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Old 09-23-2011, 02:16 PM   #11
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Felt good after reading the OP since I do every single one of those exercises. By 'soon' you'll be passing others in the gym I assume you mean a year or thereabouts?
If not sooner.

About the year point you should really look back and see some solid changes in size and strength. After year two, if working hard enough, people will start to ask you what your secrets are.

It takes a bit of time along the way to find a good balance between food, rest and work, but once you do, full throttle!

I rested like a bear during my first 2 years of training.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:29 PM   #12
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It does take a while to master 'training hard', this is why I'm such a big fan of quite rigid routines and cycling for beginner/intermediates. If the focus is on progression then everything falls into place anyway and hard work has to happen. They just need to follow what's on paper and do it.
I couldn't agree more. Having a rigid program and a concrete notion of how to progress is the spark that ignites amazing gains.

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For someone who's a bit more advanced it gets different, you may only do 3 exercises on any given day despite having 5 in your log book. If you kill yourself on those 3 it's highly unlikely doing much more will add anything. Also an advanced guy may switch exercises around a lot, but he knows when he's genuinely working hard and when he's loafing because he has a much broader range of 'whats heavy' through his years of training. So even in a new exercise he will get a pretty good handle within only a session or two of what he's capable of there.

I'd even go so far as to say this is one of the main reasons why HIT failed so hard with many people. You can't teach people to work 'hard just by writing about it'. Going to failure doesn't mean anything, could just mean they dropped the bar before it got really hard. The initial advice was probably fine, work as hard as you can. But try teaching that to a teenager who's only real main concern is abs to pick up chicks and hang around at bars most nights. Much, much easier to get them to focus on progression.
Not to pull the discussion off track, but one of the faults I began to see with "training to failure" as an end game is that it's much easier for certain exercises than it is for others.

There are some exercises I can easily train to failure on. More than this, there are some exercises I can train to failure on and not feel I've worked very hard. A good example for me would be barbell rows and bench press. I could load up a weight that allows for 5-6 reps, go to failure, and still feel I have a lot of work to do.

Other exercises, such as dumbbell rows and goblet squats absolutely kill me long before I reach anything near failure. One hard set and I want my mommy.

Training hard to me for the novice/early intermediate will always involve trying to push for more, in some way, shape or form. This constant striving for more will never let anyone down.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:01 PM   #13
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If you constantly train to failure, your body will find ways to reach it faster
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