Bring the fire and intensity to your training.

Bring the fire. Add intensity to your training.

What separates the winners from the losers?

The champions from the average.

One word.


People like to complain.

“This dude is stronger than me. They’re faster and bigger.”

“That guys on drugs.”

“That guy has great genetics.”

Rather than fuss about something that is out of your hands, focus on yourself and what you can do to improve.

How far can I push?

How far can I go?

What can I do to improve myself?

 What can I do to reach my absolute limit? 

These are the real questions you should concern yourself with.

If you want to take your training to the next level you’ve got to train with intensity. There’s no denying it or hiding from that fact.

How do you train with intensity and reach a level many dream of and even fewer achieve?

Understand the principle of training to the limit.

You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and find comfort in the uncomfortable. When you’re at the point where you muscles are on fire, you feel like you could give out and any second, that’s intensity.

Put it this way, if you’re not in any discomfort then you aren’t working hard enough.

If you leave the gym or wherever you happen to train feeling like you could train some more, you haven’t been working maximally.

Intensity is not something that can be bought and can’t be taught. It has to be acquired through experience.

I train way harder and intense now than I’ve ever done before and every training session whoops my butt.

When I first started training I didn’t understand intensity or know what it felt like to really tax your body and taking your muscles to real “failure.” (I don’t like the word failure because of the negative stigma and connotation associated).

Let me give you a scenario:

My last chest and arms session

I did 6 total sets for chest and 3 for bi’s and tri’s. (Not including 1-2 warm up sets). The session was short and sweet and looks simple on paper, but man was it another thing in practice. The whole ordeal was over in about 40mins.

The way I executed those exercises was intense enough that I felt a little sick, shaking and had to sit down for 10 minutes after training.

Here’s the full break down

(Rest periods between sets were no longer than 30 secs or about 10 deep breathes). As soon as I was done with an exercise, I moved straight to the next one with no rest.


Bench press- 3 sets starting with 5, 8 and on the last set complete failure. Grinding out reps until I could not lift the weight and the muscles would not contract anymore.

Note: I used a leverage machine so there was no danger of a loaded bar falling on my chest when taking the set to failure.

If you’re thinking of attempting this on a regular bench, be smart and have someone there to spot you incase the bar comes down and you’re not able to lift it back up.

Weighted Dips- 3 sets of 5,8, then complete failure. (I removed the weight and did bodyweight dips to failure).

Moving onto arms I did a superset of barbell curls and rope pushdowns 3 sets for each. Keeping the reps at 8 on the first two sets and to failure on the last sets.

Note: I didn’t fixate on reps when taking the final set to complete positive failure. My only concern was taking the muscles to their absolute limit and exhausting them.

I started out with my heaviest sets first using RPT (reverse pyramid) fashion. The heavy sets get the central nervous system fired up and primed.

That session was 12 sets total and at the end of it I was fried.

My definition of intensity is: The greatest amount of effort/force an individual is able to generate toward a targeted goal or objective.

To train to your limit and experience results unlike any other you must:

Work through pain – There’s a pain threshold that people often confuse with muscle failure. A lot of people train up to the point at which they feel pain, aching and lactic acid build up and then stop.

Training to failure is going beyond that, it’s pushing to the point where the muscles are no longer or barely moving.

This is the fundamental principle. Everything else is useless unless you understand and apply this concept to your training.

Limit your rest periods – If you’re doing heavy sets you’ll need longer rest periods to recover your central nervous system enough to be able to complete the next set. (3-5 mins is average).

That’s great for powerlifting and building strength and that’s the way I train when training solely to improve strength. However, you don’t need to be doing that with every damn exercise in your routine unless you are a power lifter or just trying to improve strength.

If you want to tax your muscles and give them a reason to grow you have to overload them, not just with weight but tension as well.

Muscles grow and adapt to the stresses placed on them. Therefore you have to stimulate them with new stresses. By limiting the rest periods and getting back to work faster, you’re challenging your body to work harder under less than ideal circumstances (for the body).

This’ll encourage new growth and development while also having the side benefit of toughening your will and resolve.

Remember, Intensity is subjective. It’s relative. Your level of intensity will not be the same as mine. We’re individuals and are at different stages.

I don’t expect a beginner to be able to train like this and understand intensity. It is only learned and acquired through experience.

When I started training I couldn’t train like this. I had no concept of intensity and this level of training and the amount of effort it required.

This is something that you learn as you go.

Another thing I need to stress about intensity, which I think is often mistaken, is this:

A lot of intensity wannabes will make statements like, “You have to be prepared to train to the point of passing out or losing your lunch.”

That’s absurd.

How on earth is that going to be beneficial?

It’s not.

If you’re passed out on that bench or hurling your lunch all over the floor how is that helping your training?

I never train with that intention. In my opinion it’s stupid. If I’m losing my lunch, I’m losing nutrients that could be used for repairing the body.

If I’m constantly passing out during training I won’t be able to finish training.

It’s not practical, nor is it a consideration or focus for me when training.

Just because you’re not passing out or hurling food doesn’t mean you can’t train intensely.

Now, when some people do train intensely that is a response they get. It can and does happen. I’m not denying that. But trying to chase that feeling and illicit that response in my opinion defies logic.

When you break it down, to train intensely you need to fatigue your muscles, make them burn, pump, ache and ultimately reach the point where they are no longer able to fully contract. (Believe me it’s definitely becomes more of a mental than physical game).

I don’t always train with this level of intensity and this is another point I want to bring up.

If you train like this, you have to be aware of the potential and likelihood of you getting injured is definitely very high. More so than if you train like the average gym rat does.

You need to give yourself breaks to allow your body to repair and heal adequately.

This type of training is hard and causes a great deal of pain. HELL IT’S DARN TORTUROUS.


That’s why most people don’t do it. You will however, see more results than all the others at your gym that don’t train with intensity.

However, just like you can have too much of a good thing, if you train like this constantly you will probably get hurt at some point.

Therefore, it’s important if not vital that you take periodic breaks and lower the intensity.

Instead of constantly blasting your body, add some light training days in and increase the rest periods.

Play around with your training. Be smart and listen to your body. If you don’t feel like going heavy on a certain day don’t go heavy. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. That’s the key.

In the end it all comes down to this.

Crank up the heat, bring the drive, dedication and conviction and you’ll get your worth!!


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