Intensity: The Most Misunderstood Concept in Bodybuilding

2. Change Up Your Rep Tempo

You can also switch up the speed of your reps. Here’s a couple of examples of how you do this:

  • Machine bench presses: Pick a weight you can normally do 12 reps with. Do 3 reps at your normal tempo, then, as you lift the weight for your fourth rep, count off 5 seconds as you press the weight and tense the muscle, then count to 5 again as you lower the weight back down. Do 3 more reps at your normal tempo, then slow down for the eighth rep. Do three more normal tempo reps again, then slow down for the twelfth rep. Believe me, you’ll feel some serious intensity in the muscle.
  • Barbell curls: Raise the weight (the concentric motion of this exercise) more slowly than you normally would, again employing a 5-second count. After squeezing the muscle at the top of the movement, lower it through the eccentric phase at your normal tempo. As the set progresses, don’t let mounting fatigue tempt you to get sloppy on the eccentric portion. Keep the weight under control as you lower it, otherwise you won’t feel the muscles working and may even injure yourself. During the next set, complete the concentric motion at a regular tempo as you slow down the eccentric to 4-5 seconds. Alternate this way as you work through the sets.
[IFFB pro] Super heavyweight bodybuilder Kamal Saraireh slows down the tempo to build up the intensity.
IFFB pro Super heavyweight bodybuilder Kamal Saraireh slows down the tempo to build up the intensity.

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