Today I want to talk about finding the perfect weight lifting intensity for you.
Many programs misunderstand the concept of building muscle and believe it relies on increasing intensity as the number one priority.
Intensity is a factor in building muscle but not everyone can handle maximum intensity ALL the time.
My definition of intensity = how far you push yourself during a set.
I am not defining intensity as a function of amount of weight lifted. I just want to talk about how far to push yourself during any given set.
Some people will overtrain very quickly if they are going to complete failure on every set of every exercise of every single workout.
It's important for you to find your optimal weight lifting intensity. This is going to be different for everyone and will change as your body changes.
Today, I'm going to show you a few of my secrets that ensure you are always making progress and never overtraining.
These secrets are included within the WLC System. I wanted to share these secrets with you today because you might not be using the WLC System yet and this will save you years of frustration.
You MUST Recover Properly From EACH Workout to Build Muscle…
Do you realize the vast amount of factors that influence your recovery from each weight lifting workout? Almost everything you do will affect the amount of muscle you are building from each workout.
Here's a list of factors that affect recovery from workouts. This list includes just a few of the factors that affect the amount of muscle you build from each workout:
- Every meal that you eat
Every piece of food that you eat should be packed full of vitamins and minerals. You should flood your body with nutrients that it can use. This means you can workout with a higher intensity and still recover properly.
- Amount of protein, carbs, and fat you are eating
Your body must have protein readily available to build muscle.
Carbohydrates are premium fuel for your workouts. You should never eat a low carb diet if you want to build muscle.
The right fats will create the optimal muscle building environment inside your body.
The correct combination of protein, carbs, and fat will help you recover faster from workouts and allow you to lift with a higher intensity each set of each workout.
- Amount of water you are drinking
Water really is an amazing substance. Did you know staying properly hydrated increases strength levels? It's true.
Staying properly hydrated will lead to better results in and out of the gym. Just a slight state of dehydration will halt fat burning altogether.
- How often you eat throughout the day
Carbohydrates and fat can be stored within your body. Protein cannot — yet, protein must be present within your body and available in order to build muscle.
You should have protein every 3 hours during the day. This will allow you to fully recover and increase the weight lifting intensity during workouts.
- The amount of junk food you eat
Junk food robs your body of precious nutrients. Stop eating junk food, and you will be able to raise the intensity of your workouts.
- Amount of quality sleep you get each night
I'm not sure there's anything more important for building muscle than getting proper sleep. Sleep is so important. If you aren't getting quality sleep, you will have to lower your weight lifting intensity or you will overtrain.
- Amount of stress in your life
Stress can absolutely demolish your efforts in the gym. If you get stressed out about things you cannot control, ask yourself: “Am I even going to remember this in 10 years?”
For example, many people get stressed out while driving. Is it really that important you make it to work 2 minutes earlier than normal? Will you care you were 2 minutes earlier than normal 10 years from now?
If you can successfully decrease stress in your life, you will build muscle faster — that's the truth.
- Physicality of your job
If you have a job that's physically demanding such as lifting heavy boxes, you will have to decrease the intensity of your workouts until your body becomes more conditioned.
- Intensity of each workout
This is what we're discussing today… the further you push yourself towards complete failure — the more stress you add to your body and the more time it takes to recover.
You can easily control the intensity level of each workout. I'm going to show you how to do this later on.
- Frequency of each workout
If you workout more frequently to hit the muscle group more often (48 hours or so), you cannot expect to go to complete failure every set of every workout.
You can condition your body to take this type of punishment but there's really no reason to do so.
Decreasing the frequency of workouts allows your body to recover more fully, but it can also waste time in your quest to build muscle.
- Pre and post workout nutrition
If you eat the proper combination and the right types of protein and carbohydrates before and after your workout, you can get nutrients to the muscle faster and more efficiently.
For several hours after your workout you should attempt to flood your body with muscle building nutrients. Eat only the best sources of food and you'll recover very quickly.
- Supplementation including vitamin intake
The type and amount of supplements you take will affect your recovery. Vitamin supplementation can really help too. If you aren't eating a large variety of foods, you definitely need a multivitamin.
- Intensity and amount of cardio you do
The type of cardio you do, how often you do it, and how much you do can really affect weight lifting intensity during your workouts.
For example, many programs recommend High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) all the time for several workouts per week. HIIT can be pretty hard on your body and force you to take more time to recover.
- Current conditioning level
You can improve your conditioning level which will lead to better recovery between workouts. You can workout more often and condition your body to a higher weight lifting intensity. The body is amazing at adapting.
- Special recovery technqiues
Static stretching, weighted stretching, dynamic stretching, foam rolling, massage, hot tubs, saunas, hot baths, and even ice baths can increase recovery time between workouts and allow you to increase weight lifting intensity.
All of the factors above affect rest and recovery between workouts… and that means each of the factors listed above affect how hard you can push yourself during a workout without overtraining.
Below, I'm going to tell you about one of the secrets used within the WLC System to ensure you aren't overtraining and to help you learn more about your personal recovery levels.
Here's the Secret Method to Find YOUR Perfect Weight Lifting Intensity
For everyone that starts out on the WLC System, I recommend that they end each set whenever the rep speed begins to slow down.
You are never pushing yourself past the limit of your recovery abilities — there's no way you will overtrain.
So, if you're in the middle of a set of squats and you keep pushing for several more reps…
When you start to have trouble lifting the weight…
Which means the speed at which you are lifting begins to significantly slow…
That's when you STOP the set.
Simple, huh? This ensure you aren't overtraining and you are recovering properly between each workout.
From there, you can try increasing weight lifting intensity. You can measure your progress by strength gains. If you are making strength gains from workout to workout, you are still recovering properly.
If strength progress begins to slow, then you know to backoff on the intensity. Take it down a notch and you should see your strength start to increase again.
This method will help you find the optimal weight lifting intensity for you as an individual. Remember, everyone is different when it comes to recovery abilities. BUT this method will ensure you never overtrain from pushing yourself too hard during workouts.
Weight training intensity is NOT the most important muscle building factor. As long as you are increasing the weight from workout to workout, you will be building muscle. Pushing yourself further and further past failure each workout is not the goal.
So you don't have to feel bad about stopping a set before you reach failure.
You do not have to go to failure to build muscle, but you do need to increase the weight from workout to workout to build muscle.
Optimize All the Factors Listed Above and Lift With a Higher Weight Lifting Intensity
Lifting with a higher intensity PLUS increasing the weight you lift each workout will produce better results.
If you push yourself too far, though, you will overtrain. Use the method above to ensure you don't overtrain.
If you want to be able to get the absolute BEST and the FASTEST results, you MUST optimize all of the factors that I listed above in the bullets.
In order to help you learn how to opitmize everything, I developed the WLC System for building muscle and burning fat. Within the WLC System — you will learn what you need to be doing on a daily and weekly basis to get fast and permanent results.
If you're interested in building muscle fast, you should take a look at the WLC System right now.