I've trained in a number of gyms over the last 8 months I've been working in and around London and on my travels to Australia and LA. One thing that never fails to amaze me is the lack of intensity and direction people put into their training.
You get to train 2,3,4 or whatever times a week. Why not make it count?
1. Have a plan.
"I have a plan"...really do you? I beg to differ based on what I see in most gyms. People seem to be plodding through the latest Mens Shitness programs hoping for the best. Get some goals in key areas. Set some strength goals or set some physique goals or set specific fitness goals and make them happen. You want to bench 300lbs and can only bench 220lbs? Google bench training articles, cross reference them, find common themes and write a 12 week program to add 20-30lbs to your bench. Hey presto! You now bench 250lbs.
2. Log it.
I have not seen one person logging their training in a training diary. Sure the odd person is following some dopey trainers program he's dug up from an old T-Nation article that has no relevance to what the client actually wants but virtually no one is logging their training properly. Unless you have a full time coach or a really dedicated trainer, you are better off learning how to log your training. It's not difficult. I have training diaries going back 20 years. They tell me a lot. All you have to do is write down what you do each workout - exercise(s), sets, reps and then a small comment if necessary. Comments can be simple like, "Left shoulder felt a bit sore but solid reps" or "Felt easy this week" or whatever. These notes can really help you figure the little things out in your training. Lots of little things make big things.
3. Give it some.
All workouts are not equal. Some days you'll feel great, others you'll feel dreadful and most of them you feel ok. That's training. However, if you get in the gym and train with a solid level of intensity your doing yourself nothing but good. Going to the gym, talking to your mates, dawdling through the workout, getting a pump on your favourite bodypart or peacocking cos you hit a decent deadlift is not what it's all about. Intensity should be consistent no matter what your energy levels or how your feeling. A simple way to gauge this is that if you sweat hard during a workout you're probably doing it with enough intensity. There are some people who don't sweat much. Lucky you. The rest of us should sweat when we train.
That is all.
Dorian knew what he wanted, wrote it down and made it happen by using extremely intense training. You think he'd have ever won Mr. Olympia once let alone 6 times if he didn't?