How Hard Do You Need to Work Out?

Have to say I agree with Christian Thibaudeau’s article at T Nation, great read!

Here’s what you need to know…

  You need to train very hard to progress optimally, but if you train so hard that it affects the quality of your other workouts or causes so much stress that performance decreases, it’s a bad move.

  If you train a muscle only once a week, you’ll be able to impose a lot more punishment without too many ill-effects than if you train each muscle several times in a week.

  Testing your mettle with challenge-based workouts can be a great way to see how physically capable you are and preparing for those challenges can boost your training motivation significantly.

  If you don’t go borderline crazy from time to time you lose sight of what training hard means. An occasional lesson in pain in the gym will allow you to keep things in perspective.

•  Puking may make you seem hardcore, but vomiting during a workout simply means that you mistimed your food intake and training, which really doesn’t make you that hardcore at all.


Feeling the burn. Driving yourself into the ground. Feeling crippling soreness. Puking. Not being able to walk after leg day. Not being able to drive after arm day.

All of the above are badges of honor for many lifters, but none of them guarantee that your workout was positive and will lead to improvements. Regardless, many of us prefer to focus on these elements rather than on objective progression.

Why? Because doing madman workouts makes you look hardcore, like a warrior. Your workout often turns into a test of how much suffering you can endure. But do you really need to drive yourself into the ground every single workout to make progress?

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