Everyone thinks they’re training hard.
The fact that I don’t see that many impressive physiques in my social media feeds or out and about in the real world proves otherwise.
But everyone isn’t Y-O-U!
So on a scale of 1 to a female pornstar’s stunt cock, how hard do you go in the gym?
Are you at the gym for hours on end doing a billion exercises, 1000 rep sets, sets on sets on sets, and leaving a swimming pool’s worth of MRSA on every piece of equipment without cleaning up after yourself?!?!
Or, instead of using pussy weights that allow you to train for all eternity, are you going balls-to-the-wall for an hour with brutal poundages and pushing every set to absolute failure so that by the time your workout is over you need management to provide you a wheelchair to bring you to your car?!?!
If you’re like most people (and you fucking are), that’s what you think about when you hear the word intensity — pushing yourself hard to the point of collapse by either increasing volume or moving superhuman weight like a big, yucky “bodybuilder“.
Sorry, but there’s more to it.
Ummmmm, you’ll have to forgive me for NOT disclosing that as I instead go on a tangent about what’s wrong with the popular idea of intensity in a very desperate attempt to build up this post’s word count.
Hey, I’m a lot of things, and one of them is transparent!
I. (Word) Count On Me
Google loves +1000 word blog entries for search purposes.
So if you want to rank for keywords and drive organic traffic to your site, you better write you some +1000 word blog entries.
This entry doesn’t really require a thousand words, though.
But I’m trying to drive traffic.
So I’m forced to do things to meet the word count, unconscionable things like delaying what workout intensity is so I can stuff this post with unnecessary filler about what’s wrong with your current conception of it.
How will I sleep at night knowing I’ve made you read waaayyyy more than you needed to?
I don’t know how I’ll do it…except comfortably!
Now, if you have enough energy to train for longer than an hour, then what you’re doing is training at a leisurely to moderate pace and not really pushing yourself. On top of that, you’re wasting your time because the body eventually starts breaking down muscle for energy rather than building it. That’s why you want to get in and get out…like how you do with a one-night stand and leave before the other person starts thinking it’s something that it’s not because your staying has them believing you meant that shit about wanting to be with them (but you didn’t because you’re a player, albeit a subpar one).
And while going balls out is indeed pushing it, annihilating yourself each and every workout isn’t exactly productive. Routinely training to complete failure and beyond can be a waste of time, as so much stress is repeatedly placed on the nervous system that the body doesn’t have the capacity to recover, which can have a detrimental effect on performance or even lead to injury. And you know what that means, right? Yup, it fucks up your long term GAINZ, brah!!!
As we see, what’s commonly thought of as intensity isn’t all that intense nor smart.
There’s something else to it.
Technically, intensity is how close the training load is to the maximum amount of weight you can use for one repetition, and it’s irrespective of effort. So if your one-rep max on the bench press is 315 lbs and you perform your working sets with 80% of that for 3 reps, then you’re training at a fairly high intensity, no matter if you watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in between sets.
But fuck that nerd shit.
For the purposes of me screaming at you people, intensity is as much about training load as it is about the degree of exertion from doing things such as a marathon workout and grinding out reps until people have to rush over to you to get the weight off because you’re crapped out and no one’s in the mood to see someone squished to goo (at least not today).
Those forms of intensity are window dressing.
Intensity is much deeper than that.
II. Set It Off
Intensity is a mindset. And it’s as much a vibe you give off as you show; something others feel as much as they see.
Intensity happens before you even step foot inside the gym, and it’s much like how you prepare yourself for another day of wage slavery. However, instead of sitting in your car in the burger joint’s parking lot getting your mind right to deal with your asshole coworkers like you do every morning, intensity is you visualizing yourself going through the workout: imagining how the weight feels, picturing how hard you’re pushing; recalling how the weight felt last time; running down the order of the exercises you’re going to perform.
And then when you enter the gym and step inside the weight room, intensity is you tuning out the stress and chaos of your mess of a life and directing all your attention to such trivial things as completing the task at hand, your workout.
It’s you thinking about your form; if you’re contracting the correct muscle(s) to lift the weight; are you squeezing as hard as possible; are you as explosive as you can be on the concentric and exhibiting control on the eccentric; is your breathing right; are your body parts moving through space the way they’re supposed to; is the lifting tempo too fast or too slow.
Intensity is you thinking about all that and more during the set and immediately after in anticipation of the next one.
It’s not you thinking about the movie selection for Netflix and chill. Or worrying how you’re on the verge of getting fired at work for your gross incompetence (your doing such a piss-poor job at flipping burgers is beyond me, but whatevs). Or thinking about what you’re going to eat for dinner to negate your having even worked out. Or running excuses through your head that sound legitimate enough to weasel your way out of a commitment you were stupid enough to make (like, perhaps, Netflix and chill with someone you normally wouldn’t be caught dead in public with but have been reduced to because, well, you’re not exactly a prize either).
Intensity is not you thinking about anything taking place outside of the gym.
Neither is it you treating the gym like a social club and chatting it up with every Tom, Dick and Harry, or Dawn, Britt, and Mary.
Nor is it treating the gym as a flesh emporium, with your head on a swivel turning here and there to look at every hot piece of ass walking by and crop dusting the gym.
And it’s definitely not treating the gym as another shooting location to get footage for “likes” from strangers who by no means improve the quality of your life, especially if you’re not on social media for business and marketing reasons! You know, doing a dumbbell curl with one hand and using the other hand to film your reflection in the mirror instead of using the other hand to, I don’t know, do curls!
Intensity is you basically treating the gym as nothing but a workplace, with everyone around you knowing that you’re there to take care of business and nothing else, at least until after your work is completed.
Now, once again, how hard do you go in the gym?