Ask The Trainer #131 – Focus On Intensity

Ask The Trainer #131 - Focus On Intensity


Hello, I would like to do body building however, I don’t know what lifting to do or what kind of nutrition to follow for such an undertaking. I’m not new to lifting in general, just need help with this. I would greatly appreciate your help if you have the time and don’t mind.

Thank you,



I will offer you a few ideas to consider Aaron. Ideally, I’d say you should devise a training regimen where you train all of your muscle groups over the course of 3 nonconsecutive days within a week.

Just to give you an example, you could train back & chest on Monday, Legs on Wednesday, then arms and shoulder on Friday. That would be a reasonable split. If possible, I would also recommend you do your cardio on the days you don’t lift.

Something people need to keep in mind is that exercise always has a generalized effect on the entire physiology of the body, as well as a localized effect on the specific muscles being trained. More generalized systems would be, for example, the neurological system, the endocrine system, and also the immune system.

So, even though you may be affording your alternately worked muscles a certain amount of rest on a 6 day split routine, you are not providing the needed rest for the overall physical systems when you tax them nearly every day.

More Mistakes

The second big mistake I see guys making at the gym is that they don’t train intensely enough. Obviously, we know muscle growth doesn’t come easy. Growth literally must be forced! That means you must subject your muscles to a stress great enough to cause an adaptive response to manifest in the body. In other words, when you perform a working set on an exercise, you don’t allow that set to cease until there is no conceivable way you can do even 1 more repetition. That’s the way to stimulate growth!

All too often, people mistake volume for intensity. Training volume has nothing to do with intensity. Just to give you an example: You can tap a stick of dynamite with a hammer over and over again all day long without getting any reaction whatsoever. Nothing happens. Then, you take the hammer and deliver a very intense strike to that same stick of dynamite and… KABOOM! The dynamite ignites and there is a powerful reaction! The same holds true for weightlifting.

Performing just 1 very intense set on an exercise, will produce a much more powerful reaction than 15 relatively easy sets on that same exercise. In other words, your workouts should be about quality and not quantity!

Keep a training journal and write down every exercise you perform. Be sure you write the amount of weight you use, as well as the number of repetitions you perform. Every time you go to repeat any of your workouts, you should see either increases your weights, repetitions, or both. As long as you’re seeing this happen, you’re moving the right direction. That is progress!

There is a definite relationship between size and strength! You will get stronger before you get bigger, So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see any muscle size gains right away. Take an entire week off from training to allow your full system to recover if you’re not seeing strength gains. Then, try adding in an extra 1-2 days of recovery time between all of your lifting workouts moving forward.

Nutrition Can Be Simple

When it comes to nutrition, it really isn’t as complicated as some people make it out to be. I suggest eating 3 well-balanced meals per day with some quality protein snacks between meals.

These are some great staples to include in your diet…

Protein: Cage free eggs, whey protein, beef, chicken, wild caught salmon, turkey, low fat cottage cheese, fresh water, or ocean fish, canned tuna, and beef jerky (it’s great for the purpose of convenience).

Carbohydrates: Broccoli, spinach, green beans, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, yams, sprouted brown rice, squash, a little sprouted grain bread- and green salads.

Fats: Extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, flax seed, chia seed, fish oil, almond butter- and almonds.

As for supplements, I always recommend using pretty much anything from the EFX Sports Training Ground line, along with Kre-Alkalyn and Karbolyn for more productive muscle gains. I feel stronger and have more overall stamina when I’m using these myself.

I hope that my advice helps you out!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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