Nothing produces faster and more dramatic change in the human body than working out with short bursts of high intensity that's characteristic of strength or resistance exercise. There's simply no better way to alter your shape.
But there's more good news! The American Heart Association has declared that strength training also has a profoundly positive affect on your cardiovascular health, improving heart and lung capacity, while lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
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There is no one best way to increase intensity, and every situation calls for a different approach. The challenge is to raise intensity safely, and at a pace that's right for you, and still get results.
For some, simply slipping on a couple of extra weight plates solves the problem nicely. But when seeking to modify intensity, whether up or down, we can do a lot more than just add weight.
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1. Muscle Fatigue
Muscle fatigue is experienced at the point in the set where you begin to feel some local discomfort, possibly a low level burning sensation, or even slight pain. You'll also develop an increasing weakness in the muscles being trained. While momentary muscle failure is the ultimate goal of all resistance training, results can be obtained at much lower levels. However, at a minimum you'll need to reach a minor level of muscle fatigue with at least one set per exercise. See the Fatigue to Intensity Chart below.
Momentary Muscle Failure
Momentary muscle failure is defined as the point in the set where complete exhaustion of the targeted muscles takes place. Any additional repetitions would be impossible without bringing weaker stabilizer muscles into play, not designed for heavy lifting, where an injury is the most likely result.