How To Make Your Exercises More Intense
Do more reps
If you find that the circuit is too easy, try adding a few extra reps to each exercise. Remember though, it’s a 15-minute circuit so it will get more difficult over time!
Increase the Time Under Tension (TUT)
Use a slower tempo for your reps! This will make each repetition last longer so your muscles will have to work harder without resting. For example, instead of taking 1 second on the way down in your squat, make it 2 or 3 seconds - this increases the duration of your set and increases the amount of time your muscles will be under tension (TUT).
The more TUT you have, the greater the stimulus to your body - this will help get you to your goals faster.
Decrease your rest time
Decreasing your rest time increases fatigue and makes the exercise more demanding. Start by decreasing the amount of time you rest after completing a cycle of the circuit. If you require a further challenge, decrease the amount of rest you take between repetitions.
Add Paused Reps
Adding a pause at the bottom of your rep is called an isometric pause. It increase the time your muscles are under tension and also removes your momentum, which makes even a light weight very demanding!
Do 1 ½ reps
Adding an extra half rep with each regular rep once again increases the amount of time your muscles are under tension. To really light up your quads, squat all the way down to parallel, come up half way, descend back to parallel, and then come up the way up.
That’s one rep. Keep going and enjoy taking the lift and not the stairs tomorrow!
Increase your range of motion
The further your weight has to travel, the more work your muscles have to do. Some exercises like squats and step ups allow you to increase the range of motion so you can make them more demanding without increasing the weight.
Use a heavier weight
If your workout is still too easy after applying the the above tips, you simply need more weight. Try getting some heavier dumbbells or a different type of weight like kettlebells - the extra load will make your muscles work harder and the exercise much more demanding.
A word of caution
Remember, we are training 6-7 days per week, so not every session will be extremely intense. Don’t go so hard one day that you can’t train the next! My 30-day challenge is all about consistency and a mix between heavy training sessions and lighter recovery sessions.