I am often asked what it takes to get results in the gym. After asking the question people just stare. They expect you to come up with some complex answer. However, the answer is much simpler than people expect. I have come up with 3 important points that will lead to success in the gym for anyone who listens—Focus, Intensity and Consistency.
What is Intensity?
Intensity in the context of working out can mean alot of things. It can refer to the volume of your training or it can refer to how you train. I am referring to how you train. To me, intensity is taking sets to absolute failure. It is about working harder every single time you hit the gym. To me, progression won’t happen without intensity.
For maximum growth your muscles need maximum stimulation. A high level of intensity while working out will bring about that maximum stimulation.
How to Boost Intensity
You can do several things to boost the intensity of your workouts.
Shorten the Rest Period
If you shorten the rest period the lifts become harder. You have to dig down deeper to complete your repetitions. Your muscles are pushed beyond their normal failure point. Your heart races as your body struggles to adapt to the stress placed upon it.
Increase the Repetition Target
If you do more repetitions you will find that the intensity of your workout goes up naturally. A 20 rep squat scheme is much more intense in alot of ways. The hard work will pay off in the long run.
Increase the Weigh Lifted
If you up the weight you are pushing you will find that intensity increases as well. It is not easy to push around heavy weights. The extra load will stress your muscles out more than anything you’ve ever experienced.
How Intensity Determines Success
Nobody achieves amazing results by phoning in their workouts. Nobody achieves amazing results by taking things easy. Only through massive effort will you bring about massive results. This is where intensity comes into play. Intensity will cause you to push yourself to the edge. Intensity will take you beyond. Beyond is where you want to be. Beyond is that place just past the discomfort you experience when lifting heavy. Beyond is where you think you will never arrive.
This one single element will change your results more than anything else. Most people that hit the gym don’t do so with intensity. They fail to understand this concept. They go in the gym with a plan (if they are smart) and plan to hit 10 repetitions on their bench press. They attempt to estimate what weight they will need to hit 10 reps on the bench press and then proceed to crank out 10 reps, stopping after the 10th rep. Honestly, should they have stopped at 10 if there was more in the tank? My message to you is that they should have gone all the way. Yes, the plan called for 10 reps, but the body called for more so they should have done more.
Stop thinking about it and start doing something about it. Get into the gym and increase your intensity. Be warned that just like everything else, you will eventually adapt to the level of intensity you are using, so you will need to increase it after a time. Keep upping the intensity and you will keep seeing incredible results!