Step Over The Line: Raise Your Intensity!

Not only will becoming intense bring you those things, but it will also make you a true 'WARRIOR' in the gym.
How often have you got to that 10 rep and decided that you could not get another. I know that it has happened to me a lot. However, for that past year or so I have discovered that I can get another one (another few if I want it). When I would get to that 9 rep I would say "ok one more." Now I am not saying that I was not failing, because I was. What I am saying is that if I really tried I could have gotten about 3 more. When I get to that 9 rep now I do not even think about how many I have to go or how many I want to get. I just keep pumping them out. If I get more than say 4 more then I know it is time to add more weight.

This is what is known as intensity. I like to call it stepping over the line. What I am referring to is the line that so many people go to and stop because they feel they can not get another rep. I however think intensity is stepping over that line and getting more than what your mind says you can get. I know some of you are saying "I am intense." I ask you then try to get a little more intense. Why would you want to do a set that that did not fully tear up the muscle? I realize that I do not want to waste my time and not go to failure so I will take it to the next level. By going to that next level you will begin to see greater pumps, stronger muscles and more muscle. Not only will becoming intense bring you those things, but it will also make you a true "WARRIOR" in the gym. I love going into the gym and battling the weights.

Now I know you are asking well how do I become intense? For one you have to have goals. If your goal is to become the biggest thing walking or just to add a few pounds of muscle, then intensity is the medicine. After a good warm up and you get ready to begin the set, you get under the bar or grab the bar. You know what your goal is and you know how many reps you want to get. Well as I like to say when I am spotting someone, "How many you shooting for?" they then reply "I am going to try and get like 10." I think to my self, "TRY???" why do it if you are only going to try. So I say to the person "12 you said ok 12 lets do it." I already put in his mind a positive attitude and something to shoot for. So as he pumps out 10 I push him to get more. He then steps over the line and gets more than he wanted. What got him past 10 then 12 and maybe more is what I call intensity. Even before I grab the bar I like to do what me and my training partners call "Finding it." This means find something that will drive us through the set. Something that either pisses us off or something that we are working for. I hear it all the time from my training partners (Rut and J.R.) "Don't even get under it until you find it." I find something that makes me crazy, something that brings out that intensity in me. I am lucky I have no problem getting intense.

I have been going high reps for the past few days to get away from the low reps I have been performing for the past 8 weeks. I will talk about a recent set of squats in where I was going 4 sets of 15. The first set was with about 275lbs and I got 15 very easily. I moved up to 295lbs and got another 15. I liked the 295 and did it again and another clean 15. Well it came down to my last set and I have been thinking about getting 315lbs for 15 reps. I max out at around 550lbs so I know I can do 315lbs but how many times was the question? So I get under the bar lock it in place, lift it off and begin the descent. I feel good with the first few then the next few feel good. As I approach the 15 I step over the line. I drop down again getting another and then another. I now feel like the only thing that is going to give out is my lungs.

I finally drop down one more time and explode up. 18 I got 18reps. I knew I could do it. So you see before you even grab the bar think about it and ask yourself "do I want to get bigger" or "do I want to step over that line?" The answer should be yes and if it is then "find it" and get after it. If you do that then you will know what it is like to TRAIN LIKE A WARRIOR.

Aaron Ciak