Wednesday, February 23, 2022

46 Intensity Techniques, Part Two -- Nick Nilsson


A ton of Interesting material from Nick Nilsson here


This technique focuses on the negative portion of muscle contraction (the eccentric or lowering phase). Use about 10% heavier than your 1RM. Use a spotter to give you a lot of help with the positive then lower the weight slowly on your own. Each negative rep should take about 6 to 10 seconds to lower. To really get the feel for a proper negative, you must not allow the weight to lower, you must actively push (or pull) against it, fighting it all the way down. It is like you are trying to do a positive rep but aren't. 

Another way to do negatives is to do the positive normally then get your spotter to add to the resistance on the way down by leaning on the bar or pulling down on it. 

Do focused negative work at the beginning of our bodypart work when you are at your strongest. See the Negative Training section for a more detailed look at negative training.  


This is a variation of negative training that is best done with machines. Use two arms or legs for the positive phase then lower it using only one arm or leg. This type of negative training is useful if you do not have a partner to work with. See the Negative Training section for a list of exercises that can be used productively with this technique. When using this technique you can alternate arms/legs or do the complete set of reps with the one arm/leg, then the complete set of reps with the other arm/leg. 

To really max out, follow the negative sets with a static hold with both limbs.  


To do this, simply stop the motion at different places along the range of motion and do an isometric (non-moving) hold. This can also be done at the end of a set. Hold the weight in the lockout position for as long as you can. This is very demanding when done after full reps then partials.


This is similar to the drop set and strip set technique but doesn't require changing weights or using spotters. The example will be barbell curls. Load a barbell then put a collar on. Add a few more pounds outside the collar. Pick up the barbell and hold some cables or bands in addition to the bar. Go to failure with all that, then let go of the cables. Go to failure again and then allow the loose plates to slide off. Go to failure with the rest.

20) 21's

This technique utilizes partial ranges of motion. Using barbell curls as an example, do 7 reps in the lower half range of motion, then immediately do 7 reps in the top range of motion, then finish with 7 full reps. 


Hang heavy chains from either side of a barbell. As you lift the barbell, you will be lifting more links of chain. This makes the weight heavier during the phase of the lift where you can do more weight. This works for bench, deadlifts, squats, curls, shoulder presses, etc. It is essentially a homemade variable resistance setup. 

Another trick you can use is to hang weights from the end of the chain so you have to lift those as well when you lock out (the strongest part of the movement). Set the chain so that the weight will be raised just before lockout. 


The idea with this is to superset two exercises that have one muscle in common. This will make that muscle the limiting group and will work it harder. Use two compound movements that both indirectly stimulate the same part of a muscle group. An example would be upright rows and behind the neck presses for the lateral head of the delts.


With this technique, you will use two different exercises alternated with each rep; e.g., lying triceps extensions and close grip bench presses; dumbbell flyes and dumbbell presses; rows and deadlifts. You should use exercises that are easy to switch from one to the other within a set. To take the set even further, when you fail on one exercise, continue with the other one until you fail on that one, too. This should be done when you use an isolation and a compound movement. You will be able to push further on the compound. 

For example, when combining rows and deadlifts, your legs will help push your back further. This whole technique is like an extended pre-exhaust superset. 

Some more examples include pullovers and presses for chest -- barbell or dumbbell; stiff arm pulldowns and regular pulldowns for back.   

Combination sets can also be done with exercises for two different muscle groups to enhance the tie-ins between them and create a smooth flow of muscle groups. Some examples include dumbbell curls to dumbbell shoulder press; stiff arm pulldowns to pushdowns for triceps. 


This is an incredibly demanding technique. Do a maximum positive rep then a maximum negative rep. Reduce the weight by 15% then go again. Repeat this three to four times. 


Well what the fuck and pardon me? That's a lotta words. This technique can instantly increase your neural drive by 10%. To do this, you train the agonist muscles simultaneously, e.g., train left triceps while training right biceps. Use the same tempo. Here is an exercise example: 

One arm pushdown and dumbbell curl. Rest up to 2 minutes and do it the other way. 

Another example could be done for back and chest using the cable crossover setup. Kneel between the two stacks facing one and your back to the other one. You will do a one are cable row with the cable from the front stack and a press/flye with cable from the rear stack. This can be done sitting on a vertical bench.

Here are some possible cable variations for your biceps and triceps using the cable crossover setup.

Use a lighter weight in the biceps exercises.

Another option is to do both on the same weight stack (as long as it has a high and low pulley on it). Do a facing curl and a facing pushdown at the same time. Set the pin to a much heavier weight than you would use for either one separately. The feeling is like spotting yourself with both arms on two exercises.

You can also try doing one, then the other, e.g., curl up (hold the handle there) then do a pushdown (moving the weight up a little more from there). Lower the pulldown then lower the curl. You can do it in the reverse order as well, e.g., pushdown then curl. This type of setup works for cross-body curls and cross-body pushdowns as well. Look in the cable sections of the Biceps and Triceps chapters for more exercise combination ideas. 

Okay! Now that the same old preliminary ideas are over, he's getting into some fresher things.

Enjoy Your Lifting!  


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