The one thing that I can't explain to people is intenity in the gym, But I will try to here.......Intensity is comepletely subjective..and many people THINK they are training very intensely, but really they aren't doing enough to stimulate the muscle to grow.
Behind inadequate diet, lack of gym intensity/progressive overload is the single biggest roadblock to people gaining muscle...Someone may go to the gym every day even train to failure every day, every set...but get no results..Then, one day they hit the gym in rare form and discover a whole new level of intensity, they get 15 reps of a weight they used to "fail" at 8 reps"....They reach another level of training and once you experience it once, you never forget it....and this is often the catalyst for muscle growth.....Now they are hitting an extra level of intensity every day, and growing muscle like they never thought possible.
While we think of muscles as a linear curve of growth versus intensity, they really aren't...Rather, muscles have a "tipping point".....Take an analogy of pull starting a lawn mower, where the goal is to start the mower...We pull lightly, nothing happens...we pull a little harder, still nothing.....Then we get some leverage, and yank that cord and WHAMM...The motor fires up.......This is exactly how muscles grow....Working them without enough intensity yields ZERO results....Until you hit that tipping point, that critical point where the muscle is overloaded, and thus stimulated to grow......Many people think they are simply not abe to gain muscle, but in reality, they have not hit the tipping point in their workout intensity...Some people never do, but some people do right away....so what is often mistaken for bad genetics is actually a lack of intensity....
So how do you know if you are reaching your tipping point of workout intensity?
For one, you can ALWAYS train harder....How often have you done a set and "failed" at rep #8, only to dig deep and bang out another two reps? Our musular limits, despite the physical nature of training, actually take place in our heads.....Reaching 100% physical failure is the scientific equivalent of counting to infinity....You can't ever really get there....The best way to strategically surpass your tipping point is to keep a workout journal..keep track of every sat, weight and how many reps you do....Don't ever let yourself do less reps on a subsequent workout, and always strive to do more....Eventually, this progressive overlad system will push you to levels younever reached before and be the tipping point to big musce gains.