Intensity is defined as exceptionally great concentration, power or force. It is what separates those that make modest gains over the years from the ones that make massive gains year in and year out. If you look around the gym, it is easy to spot the people that train with a lot of intensity.
Training with maximum intensity will literally force your muscles to grow, it leaves them no choice. They have to adapt – they have to grow. Intensity and overload is the key to muscle growth. Don’t expect to see gains if you spend your time in the gym socializing, reading, or watching television.
The amount of stimulation you are able to deliver to your muscles will effect how much they respond and develop. It is not enough to simply put in intense effort and try harder by going through the motions and using momentum. Increasing the weight without controlling the movement will not produce results.
Intensity is almost more of a psychological factor than a physiological one. It is generated from the degree of your motivation. How badly you want to see gains. When your body screams “stop!” and you ignore the ache and keep going, you force your muscles to grow and respond. Intensity will be your key to success, regardless of what muscle group you are training.
The mental intensity you are able to generate will cause physiological effects. Muscle protein accumulation and repair occurs when the rate of protein synthesis increases.
The rate of protein synthesis in the muscle depends on the rate of entry of amino acids into the muscle cells. And the intensity and duration of muscle tension directly influences amino acid transport into the muscle cells.
As the intensity and duration of muscle tension increases, amino acid uptake and the rate of protein synthesis increases. So protein synthesis is the basis of building muscle and can be increased by training with high intensity.
Time and workload are two factors that can be manipulated in order to increase intensity. Doing an increased amount of workload in the same time will surely make your workout more intense. You could also do the same amount of workload in less time.
So add more weight to the bar, take shorter rest periods or do both to increase intensity. Again, do not do this at the expense of jeopardizing your form and concentration. Remember, motions mean nothing.