ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on March 1, 2012


Intensity is the key to bodybuilding success. Its application in training procedures is the single most important ingredient which produces results. However, the term is often misused by many weight trainers who confuse it with profuse sweating, barbaric screams, and fanatical training methods. Intensity is more than an enthusiastic attitude. Intensity is progress and progress is derived from progression.

Two methods of intensity which are used by successful bodybuilders are progressive resistance and progressive repetitions. Each method when properly used will make demands on specific types of muscle fiber. Heavier exercises, accompanied by lower repetitions will stimulate the fast-twitch muscle fibers. Exercises performed with a higher number of repetitions will elicit response from the slow-twitch fibers. Together, the strategies help develop the muscle to its greatest potential.

Weight training's most fundamental principle, progressive resistance, is the cornerstone of all lifter' progress. Popularized by Henry "Milo" Steinborn in the early 1900's; progressive resistance has become the most important aspect of intensity training. Milo was a professional wrestler who decided to test his theory of progressive resistance in a rather unorthodox and dramatic way. Figuring a muscle which met with progressive demands would grow accordingly, he began lifting a newborn calf. By lifting the calf each day, his strength grew as did the weight of the calf. By the time the calf had become a full grown cow, Milo was lifting it. This was most impressive, thus a following of the progressive resistance principle was generated among the strongmen of the day. Milo's experiment was tried by others but often with less successful results. The reason is obvious; the calf grew at a faster rate than the strength of the lifter. Nonetheless, the principle of progressive resistance is valid provided the progression of poundage does not over exceed the lifter's progression of strength.

If, in our training, we could plan the amount of increased poundage in such a way as to allow for our strength to parallel the progression, we would have the ideal resistance training program. There are limitations for no one (not even Milo) can continue indefinitely hoisting progressively heavier weights without reaching his limit. However, by prolonging your progress, you postpone the inevitable sticking point. For this reason it is more valuable to progress by smaller amounts consistently than larger amounts sporadically.

The second method of intensity training to be applied is the progressive repetition theory. To continually use a specified weight for the same number of repetitions only insures the muscle will adapt to the work load. However, if at the same time when a muscle has grown accustomed to the work load, it were forced to perform one more repetition; the muscle would compensate by growing stronger. As minor as a change as it may appear, one additional repetition every third or fourth workout is enough to prevent the muscle from becoming stagnant. The muscle is forced to adjust to the increased demand by growing larger and stronger. You can not expect to add repetitions indefinitely. A limit does exist. However, when limits are reached, the repetitions can still be met by employing assisted forced reps and the rest pause technique.

After exhausting the above strategies, it is time to drop the repetitions to the original starting number and add weight to the exercise. By now you will have added at least three repetitions since the start of the program. Your progress can be noted by comparing what your poundage is with the original. This described procedure repeated over again in cyclic fashion will develop true strength and muscle size. The double progression method when performed with each exercise and for every body part is an experience in real intensity. Intensity generated by training method itself and programmed so as not to be left to chance. Milo may not have known it as intensity but he experienced it and so can you.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)