the finish of every set.
- You may enhance your sets, performing a fourth set.
- Finally, you possibly can carry out the identical exercise you probably did final week — sets, reps, and weight — in much less time than you probably did it final week. In so doing, you’d be jacking up your exercise density.
Increasing the density of a exercise locations the next demand in your muscle tissues, forcing them to adapt and develop.
It additionally places the next demand in your metabolism, driving your coronary heart fee up and burning extra energy per minute.
According to Poli, you may enhance density in one in every of two methods.
“Either you do more work in the same period or the same amount of work in a shorter time period,” he says. Either manner, you’re putting the next demand in your muscle tissues — and are due to this fact progressing.
What’s the Difference Between Interval Training and Density Training?
While you may carry out each interval training and density training on the clock, there are necessary distinctions between them.
In an interval exercise, you sometimes carry out repeated bouts of a single exercise — often a cardio exercise like sprinting or leaping rope.
The work interval — both primarily based on distance (“200-meter sprint”) or time (“20 seconds”) — is ready, as is the remaining interval between bouts (“90 seconds between bouts”).
So a sprinter performing a exercise consisting of “8 x 300m sprints; 2 min rest” would do a 300-meter dash, take a two-minute break, then repeat that sequence eight instances.
You can use interval training to extend pace, energy, cardiovascular endurance, and burn fats.
By distinction, density training often consists of circuits of a number of completely different exercises, typically combining strength, calisthenics, cardio, and plyometric strikes in a single session.
As an instance of a density exercise:
- The rep depend of every transfer and period of your complete exercise is pre-set (say, 20 minutes).
- The exerciser tries to suit as many rounds of the circuit into that time-frame as attainable.
- The clock begins the second the exercise begins and continues to run till time is up.
- Your “score” is what number of rounds — or parts of a spherical — you carry out within the time allotted.
So you may arrange a circuit consisting of 5 pushups, three pull-ups, ten lunges with 10-pound dumbbells, 30 jump-rope jumps, and 5 leg raises.
Then you may set the clock for fifteen minutes, cycle via the exercises as effectively as you may, resting as little as attainable between exercises till time has elapsed.
If you’ve finished the exercise earlier than, you may enhance the density by attempting to carry out the identical variety of rounds in 13 minutes as an alternative of 15.
Either manner, density training is an effective way to slot in quite a lot of quantity — reps, and sets — in a brief period of time, which is an effective way to construct muscle and will burn extra fats as effectively.
What about HIIT?
HIIT training — or high-intensity interval training — is next-level interval training.
You can carry out interval training at any depth. Sprinting up Dead Man’s Hill, and strolling again down, time and again for half an hour is an interval exercise.
But so is 10 minutes of alternating 60-second treadmill walks with 60-second relaxation intervals.
When you carry out HIIT, you’re employed as quick or as exhausting as attainable throughout your work intervals — no holding again.
You may get slower because the exercise progresses, however it’s best to nonetheless work as exhausting as you may throughout every work interval. Like density training, HIIT is tough — but it surely additionally saves you tons of time within the gymnasium.
Pitfalls of Density Training
There are some drawbacks to training on the clock.
Your kind may endure
It’s straightforward to lose your kind — to maintain your hips up whereas performing push-ups, keep away from the underside half of a squat, or keep good posture on the bike.
Maintain good kind on every transfer, and steal time out of your relaxation intervals between sets. If you break kind, don’t depend the dangerous reps.
Whatever type of higher-intensity work you select — density training, HIIT, or another method — it’s essential to not overdo it. “This type of work takes a lot out of you,” says Poli.
HIIT, specifically, drives your coronary heart fee sky-high in little or no time. So make the most of your relaxation intervals and restrict what number of instances you have interaction in HIIT every week. A little bit bit goes a good distance.