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  1. #1
    Registered User userDOLHOC8VEG8's Avatar
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    Angry How do I know if I'm lifting "hard"?

    I've been working out for about 18 years. I have an average body. Some say I don't eat enough protein. Others say I am not lifting hard enough. I am completely unsure about what "hard" is supposed to mean. I try to go as heavy as possible and still have good form by the end of my third set. I usually experience some soreness the next day or two. Is hard supposed to mean barely lifting the bar by the end? If I need to go to failure, is it only to failure on the last set? If I go to failure on every set then clearly I'll need to do fewer reps every set. If I am not going "hard" enough can I compensate with more reps or more sets to assure that I can cover the load. I am just not getting what that threshold is, if indeed that is reason I have never really gained muscle.
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  2. #2
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    What are the heavy weights for your lifts?
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  3. #3
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    Check out the RPE scale in this link.

    https://www.treadawaytraining.com/bl...r+bodybuilding

    I like to keep my RPE around 9-9.5 and some sets, 10

    You're the only one who can answer to yourself of whether you're training hard enough.
    If you need some new stuff, try throwing in some drop sets and supersets. Those will up the intensity in your sessions.
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    Manic Depressive 8eggs's Avatar
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    Lifting heavy doesn't necessarily build muscle, that trains the cns to recruit more muscle fibers at once...think Olympic weight lifters in a low weight class.

    Hypertrophy will build more muscle than training heavily.

    Try the Vince Gironda 10x10. 40% of your 1 rep max for 10 sets of 10 reps with only 15 seconds rest in-between sets. If you can get all 10 sets add weight to the next session.....do 1 exercise per target muscle on given workout day.

    This will let you know if your going hard enough...also it's surprisingly brutal
    "We are as our thoughts have made us; So take care about what you think, Words are secondary , Thoughts live ; They travel far."
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  5. #5
    NASM-CPT xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Check out the RPE scale in this link.

    https://www.treadawaytraining.com/bl...r+bodybuilding

    I like to keep my RPE around 9-9.5 and some sets, 10

    You're the only one who can answer to yourself of whether you're training hard enough.
    If you need some new stuff, try throwing in some drop sets and supersets. Those will up the intensity in your sessions.

    ^^^^ This.

    Generally speaking if you're lifting within a rep or two of failure (RPE 8-9) on most sets, with occasional sets to failure that's enough to generate proper stimulus for muscle growth. The problem is many people are notoriously bad judges of where failure actually is and they stop well short of that.

    When you say you have an "average body", I would assume after 18 years of lifting you would have a pretty decent base of muscle even if your protein intake was on the lower side. Of course if you're carrying a lot of fat over the top of that muscle then of course its going to make you look very average, so maybe you need to cut down to get some more definition?
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    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.

    Don't be upset with the results you didn't get from the work you did not do.
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  6. #6
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I agree with the guys above. You need to have a realistic idea of where your maximum exertion is.

    This can be hard to do, especially with lighter weights when the lactic acid burn makes it start hurting long before you genuinely reach the point of failure.

    Do an experiment, take a weight you think is your 10 rep maximum and ask yourself how many reps in a single you could get if your life depended on it. If you can get 12+ then perhaps you were lowballing your exertion levels per set.
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