You don’t need to live in the gym to build a great body.
4-5 workouts a week about a hour each is enough to build a better body than 95% of people.
Hell, you can even get/stay in great shape working out 2-3 times a week. Even less if your diet is dialed in perfectly.
Having a strategy and a plan to follow through is the foundation of intelligent training.
Intelligent training gets results faster, better and more consistently then haphazard training.
It is possible to spend this time in the gym and get nowhere. I see guys in the gym that workout as much as I do yet they don’t make any progress.
You can waste many, many hours in the gym chasing your tail. You need to make breakthroughs and push past your previous best in order to make progress.
To go to the gym without making progress doesn’t make sense to me. I short circuit thinking about it. Maybe they just want out of the house, maybe the want to check out the young women.
I don’t know what their motivation to own a gym membership is but it doesn’t seem to be getting into great shape.
I don’t want to be too hard on these guys – they are making an effort to at least get to the gym and work on themselves which is respectable in it’s own right.
For this post, let’s assume that the guy not making progress in the gym earnestly wants to make progress. Whether that be get bigger, stronger, add more muscle mass, get a six-pack, etc. He just wants to make progress in some way.
For the guy that wants to make progress but isn’t, this tells us at least one of two things:
- That person is not training intelligently
- That person is not training with intensity
You need to train intelligently and with intensity to get results.
It’s a simple formula: I+I=R or, Intelligence + Intensity = Results
Intelligent training focuses on staying healthy and making consistent progress.
Focusing on lifts that give you the most benefit for your time. Ideally, you should be doing heavy compound lifts using a barbell for most of your workout. Focus on the big lifts like squats, deadlifts, military press and barbell rows. Through in some pull ups and dips for good measure.
If you can’t squat or deadlift at least your bodyweight, you have no business doing anything other than body weight exercises. this is a good way to get injured, get an imbalance or lose motivation for lack of seeing results.
Train your legs, too. Training legs elicits an increase hormone response that makes every muscle in your body grow.
You need to train safe.
Intelligent training is training safe to avoid injury. If you try a new lift go light! If you try a new variation of a lift, go light! Let your body and mind get used to the lift, then add weight gradually.
Always have a spotter when benching or lifting heavy weight. Train in a power rack if you don’t have a spotter. Always have an escape plan when training.
You don’t want 225 pounds to drop on your neck when bench pressing because your wrist or shoulder gave out. Train smart so you can build a healthy habit and train for a long time.
Weight training is an endurance sport that takes place over many years.
Make sure you warm up properly before you do any lifting. Jumping into a workout cold can lead to injury. get your body ready for action by easing into your workout with a proper warm up.
My favorite warm ups are pushups, squats with just the bar, rowing on the row machine or running on the treadmill. Take 5-10 minutes to warm up and break a sweat, then start your workout.
Injuries are set backs, and set backs suck. Plus nursing a nagging injury is time consuming and distracting and can cause psychological barriers that impede your training.
My advice, take it slow and avoid injury. This will help you get results for the long run which is exactly what is best.
Look at Training holistically
What I mean is training is one thing, but you need to understand nutrition, recovery and how your body responds to certain stimuli.
Nutrition is important when training. You need to replenish your body with vitamins, minerals, carbs, protein and healthy fats.
You need to get calories in your system for energy, recovery and muscle growth.
Make sure you’re eating about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Then eat only non-refined carbohydrates and all natural heathy fats like animal fat, grass-fed butter, pure olive oil, and coconut oil.
Drink a lot of fresh, clean water. A gallon a day or more. Alway have water when training to avoid dehydration. Dehydration is a common cause of many ill feelings and poor body functions. Drinking enough water is the best thing you can do to run optimally.
I can’t overstate this point. Breath is life. Breath deep into your gut and lungs throughout your training session. Big, deep breaths keep your mind and muscle fueled with oxygen which is necessary to generate power for lifting.
How to Train with Intensity
Training with Intensity is pushing yourself to and through your limits. In order to grow you must push as far as you can go. Then push a little more. Are these rhymes getting through to you? I hope so because this is your Golden Ticket Willie Wonka’s Jacked Factory.
How do you know if you’re training with intensity?
There are a few queues:
- For one, you’ll breath heavy,
- Your muscles might shake or quiver
- your heart rate will by spiked,
- you sweat, grunt and make funny faces.
If changing altitude quickly you might get light headed. This is all normal. The old school and most intense trainers would lift so hard they would throw up and pass out.
I’m not saying you have to do this, and I don’t recommend it unless you train for a living. The point i’m trying to illustrate is that you;re body is stronger and more resilient that you think it is. You’re body will recover. Anyone that tells you differently is lying.
Talk to anyone that’s been in the military through training and conditioning drills. Talk to the guys that force march 60 miles with no sleep and little food.
Bodybuilding and training is a mental game.
Go Slow to Grow and Keep Rest Between Sets Low
There are three ways to train intensity. The first is to use a slow tempo and low rest periods. This keeps your muscles working hard by keeping tension on the muscles.
Keep your rest in between sets less than 60 seconds. Better yet, do supersets so while one muscle is ‘resting’ another muscle is working. Supersets are done back-to-back with no rest in between.
Use High volume training or Heavy weights each workout
High volume means doing a lot of sets and reps (volume) with light to moderate weight. Think Vince GiRonda’s 8×8 workout or 10×10 German Volume Training. Both of which are brutally intense and will make you grow like crazy.
Heavy workouts should be done at 80%+ of your maximum weight for the lift you are doing. 5 sets or 5-10 reps are good for this type of workout.
The next thing when it comes to intensity it sweat. Sweat is the Litmus Test for success in training.
You need to sweat every workout. Not just a little sweat, but sweat like crazy. half your shirt should be wet with sweat every workout.
Sweat means you are pushing yourself so hard that your body temperature is rising because of all the energy you are using. This means muscles are working and fat is burning. You’re also sweating out the toxins you take by eating, drinking, breathing or your environment.
You get stronger, leaner and healthier when you sweat in the gym. Make your goal to soak your shirt with sweat when training. If you’re not sweatin’ your not gettin’ any better. You gotta sweat.
In case you weren’t taking notes…
How to Train Intelligently:
- Maximize Efficiency – Focus on efficient lifts that give you the most benefit for your time.
- Avoid Injury – Take it slow when trying new things. Always Be in Control of the weight and your body.
- Warm Up – Ease your body into the workout with a 5-10 minute warm up.
How to Train with Intensity:
- Slow Tempo – Lower the weight slowly take 3-4 seconds to lower and raise the weight each rep.
- Low Rest periods – Keep rest periods short in between sets. Under a minute is best. Use supersets as you advance.
- Use High Volume and/or Heavy Weight – Push your muscles to their limits with heavy weight or lot’s of reps.
- Sweat – If your shirt isn’t soaked in sweat you’re not training hard enough. So, train harder. Sweat and you will see results.
Bring intelligent training together with Intensity and hard work and you’re on your way to becoming your best self in the gym. Make the most of you time in the gym to get results – Train Hard and Train Smart!
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