Bodybuilding Level of Intensity Principles

There is a big difference between a beginner, intermediate, and advanced bodybuilder, and it's not just size. See, what you have to understand is different levels of muscular control and their relationship to intensity.

A beginner does not have the same level of muscular control and contractions that an intermediate or advanced bodybuilder has. Therefore, his main priority should be lifting the weights. Getting the weight from point A to point B and getting bigger, that's the goal. As a beginning bodybuilder I only focused on moving the weights, not the actual contraction of the muscles. And I put on 36 lbs of mass in my first year, so guess what? It worked!

As you advance, the growing phases become more and more difficult, and eventually there comes a point when you need to focus on volumization and muscular contraction. This would mean possibly taking the same weights you used as a beginner or intermediate, and finding a way to make them feel heavier and more challenging. The way to do this is by focus and contracting the muscle harder. When you perform a bicep curl, think of squeezing your arm extra hard, not just enough to lift the weight, but enough to lift the weight and then some. Almost like you are performing a bicep pose with a weight in your hand. This my friends, is what gives volumization and hardness to a muscle!

If you've had a few years in the gym under your belt then you can start getting into this type of training. This is the kind of training that is pain; it's pumping and cramping of a muscle to where it has no choice but to volumize. The muscles will look fuller and rounder with this type of training, you go from being big to being shaped AND big. You are no longer this huge block of mass, but individual body parts stand out and become much more noticeable, even through a shirt!

Use less weight

A wise choice to make when it comes to this training (something I do all the time) is always grab about 10 lbs less than you think you can use (on big lifts like bench and squats maybe 20-30 lbs less). Now, your goal is to make this less weight feel heavier, and the only way to do that is through concentration and “adding weight in your mind”. Yes, I said adding weight in your mind. I can pick up a 10 lb dumbbell and make it feel like a 40 lb dumbbell simply by focusing on that weight harder and harder and what my muscle is doing.

Now, to the onlooker, they won't have a clue in hell what you're doing! To them, you're just this huge guy training with pussy weights, must just be steroids right? WRONG, they have no fucking clue. You are a master at your craft, a man who can get lost in his level of focus and intensity.

My friends, if someone told me that all I was allowed to use on bench press anymore was 135 lbs, guess what? I wouldn't shrink a fucking bit! I just know how to use my mind to accomplish what I need to in the gym. It's all in your mind! If you go watch these ridiculous videos with these pro bodybuilders, you will see all of them using loose form and sloppily tossing weights around.

Well here is the deal, they know they are on camera and they are no different than anyone else. They do not want the world to see this huge guy with 22″ arms curling 20 lb dumbbells, they wanna play the part. Therefore they throw around major weights for show. The vids are all for show! But I'm here to tell you that isn't the way that guy normally trains! Don't buy into that bullshit for a second. You're just not going to learn a lot from videos like that, they offer nothing.

So get the weight out of your mind for a minute, learn to take lighter weights and make them feel heavier. Then as you develop real strength you can go up in weight progressively. I'd suggest one day every few weeks per body part where you bang the shit out of heavy weight and just lift it. But 90% of the time focus and muscular contraction should be your priority, at least if you want to look anything remotely close to a bodybuilder!

Train hard!


7 thoughts on “Bodybuilding Level of Intensity Principles”

  1. “”Now, to the onlooker, they won’t have a clue in
    hell what you’re doing!! To them, you’re just this
    huge guy training with pussy weights, must just
    be steroids right? WRONG, they have no fucking
    clue. You are a master at your craft, a man who
    can get lost in his level of focus and intensity.””

    love this part of your post brother. .admiration.

    you know what I am this guy that was stuck in this routine of banging out heavyweights each time with sleazy form and concentration and since reading your posts and making sure I try the ideas and suggestions going back to lighter weights sucked …but this was only on the beginning. ..Now more concentration on form and muscle contraction makes these workouts so intense and fulfilling. ..even if it’s lighter. .

    Thanks for your help and support to guys as myself .
    truly and sincerely appreciate everything you do and continue to do.

    Keep well .

  2. Such a great article! I’ve always believed that it’s not how much you use but how you use it. The results have always testified to that. I could go heavier and I have, but the pumps aren’t nearly the same and I usually end up with some injury that brings me back to lighter weights anyway.

    Love the website and all your information and insight.

  3. Love the content!

    With regard to diabetes and other bad things that can happen with irregular diets. Do you see anything bad about doing periodic 40 hour fasts and doing a 1 meal a day diet?


    • yes, I see your liver dumping excessive glucose into your system since there is no food in your body and your blood sugar can actually spike higher. It’s a funny thing when it comes to controlling blood sugar, sometimes not eating brings your fasting sugar up, sometimes it brings it down. A lot of it has to do with timing, I find my sugar is higher in the mornings if I didn’t eat enough the evening before. Anyways, I wouldn’t fast myself, I’d just keep everything smooth and steady

  4. I started training the way you mentioned at 14 yo and now 27 years later and 10 as a trainer mentored by 2 people who worked with Ellington Darden and Learned H.I.T training and super slow routines, 1 set failure…ect, I am not a tall guy 5’8” but can lift heavier abd with much better form then the meatheads I. Gym and they stare. Until I start seeing them focus on tempo- focusing on negative and doing negative only sets at end of workout or mixed in, , less rest between sets-no 5-10 bullshitting or staring at myself in mirror, super sets, not doing 20 sets for 1 muscle group…ect. Basically training in gym for me not to show off. And I only got 1 injury from training and it’s when I was lifting to show off.!
    Today in 2019, the gyms and social media is filled with stupid kids and females wanting a big butt and doing deadlifts like crazy but 100% incorrect. My gym closed so, I am stuck with meatheads and kids taking selfies to post on Instagram. It’s a shame that real lifters are hard to find. Like u said they go on YouTube and think training is 1 size fits all.
    It’s good to see others who are dedicated to our lifestyle. I’m down to 1-2 full body workouts a week and grow better then a 3-4 day split. I rarely do isolation movements anymore. My body at 41 respond better to less volume and lighter weight and slower rep speed. And I rarely lifer over 60 min.
    Rep pace, moving slow, less volume but working harder in those less sets prevents over training and learning to stop once u reach momentary muscular failure- not mental failure, keeps you from going catabolic and getting tendinitis, joint pain..ect.
    I got lucky and was mentored by trainers with science degrees 21 years ago and I get complimented almost weekly by men about my muscle size and how I train. I used to pass the knowledge until I was wasting my time when seeing these guys go back to swinging weight around no form and no idea how their muscles work. Everyone wants it quick and these are guys who look the save year after year because they refuse to do some reading on training science.
    Do a 10/10 rep pace for 6/8 reps and use light weight and focus on the mind muscle connection and see how a muscle feels doing it correctly.
    Great post!!! Thank you!


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