Bored of the old 10 to 12 reps, rest 1 minute and repeat?
Sometimes straight sets aren't enough to get that intense muscle burn you seek. Not to mention it's oh so boring. When I want to crank up the intensity and the fun in my workouts I try a few of these advanced rep techniques. Some of these are very demanding so use them sparingly-- as a finisher on your last set or two.
Superset. Do two exercises back to back without a rest between. Newbies should try exercises that work oposing muscles like: chest and back. Ready for more? Try two exercises that work the same muscle.
Try it: Bench press followed by push ups.
Drop set. Do as many reps of a certain weight until failure then decrease the weight and repeat. Aim to max out on 3 or 4 descending weights. This technique works best when you have access to a rack of dumbells or on a machine where the plates are easily adjusted.
Try it: While doing cable bicep curls max out at your regular weight. When you can no longer, drop the weight one plate and repeat.
1 1/2 Reps. Kind of like a rep of full range of motion with a pulse. The pulse puts the muscle under tension for longer increasing muscular demand.
Try it: In sumo squat position, go all the way down but instead to coming all the way up come only half way. Return to the bottom and then raise all the way to the top. That's one rep.
Negatives. Useful for when you can no longer do the positive aspect of the rep. Working the negative helps increase strength.
Try it: Under the pull-up bar when you can no longer pull yourself up (or if you can't pull yourself up at all, yet) jump or step up into the top position and lower yourself slowly and with control.
Static holds. Often overlooked static holds, also known as isometrics, and can bring the pain - in a good way.
Try it: After you think you're done with your lunges try a 30 second static hold at the bottom position. If you're not making an ugly face by the end you're doing it wrong.