Selen Dar

Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

What’s up, guys? Sean Nalewanyj, and in today’s
video here I want to talk about the subject of training intensity. And just like the title says ask you the question:
are you truly training hard enough in the gym to maximize your total body gains. It’s a pretty simple question but so many
beginning lifters out there get so hung up on all these different aspect of their program
like exercise selection, number of sets, rep ranges, rest periods, training splits, all
these things and they forget or don’t even understand the basic fact that training intensity
itself, the percentage of total effort you exert on each set is actually the single most
important base line factor there is when it comes to building muscle and gaining strength. Because it’s the underlying stimulus that
actually sets those processes into motion in the first place. Now, before jump in to the video, if you do
enjoy this content make sure to hit subscribe button below and click the little bell notification
as well, because that way you’ll be kept in the loop and notified anytime I upload a new
video. So all of those other training factors that
I just mentioned, they’re obviously important too, and it’s a combination of everything
that you do in the gym that’s going to determine your overall progress. But when it all comes down to it muscle growth
is an evolutionary stress response and it’s 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 stress has to be strong
enough. The body has to perceive that the demands
of the environment exceed its current capability, or at least exceed what it’s currently optimized
for. That’s the message that you’re trying to
send your body anytime you train with weight. You’re trying to say that the environment
that you’re in and the task that you’re being faced with are right up near the limits of
current strength capacity or actually beyond. And that’s what triggers the response. So if you’re consistently performing tasks
that are already well within your ability, meaning you’re lifting a certain amount of
weight for a certain number of reps that you can already do without a high level of exertion,
there’s no reason for your body to make any change. You can already do those tasks. So why would your body use up valuable energy
and valuable resources to build new muscle tissue that it doesn’t even need. Again, training intensity is the stimulus
that sets the entire muscle building process into motion. Progressive overload is what allows you to
make continued gains from week to week, meaning that you consistently increasing the workload
in terms of weight and reps overtime, but in any single workout the fact that you simply
train hard enough to triggered adaptive response, that’s what really matters. And without that nothing else in your program
is going to make any difference. So if you’re just plain not training hard
enough then you’re either going to progress a bit but not to the degree that you could
be or you won’t progress at all, or even worse, it could actually be counterproductive
to your physique, which I’ll talk about here in a second. And I know that this might sound obvious to
a lot of you, but to just as many people out there it really isn’t all that obvious. And there’s so many lifters out there who
just go to the gym, they pick some exercises and rep range and then basically just go through
the motions without really understanding what they’re trying to do. The workouts are still somewhat challenging,
they feel the burn, they get a little pump going on but without realizing it they’re
still not training nearly close enough to their maximum ability to really trigger a
significant muscle building response. Or what I’d also see is what I’d call
selective intensity. And that’s where people will train fairly
hard but only on certain lifts for the more showy muscle groups like the chests or the
arms, which also happened to be some of the least challenging muscles to train. 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 and their legs, it’s a much different story and they just don’t exert the same
percentage of effort. Now, 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 on every set. It is possible to train too hard as well. I don’t recommend you train to complete
failure on every set or that you use high intensity methods like forced reps, heavy
negatives, rest pause, et cetera, at least not frequently. Because going too high with your intensity
can lead to excessive overall fatigue and it can also increased your risk for injuries
as well. Training to failure on some sets some at the
time is fine as long as your volume is adjusted for it, and lower intensity-higher rep sets
can also be used as well in some cases as well for certain purposes. But I think that on most sets, most of the
time, a good solid guideline for the average lifter is to train about one to two rep short
of concentric muscular failure. Again, on the majority of your sets. So that basically just means that if going
a hundred percent all out and lifting with every ounce of strength until you couldn’t
get another rep no matter what, if doing that allowed you to get ten reps of a certain weight,
you; stop at the eighth or ninth rep. So you want to leave one to two reps in the
tank for most sets. That amount of intensity is high enough to
trigger the body’s muscle growth response but also low enough to where you won’t burn
yourself out. Meaning, you can perform more total volume
to optimize your results and where you won’t be putting excessive stress on your joints
either. So, if you haven’t been making progress
in the gym or at least not the progress that you feel you should be, sit down, take a look
at your training plan, and that includes all muscle groups and all exercises, not just
machine flies and dumbbell curls. And be honest with yourself and ask yourself
if you’re truly pushing yourself to that level of intensity on the majority of your sets. Because if you’re training much below that
then you’re not going to build your physique up to its real potential. And like I’d mention in the beginning, it’s
not just that you won’t build as effectively as you could be but it could actually be directly
harmful to your physique if you’re eating in a calorie surplus but you aren’t training
hard enough. Again, you have to think about the basic logic
of muscle growth here. You go to the gym, you put your muscles under
stress to stimulate a growth response and then you leave the gym and consume more calories. And your body uses those extra calories to
build muscle. But if you’re training intensity wasn’t
high enough during the workout and the growth response was weak as a result of that, then
not only will you not gain very much because your body just doesn’t have the incentive
for it but your body won’t even need all of those extra calories you’ve been eating
so they won’t have anywhere to go except to your fat stores. And this is one of the big reasons why some
guys can go to the gym consistently over the course of a few months and then end up gaining
mostly fat. It’s because they’re feeding their body
with a bunch of extra calories that it doesn’t even need since it has no incentive to use
those calories for building muscle because the overall stress from the workout isn’t
high enough to fully trigger the growth response so those calories just gets stored as fat. So, the bottom line here, there are a lot
of different factors that go into planning out a complete muscle building program both
in terms of training and nutrition, but basic training intensity is the stimulus that initiates
the whole process. And without that you’re not going to get the
results you’re after. And it’s not just enough to train hard for
chests and biceps, these includes compound leg training, compound back training. It includes everything. So, take a look at your approach, be honest
with yourself, because you might discover that you could be doing more than you are
right now. So thanks for watching, guys. If you found this advice useful and you want
to get a complete step-by-step road map that incorporates all of the different factors
you need to know to maximize your progress in terms of training, nutrition and supplementation,
then you can download my Body Transformation Blueprint by clicking here or by heading over
to using the link in the description box. If you enjoyed the video, as always, make
sure to hit the like button, leave a comment and subscribe to stay up to date on future
videos. You can also check out my official blog over
at for all of my latest updates. And you can follow me Facebook and Instagram
as well for more daily tips, the link for that are also in the description box. Thanks for watching, guys. I’ll see you in the next video.

