If a lifter trains 5 days per week, but never pushes himself to failure, does he get any gains? If it’s his first week in the gym, maybe. How much does effort have to do with adding mass? Damn near everything. We can talk about the number of reps, the number of sets, how heavy the weight is, how many exercises, and however many other variables we want, but effort is the key.
Forget about intensity and execution for a minute, and keep this in mind. It’s only the last 5 reps of any given set that fully activate a muscle. Everything before that is foreplay. These are the hardest, most painful reps. Maybe the average guy does one or two of the last 5 reps possible before calling that set quits. That guy is either content having 60-80% less muscle than he could have or he’s wondering why he’s not as muscular as he wants to be. It’s because he quits early. He’s not giving his full effort.
Effort can be maximized in a number of ways. First, you’ve got to want it. Nothing that can be written here is going to change that – it’s on you. Second, incorporate more drop sets. Drop sets require training to failure, and hitting those important final five reps over and over again. Finally, improve your pain threshold and ability to exert effort. Supplements such as caffeine and beta-alanine work by improving pain tolerance and buffering lactic acid.
Both of these 2 ingredients are common in preworkouts. Caffeine is best dosed at 1.4 to 2.7mg per pound of bodyweight, and beta-alanine is effective at 3.2g per day. Caffeine also doubles up as a great way to increase energy and the will to train hard in the first place. Look for a good pre-workout with an open label, such as MuscleSport’s Rhino BLACK with 400mg of a crash-free caffeine matrix and 3.2g beta-alanine per serving. Get the most out of each and every session by training to failure and putting in the effort!