The number one thing we want to focus on in our training is intensity. I want you to hit a 100% intensity level every single workout every single exercise. The weight and sets don’t matter. It is the intensity level that matters. That is how you stimulate muscle growth. It’s easy to get wrapped up in how much weight you’re lifting. Let’s just say you’re doing a set of bench press with 225 pounds. You can perform the reps as fast as possible and get 20 reps. Or let’s say you do the repetitions with a slow controlled negative and a lovely semi explosive positive, and you get ten reps. Instead, you go to 100% failure in both sets where you couldn’t perform one more agent. In the second set, where you only get ten reps, you’re going to get better results in terms of muscular growth. And so it’s not so important how much weight you’re using or how many reps you get. What matters the most is the intensity level. You want to go until you can’t get a single repetition more on each exercise. You’re going to do as many warm-up sets as you need to get ready for your all-out set. Let’s look at it in terms of intensity levels on set one. You might go to an intensity level of 50%, which means you could do a lot more repetitions on your second set. Let’s say you go to 70% intensity level. You still had a lot left in the tank on that final set. We want you to go to 100% intensity level, meaning you could not perform another single rep. Your muscles are failing at this point. That’s what we’re searching for. That’s what we’re after. That’s what we want. Perform the warm-up sets you need to get ready for your all outset and then go all out.
If you journal your workouts, you should write down the intensity levels that you achieved. This is the foundation and the cornerstone of this training style. You want to keep the cadence or tempo of your repetitions the same. It definitely helps track progress, but we aren’t machines, so we don’t perfectly perform each repetition with the perfect cadence or tempo. And so it’s not as important to focus on these things as it is to focus on intensity.
The tempo and cadence of exercises are going to change from workout to workout slightly. This principle of intensity is the most important factor of all; in your results, over time, you will learn how many warm-up sets you need and what works best for you to get you ready for this all outset. If you were extremely strong, like say, a Larry wheels type individual. You might need a lot of warm-up sets to get you ready for your all outset.
I just watched a video the other day of Larry wheels, squatting 765 pounds for as many reps as possible. He didn’t do that without warm-up sets. My guess is he probably warmed up with 135 pounds 225 pounds 315 pounds 405 pounds 495 pounds 585 pounds and 675 pounds. That would be seven warm-up sets, just to get ready for his top all-out set. The stronger you get, the more warm-up sets you’ll need to do. You might only need to warm-up sets—a set with 135 pounds and a set with 225 pounds. What you’re going to have to do is get in the gym and get a workout in. And over time, the more experience you gain, the more you’ll learn how your body responds and what you need, personally, for your workouts. The number one thing is to get in the gym and get started: Knowledge is great but worthless without action.