How HARD Should You Train To Build Muscle?

How HARD Should You Train To Build Muscle?

I think how hard you should workout is one of the most important topics in fitness. If it turns out that pushing it as hard as possible is actually better for muscle growth, then we should just suck it up and do that. But if it turns out that we’d be better off being more moderate with our intensity, so we can balance volume, recovery and other training, then that’s what we should do! In this video I’m speaking with 5 different experts about this topic and, while there is some agreement on certain aspects, as you’ll see, there is some differing of opinion when it comes to the details.

I’ll be uploading the full length, unedited conversations with each guest to my podcast! Watch the first discussion with Dr. Mike Israetel: />
Check out my guests’ channels here:

Mike Israetel:
John Meadows:
Stefi Cohen:
Eric Helms:
Greg Nuckols:


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Filmed and edited by me using Final Cut Pro X


About me: I’m a Canadian natural pro bodybuilder and internationally-qualified powerlifter with a BSc in biochemistry/chemistry and a passion for science. I’ve been training for 12 years drug-free. I’m 5’5 and fluctuate between 160 lbs (lean) and 180 lbs (bulked).


Disclaimers: Jeff Nippard is not a doctor or a medical professional. Always consult a physician before starting any exercise program. Use of this information is strictly at your own risk. Jeff Nippard will not assume any liability for direct or indirect losses or damages that may result from the use of information contained in this video including but not limited to economic loss, injury, illness or death.


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  1. I dont understand when they say to failure. Do they mean during your sets? Because I train to failure during my sets but if i were to go back to the exercise after i had done other workouts i could possibly do 2 more sets

  2. With gratitude & and humility for the labor done already: Can someone point me to a video or literature that really spells out when exactly we’re supposed to rest and for how long? I’m very much used to weeks of prolonged extreme training, or being passively intense (which for me is hit training & light cardio every other day).
    Rest is a really hard concept for me to grasp because of adhd & once I enter a rest mode, it’s really challenging to overcome my brain’s motivation deficit & resume training.

  3. Simply try this: Go to failure with each workout, but workout that muscle/muscle group once every 7-10 days.

    You see, the problem with much of what was stated is this: How much do you REALLY have left in your tank? How do you know you only have, say, three reps in reserve. Right, you don't.

    When you go to failure, you will know it.

    The key is longer rest periods between workouts. The reason why some speak of Periodization is because they are not going to failure and they train much too frequently.

  4. In regards to doing less sets with more intensity even to failure, how do you come back and get an effective workout on that muscle group again so that you can engage all those motor units again. The problem here that pretty much everyone has and I don't say this with hate at all, being gym rat. A lot of people LOVE being a gym rat. They want to be in the gym everyday if they could do it, they want a pump every day. But, when you train with real effort, high intensity, to failure in some of your sets in every session the key is that you need the proper amount of rest, lol. It's that simple. Everyone's like "Oh, but if you don't train that body part 3 or 4 times a week you are leaving gains on the table, frequency frequency frequency" (nerdy weight lifting science voice) they keep seeing for these past years that you can train after 48 hours and if you don't you're going to shrink and you're leaving gains behind. Bruh, If you're doing high intensity, you're doing less volume and you ALSO have to take one or even 2 more days of rest. So 4 days total rest for chest for example after going ham on it with true intensity to failure. You're not going to shrivel, you're not leaving gains on the table, lol. It's not less effective and it's not more effective. You just save yourself some time, you're just doing less volume and you're not at the 6 days a week. You can absolutely train to failure, some people like it some people don't. It has it's pros and cons, everything has it's pros and cons. Everyone's recovery is different. I can train to failure on back day and I need 4 full days of recovery before I hit it again, maybe there are some out there that only need 3, maybe there are some out there that need 5 days. But if you're really training with true intensity like Dr. Cohen said, you NEED to rest. If you want to be a gym rat or you have some weird little idea that you pay monthly for your gym membership and if you don't go as many days as possible you're not getting your money's worth, than train high volume with low intensity, it's fine. Do what you like. Both ways will build muscle and strength. I get my moneys worth, even on my full rest days, I don't have to go to the gym at all for 3 full days in a row, but I do go to swim some low intensity laps in the pool and I sit in the sauna for about 20 min after. There are other things you can do that are not high intensity that you can do at the gym besides lifting weights that allow you to recover but are beneficial to you.

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