In this series about homeostasis and disruption of homeostasis, we have talked a lot about the exercises themselves. From changing the amount of volume done in a workout to changing the exercises up. However, another way we can change things up in our workout is by manipulating time.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that we can change time itself, but we can change how we utilize the time we have available to us. For instance, what if you timed your workout? Measured how long it took you to complete from the end of the warm-up to the start of the cooldown. Then the next workout you don’t do anything different except try to do everything you just did in a shorter amount of time? Right there you have just manipulated training density.
Training density can be defined as what we do in a certain amount of time. To increase density, we either have to do more in that same amount of time or do the same in less time. Definitely a viable way to disrupt homeostasis and force our body to adapt.
Some people will say density can especially be useful for those who want to lose body fat. I agree, to an extent. However, I would say that increasing density can be beneficial no matter your goal. By forcing yourself to do more work in less time you are tapping into energy systems, you may not have been previously using. More specifically you are building your general work capacity or General Physical Preparation or GPP as all the cool kids call it.
What this means is your building a base from which your body can physiologically grow and improve. The bigger the base, the more effective you will be at progressing. Improving density is one such way that we can build this base.
One of the fundamental ways to improve density is to decrease your rest between sets. Another method is to lift weights faster during the set. Finally, if you’re nerdy like me, you can try to get the same amount of volume in less time. But that also requires a lot of math and calculations.
Just like any of the other variables we’ve discussed, there is a minimum effective dose to density, and we don’t want to do too much at the start. We also don’t want to rely on density solely, but it is simply another tool in the toolbox to disrupt the homeostatic balance. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, when this is all said and done I will provide a snapshot of what all of this might look like in one comprehensive program.