With shirts and memes telling you to go “beast mode” in the gym, it’s no wonder people think you have to kill yourself in the gym to get results.
But on the other hand, going into the gym and not breaking a sweat is not going to help you achieve any of your goals either.
Believe it or not, there needs to be balance between busting your ass and knowing when to back off if you want to make optimal progress.
This balance is crucial for any goal you have including weight loss goals, strength goals, or conditioning goals.
The reason you get stronger, build muscle, or lose weight is from your body adapting to the conditions you are putting it through. The way your body adapts is through recovery.
This is why sleeping, eating enough nutritious foods, and relieving stress as much as possible is as beneficial to reaching your goals as it is to get to the gym and training hard.
Why You Shouldn’t Kill Yourself In The Gym
Form breakdown: Some form breakdown is expected when you push yourself to strive for progressive overload. When you are so exhausted you cannot stand up straight, doing more sets of a heavy compound movement is just asking for an injury.
Inability to recover fast enough: If you push yourself so far past your limits each time you go to the gym, you need more rest, more food, and more supplements to make it so you can recover properly. Many people make this mistake and can only last a few months before being burned out, getting weaker, and possibly getting sick.
Point of diminishing returns: Time is precious and you need to use it wisely. If you can adequately push yourself to train hard in the gym for 60-90 minutes, there is no need to go an extra 60 minutes simply because you can. Spending excess time in the gym just to say you were in the gym for 2 hours is a waste of time and will not help you any more than a good session in 1 hour.
But You Should Push Yourself Past Your Limits
Progressive overload simply means that you strive to add weight to the bar and/or reps to the exercise.
If your personal best for bench is 100 for 8 reps, you are striving to get 105 for 8 reps or 100 for 9 reps.
If you focus on being just a little bit better each time you go to the gym, you are going to see a drastic change in your motivation and you are preparing yourself for the long-term goals.
The only way your body will adapt is if you push it past its limits.
If you truly want to reach your goals, you have to be smart about them. Going head first into your goals is the best way to do it, but without proper planning you are going to hit a wall.
Completely killing yourself in the gym is not beneficial to you because of the wasted time, increased chance for injury, and the possibility of getting burned out.
Remember, strive to make yourself better each day, rest and recover just as hard as you train, and know that the journey is hard but well worth it.