81 thoughts on “Do You REALLY Train Hard Enough For Maximum Gains?

  1. Alright maybe a tricep pressdown wasn't the best thumbnail choice for a video discussing training intensity, but hope the content was helpful nonetheless. It's really easy to get caught up in all the different training information out there in terms of volume, frequency, exercise selection, rep ranges, weekly splits etc, but good old fashioned hard work is what truly transforms physiques when it all comes down to it.

    What level of intensity do you personally employ on the majority of sets in terms of proximity to muscular failure? Comment below…

  2. I’ve been doing intense three days a week of strength training but I’m thinking of doing an upper lower or a push pull split. Would strength training 4 times a week hinder results?

    I’m not trying to gain to much size, just strength.

  3. Straight and to the point advice as always Sean.
    Agreed. As a beginner, you forget the basics as you get too carried away with all the other side bits. I know personally I need to increase my intensity.

  4. man, these other fitness youtubers may be entertaining and stuff, but when it comes down to raw, honest and helpfull fitness/bodybuilding advice, Sean is hands down THE best youtuber out there. Been following hem since he had like 10k subscribers. Great video as always!

  5. Missed you mate, most enjoyable and Probably smartest fitness youtuber out there (No offense to any other youtuber Ofcourse)

  6. How long should I be inside the gym working out. I usually spend 50 mins on working out chest and trics and back and bics. Is this to long. + I train abs 3 times a week and that usually takes me 20 mins extra? Should i be spending less time in the gym? I hope someone can help me. Thanks for the information in the video though! 😀

  7. that’s an awesome video 👍 I got stuck on my bench-press without even realizing that I all I‘ve to do is putting on more weights. It‘s funny how something obvious like this I just don’t realized, but sometimes you just get stuck in your every-day routines…

  8. But you could also say that you aren't really training hard enough if you're stopping 1-2 reps short. I get what you're saying about not burning out and all that, but pushing yourself is kind of the point of the video right? In my opinion I would say pick a rep range you want to train in for each exercise that you're doing, and aim to hit that rep range or number until you can no longer do it with PERFECT form. Once your form starts to degrade and you have to recruit other muscles to help you do more reps, that's when your set is done.

