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Workout Intensity: Do You REALLY Train Hard Enough For Maximum Gains?
What's going on guys, Sean Nalewanyj, www.SeanNal.com. In today's video I want to talk about the subject of bodybuilding training intensity. And just like the title says: are you truly training hard enough in the gym to build muscle at your maximum potential?
It's a pretty simple question, but so many bodybuilding beginners get so hung up on all the different aspects of their muscle building program (such as exercise selection, volume and frequency, number of sets, reps, training splits, rest periods etc.) and they forget the basic fact that training intensity itself is the single most important baseline factor there is when it comes to building muscle and gaining strength, since it's the underlying stimulus that sets these processes into motion in the first place.
When it all comes down to it, muscle growth is an evolutionary stress response and is your body's way of adapting you to the environment. And in order for there to be enough incentive to actually change the body physiologically, that environmental stressor has to be strong enough. The body has to perceive that the demands of the environment exceed its current capabilities, or at least exceed what it's currently optimized for.
So, if you're consistently performing tasks that are already within your ability (meaning you're lifting a certain amount of weight in the gym for a number of reps you can already do without a high amount of exertion), then there's no reason at all for the body to build muscle beyond its present state.
This might sound a bit obvious to a lot of you, but to just as many lifters out there it isn't all that obvious. And there's a lot of people out there who just go to the gym, pick some exercises and a rep range, and then simply go through the motions without really understanding what they're trying to do.
The workouts are still somewhat challenging - they feel the burn and they get a little muscle pump going - but without realizing it, they're still not weight training nearly close enough to failure to really trigger a significant muscle building response.
Or what I also see is "selective workout intensity", where people will train fairly hard but only on certain lifts for those "showy" muscle groups like the chest or arms.
But when it comes to hitting the really big muscle groups - the ones that make the biggest contribution to their overall physique like their back or their legs - it's a much different story and they just don't exert the same percentage of effort.
I'm not saying that you need to get under the bar and lift with every ounce of strength until your eyeballs are popping out of their sockets every time (training too hard and going to failure on every set can actually work against you in the overall picture), but a good workout intensity guideline to aim for would be 1-2 reps short of failure on most sets.
This means that if going 100% all-out allowed you to get 10 reps with a certain weight, you'd stop at the 8th or 9th rep. So, you want to leave 1-2 reps in the tank.
That amount of workout intensity is high enough to trigger the body's muscle growth response, but also low enough to where you won't burn yourself out and to where you won't be putting excessive stress on your joints.
So, if you haven't been making the muscle building progress you feel you should be with your bodybuilding program, sit down and take an honest look at your training plan, and ask yourself if you're truly pushing yourself to that level of intensity on the majority of your sets. You don't need to train to failure on every set, but if you're going much less than 1-2 reps short, you're quite simply not going to build up your physique to its real potential.
Workout intensity is the single most important factor in your entire bodybuilding workout plan and should be treated seriously if you really want to optimize your muscle gains.
P.S. If you found these bodybuilding tips helpful, make sure to get your personalized training, nutrition and supplement plans using my video presentation below:http://www.BTBlueprint.com