Training, regardless of the goal, is going to be and has to be hard work. It has to provide the necessary stimulus / stress on the the body in order to encourage change.
No way around it. Short-cuts do not last and are a waste of time.
Here is where you need to be honest with yourself and determine how badly you want these physical changes and are you prepared to put in the work/effort!
Here are some things to consider when assessing if you are training hard enough:
✅ Follow A Program
Programs are the best and easiest ways to keep training going in the right direction. They encourage adaptation to specific demands because they must be completed with sufficient intensity in order to stimulate a response. You must give the body a reason to change or else if not, you’re going to be very disappointed.
✅ Failure Is Not A Bad Word
The whole point of training is to push ourselves so that we fail. In doing so, the body then responds by making itself stronger in order to endure that level of stress the next time.
It’s a fine line that comes with experience when working to failure. Training too far from failure will not create enough stimulus to adapt. Training too close to failure will probably result in overtraining. The balance lies somewhere in the middle.
✅ Targeting Hypertrophy
Keeping within 1-4 reps (phase dependent) of muscular or technical failure is the best scenario for hypertrophy success. This will allow enough stimulus to encourage growth while also allowing enough time to recover.
Developing the skill of finding this range is essential. Most do not go to within 4 reps of complete failure and overestimate the amount of necessary stimulus inducing work they have done.
✅ Workout Intensity Tips
If looking for ways to increase your workout intensity, try incorporating drop sets, giant sets, rest-pause reps or work with an experienced trainer who has the skill set and knowledge to create appropriate and challenging workouts for you.
✅ It’s Hard Work!
Always remember that you get out what you put in. Be honest with yourself and know that if you give half-efforts then you are going to get half-results. Training is not easy and it shouldn’t be. We challenge in order to get strong. Put the effort in and reap the rewards.