Intensity Methods for Each Neurotype

by | Jul 10, 2019

Do you know your own neurotype? If not, it’s time to find out! By knowing your neurological profile, we can more intelligently apply certain intensity methods to make your training more effective and fun (depending on your definition of fun!).

What are intensity methods?

Intensity methods are ways to progress by taking a regular exercise and making it more challenging without changing the exercise itself. For example, progressing from a back squat to a back squat with a 3 second eccentric with the same weight. 

There are some fun intensity methods that get abused by a lot of gym-goers, just because they look cool. 

As with most things in training, context matters and it always depends on the application.

One of my favorite intensity methods that can be used for any neurotype is wave loading. Wave loading is a rep scheme technique, typically done in 2 waves, where you’ll perform 3 mini sets per wave while increasing the weight with each set.

The rest period between the mini sets will be short and the rest between each wave will be longer. For example, 5/3/1 5/3/1 wave loading back squat, you’ll perform 5 reps, rest 30-60s, increase the weight, perform 3 reps, rest 30-60s, increase the weight, perform 1 rep, rest 2-3 mins.

The second wave will start heavier than the first and will follow the same format.

The rep scheme is so effective because it plays on a principle known as post-tetanic potentiation. Essentially, you’re able to exhibit your strength while mitigating the effects of muscle fatigue. The high-frequency stimulation will result in an increase in neurotransmitter release. Very effective for “waking up” the Central Nervous System.

Intensity methods by neurotype

There are certain intensity methods that are better suited for each neurotype. Here are a few examples for each …

Type 1A:

– Overcoming Isometrics – pushing or pulling an empty bar into an immovable object

– Forced reps – having a spotter assist on reps after you’ve run out of gas

– Slow eccentrics

– Heavy Holds 

Type 1B:

– Bounce reps – use of momentum and stretch reflex

– High-intensity plyometrics

– Explosive lifts from pins

– Jumping/Throwing from a dead start position

Type 2A:

– Slow concentrics

– Rest/pause method – each set is comprised of 2 or more sets with the same weight and very brief rest periods

– Drop sets

– Pre or post iso fatigue

*Note: with type 2A’s, everything works, but nothing works for very long! 2A’s are neuromuscular so a combination of neurological and muscular intensity methods will work.

Type 2B:

– Paused lifting

– Rest/pause

– Pre iso fatigue

– Slow eccentrics

– Anything to elicit a pump!

Type 3:

– Slow eccentrics

– Pauses

– Slow concentrics

– Partials

It’s important to remember that advanced techniques should not be done by beginners! There are plenty of ways to make progress without utilizing intensity methods.

However, when applied properly, they can make training more exciting and increase your gains!

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