For a while now I've been repping it out hard using a Thor Hammer and an Epic Sledgehammer. The last big workout was with Thor's Hammer; weighing 30 lbs. and doing rep after rep with the deck of cards it is one of the most intense experiences of my life. The intensity is not always how much effort i'm putting in, it's more of the energy I draw in it that makes the greatest difference. Yes I sweat, yes i'am crazy and no I don't plan on stopping. When it comes to intensity whether it's something nuts like that or doing softer workouts like Qi Gong or playfully moving; the effort is the easy part regardless of what you may believe but the biggest thing to really understand is the energy and internal strength you're developing.
I personally believe that nearly every workout you put yourself through, the energy has to be no less than pure high level of intensity. This doesn't mean psyching yourself up doing ridiculous rituals or something that looks like something out of physical comedy; it has to come from within and feeling that surge of power in your system that is so intense, even at a relaxed state it can be felt. When I do my sledgehammer training, I gather up energy into my body and feel as if that surge was running everywhere like electricity. When this happens everything becomes a blur and all my focus is on moving that hammer and flipping a card, my technique for moving a heavy hammer may not look great to anyone but yet I never got injured, I never pushed myself so hard I passed out and I never lost control of the hammer. That's pure intensity and believe it or not when I do various movements and my internal practice, I use that same energy to move as fluidly as possible while as relaxed as possible yet strong.
For me I love learning from others, it's a wonderful thing to read off your favorite trainer's techniques yet however I don't believe in following along with them. I practice the technique after watching how they do it and learn how my body works for that particular technique just like my hammer workouts, its a little different but it's based on the same principles from the people I have seen. You can't get that full on individual energy from following someone's pace and speed. There's no harm in it i'm not saying it's wrong but it limits your real potential and you're not using your own energy from within, you're just doing someone else's moves. Be realistic yet be intense with what you're truly capable of.
Go at it full force. This does not mean you get so intense it's going to hurt you and have you on the sidelines. By full force I mean using that energy and power to the point where you can keep going, taking a breather if you need but let that energy still be filled with great intensity. Taking a breather in my opinion amplifies your energy because if you go at it too hard and with intensity you can't handle it's going to bite you in the ass. Be resourceful and mindful, the world isn't going to end because of how you use your energy in training. At the same time using all that power, learn to be relaxed as much as possible, this doesn't mean lazy or loose, the better you relax, the greater your breath control comes into play and you can do longer workouts even when you're recovering between sets. Be strong both within and after your workout, believe me when you still have energy in the tank after a brutal session, that makes you dangerous.