Health & Wellness Blog

Dense Strength Method


Dense Strength Method

There are many different formats for Density based programs, essentially Density means increased work in less time, or a heavier load lifted in the same or less time.

One of my more favoured Dense Strength formats is Keegan Smiths DS Method.

Keegan’s format is mainly based on EMOM for 5 minute blocks (excluding warm up sets), which can target different qualities based on the repetitions.

DS 15 = 3 reps every minute for 5 minutes (Improve strength)

DS 25 = 5 Reps every minute for 5 minutes (Hypertrophy and strength)

DS 50 = 10 reps every minute for 5 minutes (Metabolic response)

There’s no blanket rule on what quality  to program for each session. You could have a whole session using multiple movements based on DS 15 only which would be a strength focused session, or you could have  a session implementing DS 15, 25 and 50 hitting multiple qualities.

As an athlete you can use this format to individualise what you want to get out of a session. For example you can work on a speed element with a lighter weight moved fast,  focus on improving technique with a lighter weight, or heavier to deliver the desired DS quality.

As a general goal use a load that allows you to get the full 5 sets out for the designated reps.

If for example a DS 15 Back Squat was programmed the session could look like this:

Set 1: 90kg 3 reps

Set 2: 90kg 3 reps

Set 3: 90kg 3 reps

Set 4: 90kg 3 reps

Set 5: 90kg 2 reps

The athlete would stay on this weight each week until all 5 sets were completed for the 3 reps, the next session the load would increase.

Some days we will prefer you go on the “lighter” side to ensure all 5 sets are achieved for the required reps, you will then increase accordingly the following week. Often the last set will be a max out set, meaning on the last set get as many reps as you can out.

In the comments section in WODIFY along with the coaches brief for that day we will outline the dose response we are aiming to achieve from that movement/session.


  • Gains are easily quantified
  • Total volume can be easily calculated and managed
  • Provides intensity variety
  • Can be applied to any exercise, safely
  • Encourages increased work capacity
  • Good for strength, lean mass, conditioning and fat loss.
  • Accountability

Enjoy this Dense Strength influenced phase, it’s good fun.

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