  9. I’m lucky that the first “trainer” so to speak that influenced me was Athleanx. Jeff has been the ONLY one to say that your training has to be short and intense. If you’re not feeling it and didn’t give it 110% don’t even bother.

  10. I basically try to get in there at try to go 80 – 90 % while maintaining good to perfect form to stay in the rep range necessary for that movement and have been seeing all kindzzaa gainzz . When I go balls to the wall i just end up getting injured and since I am just some douchebag tryna get sexy for the summer. My mantra is BE CONSISTENTLY AVERAGE.

  11. A fitness YouTuber who actually considers science and physiology? Without Sean doing his thing, it’d be easier to find a unicorn.

  12. Hey Sean. How can I get more intensity? I'm refraining from pre workout because it could be dangerous. However, I cannot get the mental stimulus to break my plateau. I'm 188lb, 5'9 and only bench l flat bench 140lb 5×5

  13. I agree. I think good intensity on a mediocre program gets better results then poor intensity on the perfect program. I seem to be the only one grunting out the occasional last rep. I would probably get kicked out of planet fitness. =) I've tried to be quite but I just cant be all of the time with my intensity on heavy lift days. Not long ago My plate math was off and I accidentally loaded 10 extra pounds onto the bar for a floor press of 5 -6 planned reps. First set I though dam….. That felt a lot heavier than last week. I ended up doing 5 , realized what I had done, almost stripped the weight off then thought …I did 5 that set. I can do 2 more sets of 5. It wasn't suppose to be a "heavy day" but I rolled with it and bumped the intensity up a notch to complete two more sets of five without resorting to taking those 10 lbs off.

  14. Excellent points Sean! What you say here really aligns with what has always worked well for me in my weight training: finding a rep-range that gets me just a rep or two shy of failure, without crossing the line to actual failure.

    I've seen some trainers describe techniques for how to push beyond failure, and it has never seemed right to me.

    I'm curious what you think of the reports that some of the routines that push people beyond failure can actually cause muscle breakdown. For example, take a look at this article:

  15. Thank you for highlighting training intensity when lifting for gains. Too many people go through the motions and it is not just about the exercise but how you do the exercise. Good quality content.

  16. You put up this video at the exact right time for me! Thanks as always for the awesome content! Paralysis by analysis can definitely be a problem for me!!

  17. Great video Sean.
    Just started incorporating your Mobility Routine in my workout. My question is whether to foam roll my lats(as shown in the video)and other muscle group on my chest and triceps day or to just do medicine ball roll on chest?
    I do all the other mobility exercises shown after the foam rolling exercises(one with the cable/band) so that’s NOT where I am confused.

    Or should I perform the whole upper body mobility routine 3-4 times a week? Sorry for the long post.

  18. Just an anecdote for people in a similar situation but I used to lift with heavier dumbbells and got decent gains, but could only do so much. I started using low weights recently and it's absolutely amazing. I'm able to push myself way harder, break a sweat, feel the burn, and have an intense 25 minute workout rather than 40 minutes of 60% effort. I really recommend it, amazing video as always Sean

  19. My biggest problem was that I had pain when i trained. So I basically went one year doing 60% effort becouse of the pain (which is retarded), I maintained my strength for a year. Im now able to train much harder without anypain after months of just focosuing on getting healthy. Im just happy I can push myself again and see better results!

  20. Good tips. I would suggest the term "evolutionary" should be replaced by "adaptive." Muscle growth and strength is an adaptive process, as in the body adapting to it's environment/current state.

  21. As Mark Rippetoe of Starting Strength has often pointed out, genetic controls virtually every aspect relating to your muscles such as length, number of fibers, insertion and origin points, tendon and ligament structure, etc. All an individual can realistically do is to train for strength in an attempt to get as close to his or her genetic potential as possible.

    You lift so as to induce the adaptive response that leads to an increase in muscle mass. Period. That means trying to work past you present limit while also allowing your body the necessary time to recover from training because you grow during recovery and not during the lifting phase.

