#Beast mode, #killed it, #crushed the iron and #goHAM are all tags which can be readily seen on many of the social media pages of those determined to prove they are hardcore lifters. While the enthusiasm is very much appreciated and the thought that there are plenty of motivated young lifters following in our footsteps is encouraging, but posting about your efforts in the gym isn’t always necessary. Sometimes simply letting your actions do the talking for you is enough.

When I talk to people about how much effort they REALLY put into their workouts, it quickly becomes apparent that they still have some gas left in their tanks to really push themselves the way they need to be while training. I know there are lots of you out there who give it all you’ve got every day and fight tooth and nail for every ounce of muscle mass that you’ve gained, but if you find yourself teetering on whether or not you’re truly training as hard as you can, here’s a quick check list that you can align yourself with to see if your efforts are as strong as you think they are.

#1 CNS Disturbance

Your central nervous system is the control center for everything. When it gets attacked, you experience what is known as the “fight or flight response.” Feelings of anxiety, increased aggression, fear and a physical response of tremors, muscle shakes and heightened breathing are very common. As terrible as this all sounds, a true hardcore workout will disturb your central nervous system and produce some of the aforementioned responses. The key is knowing how to control it and harness it for good.

When I get under a bar that is loaded up with a weight I’ve never attempted before I’ll be honest, there is some fear there, but I use that fear as a driving force and motivation. On the other side of the coin, when the workout is done, and I’ve gone as hard as I should have, I’m left feeling a little messed up. I’m usually shaky, sometimes feel sick, and it takes a while to return to a “normal” state. I take that as a surefire indication that I’ve done my job in the gym.

#2 No One Wants to Train with You

I’m serious here, I’ve had lots of people jump in with me for some workouts and never return for another one! I have no interest in having “fun” while I train and I’m certainly not there for a social hour. I want to tear the place apart, stimulate hypertrophy as efficiently and effectively as possible which means lots of intensity and heavy ass weights and then go home and eat.

There’s never a whole lot of conversation when I train with someone and I rarely even notice anyone else in the gym when I’m locked in the zone. The ear buds are in, the hat brim is sitting low, and it’s all business. A lot of people don’t like this approach, but it’s how I’ve always done it and don’t really want to explore any other way. For this reason, I train alone 99% of the time.

See Also:
6 Nutrients That Speed Fat-Loss and Why You Should Get Them in Your Diet

#3 Your Recovery Efforts Become a Major Priority

There’s no doubt about it, training with a hardcore style is extremely effective and extremely taxing on your body. For this reason, recovering as quickly and efficiently as possible quickly becomes priority number one. You place more emphasis on your rest by either adding in a nap or two during the day (if you can) or ensuring you get more sleep at night. Your nutrition never veers off point, and you look to supplements such as Raptor HP, BCAA 4500 and GL3 L-glutamine to help heal your damaged muscles. By doing all of this, you are allowing more growth to occur and minimizing the chance of overtraining setting in.

#4 Recognizing a Break From Training is Necessary

You can only go so hard for so long. It’s just not physiologically possible to beat your body up and attack your CNS over and over again and not experience a breakdown in motivation, a desire to train and experience the looming aches and pains associated with the wear and tear of training.

If you follow the principles of Max-OT training, and you should, you’ll see that the prescribed training duration lasts anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks which is then followed by a week of rest. This rest is an extremely important part of the program as it allows your body to heal physically, allows you to mentally rejuvenate and provides an environment conducive to new growth once you return. Chances are after that week of rest you’ll find yourself stronger in the gym and with a new-found sense of motivation to get better.

#5 Results!

If jumping on a hamster wheel and having all of your perceived work go nowhere is fine with you, then, by all means, keep doing what you’re doing. If you’d rather take that hamster and throw it on the bar as an extra plate, then you’re well on your way to experiencing the types of gains hard training elicits. The fact of the matter is, we train for results and if the results you’re looking for aren’t showing up, then chances are you’re simply not training hard enough. Put a few standards in place for yourself as benchmarks for success and then work hard at improving upon them.

I like the idea of being able to share our success and motivate others through posting on forums, on social media and through other sharing types of platforms. A picture is worth a thousand words and actions speak louder than words. With this in mind, if you truly want to be secure in your training efforts, and know that you always leave everything you’ve got on the gym floor, just do the damn work and trust me, you’ll know it and so will everyone else.

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5 Sure-Fire Signs You’re Training Hard Enough

by Dana Bushell time to read: 5 min