How To Be Dense While You Build Muscle The Smart Way

Oct 19 21:00 2004 Jeremy Markum Print This Article

Are you looking for another way ... that doesn’t require ... weight to the bar? Are you stuckand ... Well give ... a try. If you don't, ... you will hit a platea

Are you looking for another way to
progress that doesn’t require adding
more weight to the bar? Are you stuck
and stagnate? Well give Density
Training a try. If you don't,Guest Posting I
guarantee you will hit a plateau.

Density, as it pertains to resistanct
training, is the amount of Work
performed per unit time. And yes,
“time” is critical here, because it's
the variable we're going to manipulate
to ensure Progression, and a simple
one at that.

(By the way, Work equals Force X's
Distance, and when we're talking
engines and sports cars, it's called
"Horsepower." I mention this, because
everyone knows that, a bigger engine
with more cylinders produces more
Horsepower, all else equal. Same with
your muscles.)

I won’t go into why Density Training
works, other than to say it
preferentially targets Intermediate
Twitch Muscle Fibers, and also the
nutrient delivery / waste removal
systems associated with these fibers,
which means that these fibers and
these systems will hypertrophy in
response (sorry for the science
speak!). If you’re more curious about
the mechanism than that, you can buy
my Advanced Training & Nutrition
Guide, where I do go into a little
more detail, while at the same time,
keeping it in laymen's terms. For now,
here’s the workout:

Let’s pretend it’s your day to train
biceps. Here’s what you do:

You will perform Standing Curls (I
like doing these with an Elastic Band
rather than a dumbbell).

1) Select a load (or a color with the
bands) such that you think you can
perform about 15 reps on your first
set before reaching failure (where
failure means that your form isn’t
PERFECT anymore, not what you can
cheat up with a backward lean to shame
the tower in Pisa). The exact number
of reps you get isn’t important
anyway, only that it’s over 8 reps at

2) Do as many reps as you can in good
form, and then write down the load
used (or the color of the elastic
band) and the number of reps.

3) Rest EXACTLY 20 seconds.

4) Do another set of as many reps as
you can. Obviously, you won’t get as
many reps this set as you did on your
first, provided you challenged
yourself on the first set, and
assuming you're not some sort of
genetic Density freak. 5) Rest
EXACTLY 20 seconds. 6) Repeat steps
3-6 using the same load each set until
you get to a total of 50 reps.

7) Once you’ve achieved 50 reps (or
even up to 100 if you’re an advanced
trainee who knows they respond better
to higher volume), you’re done!

8) On your subsequent workout, you’ll
do everything exactly the same,
EXCEPT, you’ll cut your rest periods
by 5 seconds to 15 seconds.

9) Once you’re down to 5 second rest
periods, you can move on to something
different (ideally a routine that
stresses progression by Load or
Acceleration), or you can repeat this
routine for one more cycle using
slightly heavier loads.

This is only one variant of Density
Training you could employ, but it’s
one of the simplest, and that’s why I
like it so much!

The Fitness Sage always favors the
Simple, Balanced, and Profound
approach to building a better body.

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About Article Author

Jeremy Markum
Jeremy Markum

Jeremy (aka The Fitness Sage) is the author of the upcoming guide: "The Tao of Functional Fitness." He has recently appeared on the "Pat Croce: Moving In" TV show, and has appeared on the cover of Men's Workout Magazine twice. You can learn more about his Profound approach to health and fitness at or his members-only site at

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