I'm going to let you in on a secret. There are only a few people in the history of planet earth that know about this and I'm about to reveal it to you.
Ok, I'm being a bit dramatic here – or A LOT dramatic. But if you want to kill your workouts, build lean muscle and improve your athleticism, there's one thing that you're going to have to master:
Walk into a gym and what do you see? Do you see guys training their asses off, or talking? Sweating and in pain, healed over trying to get some air into their lungs, or with their eyes glued to the TV watching last night's sports highlights?
I see talking, walking, sitting, resting, and watching TV. The odd time I'll see a guy really working hard, and surprise, he's almost always completely shredded and jacked! Go figure?
Wherever your place of training is should be an escape. It should be the place you go to in order to get away from the monotony and "civility" of everyday life. It's your time to be an animal and to let loose, push around some heavy weights, feel some physical pain (in a good way) and truly work your arse off!
I look forward to my training everyday. I love that escape, and because of the fact I don't have a whole lot of time, I make sure I get the absolute most out of every session. It sucks walking out of the gym feeling like I didn't work hard. It's the same feeling if I didn't truly give it my all on the basketball court or in the boxing ring. The competitiveness hasn't left, it's just moved to different areas.
But How Does Intensity Actually Help Build Lean, Athletic Muscle?
It isn't the first couple of reps that help us build muscle, it's those last 1 or 2 before failure – including the rep before failure within proper form – that have the biggest benefits. The thing is, not a whole lot of us actually lift to failure. We quick at a rep number and don't feel the excruciating pain in our muscles that results from real hard work.
Building lean muscle is about breaking down muscle, then repairing it through proper rest and recovery. If you're walking and watching throughout your workout, you're not giving your body the opportunity to build muscle.
Here are a few tips that'll help you add more intensity to your workouts, therefore seeing more results and getting more satisfaction from the time you devote to your training.
1. Challenge Workouts
Here's a video of a great one I recently did -? Muscle-Building Challenge Workout Video
Challenge workouts need intensity. There aren't built in rest periods. So if you get into a conversation with someone, there goes your workout. It's ruined because your time is going to skyrocket.
If you haven't done a challenge workout, you're given a list of effective exercises, and told how many reps to do for each. As soon as you start the workout, you start the clock. You have to complete every exercise for the allotted amount of reps. The time it takes you to do so is your score. The lower the score the better.
If you have pride, and the desire to win, or improve, then challenge workouts are the answer to your lack of intensity and results.
2. Wear Headphones
One sure-fire way of avoiding a conversation is wearing headphones. If someone tries to start a conversation, just ignore them and pretend you didn't hear a word they said. I'm not condoning being rude, but for shit's sake, it seems like so many people are in the gym to talk and not to work.
A conversation is THE BEST WAY to kill an awesome workout. So pop on your ipod, set it to your favorite album or playlist, and kill your workout!
3. Bring a Water Bottle
An awesome way to get caught in a conversation is to head to the water fountain. That seems to be where 'the chatters' congregate. It's kind of like in the office where everyone hover's around the water cooler to catch up on last night's games or current events (or at least this is how I remember it, I haven't had an office job for a number of years now).
Bringing a water bottle means you don't have to stray from where you're training. Most of the exercises in the challenge workout I showed you above can be done at the squat rack. So bring enough water, or Gatorade, or whatever you drink when you're training, and again, kill your workout!
Take the Challenge and Wake-up!
This is the solution to your problems. This is how I gained 32 pounds of lean, athletic, muscle in 32 weeks.
Do you have what it takes?
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