High Density Training for Muscle Building and Conditioning: get more in less time


When it comes to proficiency and workout time management many of us gym animals are concerned about making the most out of the very short time they can dedicate to their bodies. Many are just trying the fastest way to look good naked shedding some fat and growing some muscles, others,like crossfitters, are trying to create the fittest version of themselves. Motivation and commitment are strong, we just deserve to get the most out of the short time we have available.

Exploring the training blog jungle we can meet thousands of examples and inspirations and in the end we always choose high-paced workouts with few stops and short rest times to raise the rhythm up to the maximum and hopefully get the most efficient workout ever!
What usually happens is like this: we start lifting with furious intensity, our heart rate increase, we quickly burn all the energy in the tanks, we keep pushing until we’re almost out of breath, we fill our muscles with lactic acid and we end up feeling pumped like balloons and hyped like the best pre-workout grain, baaam, Beast Mode is on!
This is one of the reasons why crossfit is commercially successful: many times the score system somehow constraints reps to time and forces the fastest lifting rhythm. It switches the workout playlist from tango to drum’n’bass.

Don’t forget science,key impulse for muscle growth comes by repeatedly soliciting muscles with a decent relative load. The magic works better when muscles are kept in a slightly fatigued state, so recovery doesn’t necessarily have to be complete between one set and the next.
It is a combo recipe of Intensity, Volume and rest time.
On the other side, for a lot of people Metabolic conditioning is just maximizing the caloric performance during the workout. So we can take away the %RM and focus on Volume and Rest Time.

What if we had a number to quantify this kind of effort? When quantity of work, or in other words, Volume, is constrained to time we’re talking about Density.

Technically, Density is Volume over time and it is measured in kg/min.

In the table we designed different scenarios of sets and reps schemes, playing also with rest time and load. The goal is to put the most amount of work in the shortest time, so we’re looking at Density and which scenario is the most challenging from this point of view.

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To design the exercise and calculate Exercise time we assumed every repetition took 1″ to be completed.
This is much easier to calculate when you’re wearing a Strength Tracker because it makes all the math without you even notice it.

Just to begin you can see scenario 1 and 4 just differ for rest time where scenario 4 is 1.5 time more dense than scenario 1. This makes it definitely much more sexy for both hypertrophy and met-con, provided the load is enough.
Also scenario 6 is definitely the most dense workout among all, thus representing the best solution for met-con and General fitness!


by Ingtommy

Founder, President and CTO of Beast Technologies Aerospace Engineer turned Certified Strength Coach Wide Receiver for Parma Panthers and Italian National Football Team "Lifting is mathematics, physics and biomechanics" cit. Louie Simmons