Client: “You love to make me hurt, don’t you?”
Me: “Of course I do. It’s the only way that we’re going to get anywhere.”
I like to push people’s limits in the gym (after proper conditioning, of course). When I’m in training mode, few things can make me happier than seeing that strained look on someone’s face that says, “I’m this close to collapse from pushing so hard.” That’s what happiness looks like to me: pushing people’s strength to its absolute limits. Here’s that face I love:
If It’s Not Hard, Then Go Harder
Our muscles work best when they’re under strain. Want to build stronger muscles? You’ve got to reach for your physical limits every single time you tackle your workouts. Those 20 lb dumbbells may test you in the very beginning of your fitness journey, but you’re going to need a lot more effort to get the leaner body that you crave.
If you’re just starting out in the gym, stick to the weight machines for a few months. To push yourself, start by doing sets of 8-10 reps, where those last 2-3 reps really test your limits. If you can finish the set and think, “That’s not so bad,” then you need to bump the weight again. Once you find that “OH GOD!” point of effort at the end of a short set, take a 90 second rest before going again. Practice this approach with all of your movements until you’ve found that sweet spot of effort, then test those lifting limits every couple of weeks. For best results, train with a partner of similar lifting ability. Spotters are welcome!