#5 - Be prepared to push your body to the limit.
If you think that building muscle is going to be a walk in the park and that you can simply enter the gym, “go through the motions” and then go home, you are sadly mistaken.
The reality is that if you want to experience any appreciable gains in muscle size and strength, you’re going to have to be prepared to train hard. This is one of the key factors separating those who make modest gains from those who make outstanding gains.
Most people just plain don’t train hard enough!
As soon as the exercise starts to get difficult their spotter jumps in and starts helping or they put the weight down altogether.
The gym is a war zone, and if you want to be victorious, you must be willing to endure the battle.
Your muscles grow because of an evolutionary, adaptive response to the environment. Intense weightlifting is perceived as a threat to your survival, and the body responds to this by increasing the size and strength of the muscles to battle against the threat. Therefore, in order to see the most dramatic response in size and strength, you must push your body as hard as you safely can.
This can be achieved by performing all sets in the gym to the point of concentric muscular failure…
Concentric Muscular Failure: The point at which no further positive repetitions can be performed despite your greatest efforts.
There are 2 main phases to every exercise that you perform: the concentric and the eccentric. The concentric is the “positive” portion of the exercise (such as the “pushing” movement of a bench press) and the eccentric is the “negative” portion of the exercise (the “lowering” movement of a bench press).
Your goal in the gym is to perform each exercise to the point where no further concentric repetitions can be executed using proper form despite your greatest efforts to do so.
This is very challenging and will require a lot of mental toughness on your part. I’m not going to sit here and feed you a pack of lies by saying that training for muscle size is an easy task. It’s not!
Anyone who tries to tell you that training to failure is easy is flat-out lying. But if you’re serious about changing your physique and seeing serious results, this is simply what needs to be done.
Training to concentric failure will place the greatest amount of stress on the musculature and will produce the most dramatic “artificial threat” possible.
Some argue that training to failure is not necessary in order for muscle growth to occur, and the truth is that they are absolutely correct. You could never train to failure and over time you would still see gains in muscle mass and strength. The only true requirement for muscle growth to occur is progression.
However, (and that’s a big however) if you’re like 99% of the population, then you want to experience those gains as quickly and efficiently as you possibly can. While training to failure isn’t necessary for growth to occur, it IS necessary if you want maximum growth to occur in the shortest period of time possible.