In this brief article, I’ll discuss why density training is important for bodyweight training and how to use it to your advantage.
What is Density Training?
Where as actual density is mass per unit of volume, density training follows suit by attempting to increase workload for a given unit of time.
In essence, you take a unit of time whether it be 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, etc. and try to complete as many repetitions as possible; i.e. the more repetitions per unit of time, the higher the density.
That’s the focus of this style of training – making each set denser than the previous one.
By [using Density Training], you can consistently put your body under increased stress, which can therefore continue to drive an adaptation.
Why Density Training Works
Density training works because it allows you to practice the principle of progressive overload, without having to use external weight.
Without getting too in-depth, progressive overload is simply a theory that in order to continue growing (or losing body fat), you’ll need consistently increase the stress that you’re putting on your body.
Since stress drives adaptation, eventually you’ll need to do more to continue adapting (by increasing muscle, strength, force, body fat loss, etc.)
Where as progressive overload typically occurs via increasing weight, reps, sets or all three over time, you’re in essence simple replacing weight with time.
When using density training, you can still practice progressive overload by increasing the time you spend doing a movement for reps, increasing the amount of reps you do in a given amount of time, increasing the number of sets you’re completing, or a combination of all three.
By doing so, you can consistently put your body under increased stress, which can therefore continue to drive an adaptation.
How To Use Density Training
Second, choose a time frame. While you may feel overzealous, even 1 minute of continuous movement can be absolutely brutal. Don’t believe me? Try body weight squatting for a minute straight and then come talk to me.
Third, for the given time frame, attempt to complete as many repetitions as possible.
Fourth, and this is key: write down your performance. This is absolutely essential to ensure that each time you repeat a workout, you’re ensuring that you are progressing.
Fifth, do it again, but try to beat your previous performance.
While you may find that it’s difficult to beat your previous performance, it at least provides a metric for what you need to do to improve. Improving by being able to match a previous set or even decreasing your rest time are all ways that you can improve.
Even with body weight only, using density training provides endless ways for improvement. It’s quite amazing, and yet almost no one considers using this method.
Example Progression With Density Training
To follow, here is an example of how you can complete Density training and then 6 different ways you can repeat the workout and improve by practicing progressive overload.
As you can see, the options for progression are almost endless.
When using density training, ensuring constant progression is essential for success. Even more so when you're using body weight.
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