    If you are training for aesthetics, which will limit your strength gains, your level of daily caloric intake becomes the focal point so as to lower your body fat percentage as much as possible. Because you are not lifting to or past your present strength level, you will also be able to train longer, to do more exercises, to do more reps however, your progress will be slower and the returns for your effort will be lower.

    AS Mike Mentzer correctly pointed out, you can train intensely for brief period of time or you can train with much lower intensity for a longer period of time however, you can not train with true intensity for a long period of time.

    One size does not fit all. so, you have to know yourself and what you body reacts the best to and do that. You also need to know if can psychologically handle the stress of intense workouts and the psychological aspects of that are the most difficult aspects to master and control.

  22. Am I right that, the higher the intensity, the less total sets you can do?  I've tried to do more sets, but I wind up really burnt and sore, to the point where I can't function that well in my day-to-day activities.

  23. Good honest video man. It really makes you re-think your training regime in a positive way, trying to maximize the effort you're puting into training every day. If you spend an hour daily in the gym 5 times per week, at least make it worthwhile, gaining something in return.

  24. I don't count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count.
    – Muhammad Ali

  25. You see a lot of people in the gym that reach a certain number and then stop, then during their rest period they’re on their phone…you should use that rest period to think about your technique…to think about how you can improve and ultimately destroy your next set

  26. Hey Sean, I have been watching you for quite a while now. You are honestly are the best underrated fitness Channel I’ve come across. I was wondering if you could make a video about anterior pelvic tilt and how to fix it. I’ve seen videos, but I trust you more than these other channels

  27. Great stuff as always, Sean! I was definitely keeping this video in mind during yesterday's leg day, and found I was able to push myself more than I might have expected. Thanks for the great content!

  28. Does training to muscle failure have any health benefits? Would there be any reason for someone to choose to do 1 to 2 sets to muscle failure instead of increasing the number of sets(volume) (avoiding reaching failure)?Should one combine both increased volume AND muscle failure, and if yes, how?

  29. so to make sure ''the training intensity'' is enough, by optimizing ''progressive overload'' each week?

  30. Hey Sean! Just wondering if you have any idea what went wrong this week? I upped my incline dumbbell curl from 10kg to 15kg and got 12 and a half clean reps of my 5 sets of 12 done the rest were cheat reps and then drop set the last set to 10kg for 12 reps. Thing is my arms actually went down 48hrs after from 15.3" to 15.2" on a bulk??? I have no idea what i did wrong? I know i lifted too heavy but to actually lose size on a bulk didn't add up?

  31. The term intensity generally refers to "weight on the bar" and not how much work you do at a gym session. E.g., "Next time I bench I'll up the intensity 10 lbs."

  32. Good solid advice there Sean! Thanks for sharing so much training wisdom at no cost here on your YouTube channel. We are now fortunate in today's tech age to be able to have this high quality training advice at the tip of our fingers! Such was not the case when I was in my early years of bodybuilding during the 1970s, where we were dependent upon the main muscle magazines each month, or if we were lucky enough to train in a serious gym with top name bodybuilders, hopefully get good advice from them (I was fortunate in this regard, but most were not). Anyway, you are doing an excellent job of dispensing valid training advice, and I enjoy listening to you! See ya' …

  33. I have a problem I would appreciate anyone’s help, whenever I squat, I used to lean over slightly to my right(my dominant side) and it shifted the majority of the tension on my right so my right quads grew bigger than my left. Eventually I noticed and started filming every set of squats I do, but now I’ve noticed my right leg abducts more and my left leg slides in as I rise, is this an imbalance and is there any way I can fix it?

  34. I think what worked for me, is realizing that you don't always do 5×5 sets, but once in a while go to heavier weights, even singles. This way, you vary the stimulus and it's more effective in the long run.

  35. Be sure to read honest and real reviews of Seannal on my blog before you buy. Go to gohonestreviews. com/seannal-review/ Thanks, Tab.

  36. Thank you for your videos. Somehow your videos got my mind to ‘click’ and understand the importance of intensity and weight. When I first started working out a few years ago, I saw immediate results, but as life got busier and my routines changed, I seem to have challenged myself less in the gym. Last week I switched things up, and went heavier and far more intense, and I can already feel a change in my body. Thanks again.

  37. Training too intensely can result in injury. Most people struggle,because they lack the foundation of a good nights sleep and good nutrition.

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