Precision, productivity, general effort and intensity are the four key main ingredients for establishing a solid workout. There is no point in entering a gym free of a plan of attack, free of a designated mindset and with no set point to which your workout should end. What separates the pros from the bros is a meticulously planned out attack and a clear path to success. For some, this takes years to establish, and many mistakes are made along the way. For others, who seek guidance from a higher order, the plan is laid out for them, and all they need to do is respond accordingly. Regardless of the road you choose, you will never reach your bodybuilding destiny unless you focus on being better in each of the four main categories for a solid workout.


Each rep, each set and every single workout you perform and complete will eventually culminate into something you can be proud of; only if you approach each with precision. You must learn your own bio-mechanics so that you can make the exercises and equipment fit you and not the other way around. Every time you switch up and angle on the bench, or change the path of movement in your biceps curl or adjust your foot positioning on the hack squat, pay attention to it. You’ll know if the subtle changes you make are working because it’ll feel awesome.

You also have to know what exercises and movements feel right for you and which don’t. Perhaps you feel standard squats more in your glutes and lower back and not so much in the quads. If that’s the case, stay away from them and find something that does stimulate your quads.

The finite movements you perform that are specific to your body is the precision I’m talking about here and rest assured it will make all the difference in the world.


The end product of your workout is a plethora of exercises, sets, and reps which were all meant to bring about gains. The amount of work you perform during your workout should be efficient yet effective. If your workouts don’t elicit the gains you are in search of, then perhaps your overall productivity while in the gym is poor.

Anyone can follow a list of exercises and perform the recommended sets and reps; that’s easy. Take two people, give them the same workout and the same time frame in which they have to complete the workout and watch what happens. The workhorse who pushes themselves to the max on each set will have completed much more work. Thus productivity was much greater when compared to the person who completed the same workout but simply went through the motions.

Remember this; six reps isn’t always six reps. The harder those six reps are to complete, the more work you had to have put in the finish them, therefore creating more productivity for yourself.

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General Effort

Next time you’re at the gym, take second and look around at the people out on the floor, take a look at the people in the cardio section and then decide for yourself which group of people you want to be a part of or supersede. Do you want to be in the group who after being in the gym for 45 minutes looks like they just got there or do you want to look like the group who seems as though they’ve just been through the ringer and are begging to be released?

Your general effort in the gym is very closely related to your overall productivity. The more effort you put into something, the more you’ll get out of it. You are in the gym for one reason; change. Physical changes, psychological changes and a change from the daily grind. Make it worth your while and turn up your general effort switch each time you hit the gym.


Of the four key main ingredients for a successful workout, intensity is by far the most interesting to me. I have people who tell me how intense their workouts are all the time. I see people posting that they “killed their workout” or they went “beast mode” in the gym today, and all I do is shake my head and here’s why. If these people possessed true intensity and knew how to bring it out of themselves for each of their workouts, then their “beast mode” posts wouldn’t be few and far between; they’d be every single day. Real intensity occurs every time you train and not by chance.

You don’t need new music in your ears to get jacked up, you don’t need to be training with a new partner to get amped, you don’t need to impress anyone around you and you certainly don’t need to worry about your current status on your social media page making sure everyone knows how intense you are in the gym. No, you don’t need any of that, you simply go in, employ intelligent intensity, train like you’ve always trained and perform the way you’ve always performed in the gym and then go home and prepare to do it all again the next day. You don’t need to tell anyone about it, and you simply let your actions and results do the talking for you.

If after reading this article you are still having a difficult time deciding whether or not you are setting the standard for effective workouts by following what you are currently doing then I would suggest you check out the free 12-week Max-OT training program that can be found on this site. The four key ingredients I just spoke of make up the foundation of this program and following it to the tee will yield incredible results like you’ve never seen before.

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Setting the Standard for Effective Workouts

by Dana Bushell time to read: 5 min