The more knowledgeable people become the more they start to understand the importance of increasing training session volume each time they venture to the gym, this is so that they can keep progressing.
Keeping this in mind there are several ways to add that little extra to your workouts so that you ensure some positive adaptation, the obvious ones are to add one of the following 3:
– More Set
– More Reps
– More Weight
If you are not constrained by time then these three are quite viable options. You would potentially spend more time in the gym while you accumulate more total volume, however this would eventually reduce when you come to a much needed deload, then this process will be repeated until you either stop making progress or get bored of lifting weights.
What happens if you don’t have the luxury of spending extra time in the gym due to work, family or other time constraints? Simple, you do some density work or as it’s otherwise know Escalating Density Training.
What is EDT?
EDT is the process where by you select a perform an exercise in a certain time frame with appropriate loading and get out as many reps as you possibly can. Depending on what your overall training style is you can add anywhere from up to an extra 50% (possibly more) to your overall workout total. If you’re unsure of what this means take a look at the example below.
Pressing Day –
Bench Press 5x5x100
Dips 3x12xBW – 75kg
5920kg total volume
Now lets say you had a 45min window to workout and that took you 35min leaving you 10min spare, this is where adding in a density set will help boost that volume.
10min – Press Ups – BW 40kg (because you don’t use as much as you think) – If you achieved 100 in time limit that would give you an extra 4000kg of volume, almost as much as the session. Not a bad little addition for 10min of work is it.
Using this technique can help you provide some more stimulus in the same time period. For upper body days press ups, pull ups or any body weight exercise are a great addition to finish your workout, when it comes to leg day there is another option you can use, it involves loading the bar with 80% of your top weight for the day and doing one of the following – As many reps as many as possible in a specific time limit while resting as necessary or using that same load and setting a rep target such as 50 for example. You can do this for upper body days if you want to as well.
*Always regulate your weight based on your top set(s) of the day. You can lower the amount of time you have once you hit a specific rep goal, this will help you further increase your density of work and overall work capacity. The variations are endless truth be told.
It’s actually quite easy when you think about it, isn’t it. There are a lot more methods of EDT, but they all adhere to the same principle which is to help you increase your overall work capacity.
A word of warning however, be sure to keep a track of all your volume and how you’re recovering from it all. Everyone has a limit, once it’s hit you can push it for a touch more but then you will need to take your foot off the gas and deload, if you don;t you may just burn out, go backward and even get injured.
Try adding some EDT your workouts and break through your plateaus.