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3 Ways to Make an Exercise Harder

Reps and weights aren’t the only variables that can make an exercise harder. You can create progressive overload through sets, reps, weight, tempo, rest times, etc. Here are a few ways you can make your workouts more difficult by manipulating just a couple factors — 1. Tempo Want more #gainz without increasing reps or weight?

Increase your time under tension. Think -- slowly lowering yourself down from a pull-up, or

slowly bringing the bar down to your chest for a bench press.

Want to create more power?

Decrease your time coming up.

Think -- powering up from the bottom of a squat, or

driving the bar up during bench press. Want to hate your glutes? 😆

Think -- holding your position at the top of a hip thrust, or

holding your position at the bottom of a squat. 2. Range of motion (ROM) Manipulating your range of motion can recruit more muscle if you increase, or isolate a muscle if you decrease.


- Increasing your squat depth.

- Placing a plate underneath your front foot for deficit lunges.

3. Add a pulse I don’t enjoy the word “pulse” because it can give off bounce-with-no-control vibes, but I mean a controlled pulse that gives you just a l i t t l e extra time under tension.

Just a little quarter or halfie extra.


1 1/2 RDL

1 1/4 Goblet Squat

1 1/4 Bicep Curl What’s your go-to when you want to make an exercise harder?


Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.


I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

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