You’re Not Training Hard Enough To Build Muscle (Here’s What You Can Do About It)

Egis R.
3 min readJun 11, 2022
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For muscle growth to occur, your workouts have to be sufficiently challenging. Doing most, if not all, working sets within 5 reps in reserve is probably your best bet to promote muscle growth (reps in reserve — how many reps you have left before you can no longer physically move the weight):

Relationship Between Effective Reps and Muscle Growth
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Therein lies the problem — since training close to failure is not as much fun as, say, being Ryan Gosling, most people don’t go anywhere close to those last few reps that make their faces contort.

For example, here’s the IG reel I did about what training to failure actually looks like. I mean, look at the redness of my face at the end of the set (click the picture to play):

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And if you are all…

yeah, yeah, Egis, but I’m pretty accurate at interpreting my intensity. ​​I have a master’s degree in it. My mom paid for it.
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…please know that the subjects in this study…

Self-Selected Resistance Exercise Load: Implications for Research and Prescription
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…probably thought the same — experienced male lifters were asked “What weight do you usually lift for 10 repetitions on the bench press?” and then instructed to perform as many reps as possible.

Then they did the same exercise but this time they had a team of researchers pushing them to reach the actual failure. Guess what? Every participant got over 10 reps with some getting more than 20 (16 ± 5 on average).

So what they thought was training to failure before was not training to failure. Nor was it maximizing their gains.

What can you do about it?

Training to failure is a skill that you need to learn. It’s necessary for stimulating muscle growth so make sure to practice it. This…

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Egis R.

I’m Egis, an online weight loss coach who has heightened BS sensors for fitness & nutrition. Only evidence-based & sustainable fat loss. www.absscience.com