Density Training

Density Training

All training has the purpose of increasing work capability – and that entails increasing work capacity for strength athletes. Consider this – if you increase your 1rm from 315 to 325, you have increased your work capacity. Density training is means of increasing your work capacity when the amount of weight you can train with is static (unchanging). This is a fantastic method for increasing strength on body weight exercises, since your bodyweight is unlikely to change drastically. Another obvious application of density training for strength athletes is with competition tools, such as sandbags or stones of a known weight. Basically, density training focusses on increasing how many reps you can do of a given exercise with the same weight in a given period of time.


How it Works

For the sake of this article, we are going to apply density training to pullups. Pullups are a tough exercise, especially for the big boys and for the untrained. You decide you want to increase the number of reps you can do on this exercise, and you choose density training to get you there.


Step 1: Get a baseline

Head out to the pullup bar. To get a baseline, you are going to need a stopwatch and a notebook. Decide on a training time – I recommend that you stay below five minutes. Now do as many pullups as you can. If you are just beginning this might be one to three pullups. Now rest for a while and try again. You probably need to rest anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute between sets depending on how many reps you get and what stage of development you are in. every time you complete a set, write down how many reps you did. At the end of five minutes, tally up total reps and track your sets/reps performed.


Step 2: Rest

Program enough recovery time so your body can repair and grow. Of course, this is relative to your goals – if you are training to be a Marine, you better fucking do pullups every day. For the rest of the world, give yourself 48 hours. You will definitely see a remarkable improvement in results. Of course, don’t forget to feed yourself properly.


Step 3: Train

Your training goal is extremely simple: increase rep to time density. There are two ways to do this, and I’m going to show you both.

The first method is to increase the number of reps you complete in five minutes. This method works best if your baseline curve is especially steep. For example, if during your baseline you perform the following rep scheme (8 – 3 – 1 – 1) then this method is for you. You might try to perform (8 – 3 – 2 – 1) on your next workout. You could also try (4 – 4 – 3 – 3).

The second method is to reduce the amount of time in which you perform the same number of reps. So if during your baseline you perform (8 – 3 – 1 – 1) in five minutes, then you would program your stop watch for 4:50 and perform the same rep scheme. Just cut your rest times down a few seconds each. This method is one of the best ways to increase consecutive pullups. Eventually you will get down to a second or two between sets – at that point you can probably do one single set of 13 reps!

In conclusion, density training is a method where one increases the reps per second that can be performed with the same weight. It is a great method for improving bodyweight exercises, and can be incorporated by anyone to increase GPP and movement-specific capability.



Density training is a great tool for increasing the number of reps you can do in a given period of time with a fixed weight. Use it to increase bodyweight exercises or known-weight competition exercises. And as always…lift strong.