Are You Training Hard Enough?

[Posted 19 February 2019]

You’ve been training but aren’t seeing results. Or perhaps you just aren’t where you thought you’d be at this point. The likely issue is you simply are not training as hard as you think you are.

If you have been training for quite a while and still aren’t seeing results then something with your approach is obviously not working.

Ask yourself these questions right now:

  1. Are you pushing yourself with your training?
  2. Are you eating enough (and the right foods)?
  3. Are you staying properly hydrated?
  4. Are you getting enough sleep?
  5. Are you properly managing your stress level?

TODAY lets tackle the issue with how you TRAIN. Chances are, if you aren’t seeing results, you are like most people who begin a new training regimen and are just going through the motions and not pushing yourself.

If you want change then you have to force it. Your body will adapt to specific demands that are placed on it (the Principle of Specificity).Simple enough: if you want to get better at lifting weight, and get larger muscles then lift weights. HOW you are lifting that weight is what we now have to address.

It isn’t enough that you are just DOING it - you have to do it in a way that forces adaption, and where most gym-goers go wrong is neglecting the Principle of Overload. In order to force adaption the training stimulus must exceed the current capabilities. You have to get out of your comfort zone. You can’t lift the same weight, with the same number of reps, and same number of sets each time you train and expect change because your body has zero reason to adapt – it can already do everything you are asking of it. Always doing 3 sets of 10 reps isn’t going to cut it.

You can achieve overload by manipulating the Acute Variables of Training: How many repetitions, how many sets, how heavy the resistance (intensity), repetition tempo (time under tension and rate of force production), training volume (how MUCH are you doing), how long you rest between sets, as well as how often you train (your training split or cycle), how long you train, and finally which exercises you choose.

Your programming is a guideline, not a law. For example, when you look at your programming and see a recommended rep range that does NOT mean you have to stop when you reach it. It’s a simply a recommendation. If it says 10 reps and you get to 10 reps and you think you have 2 more in the tank then DO 2 MORE REPS. If its burning and you think that’s all you have – keep going and give it your all and try to get in another rep, and another, and another until you actually can’t. That’s reps to failure, and that’s where your training produces results. THAT is overload.

Do you think you can do more sets? Do MORE sets. Lift too easy? Increase the difficulty by adding more weight, more time under tension, or shorten your rest periods. Chase that overload.

-Nathan