You can’t just effort results in the gym

langley gym, gym

Is your increased effort in the gym not leading to increased results?

Effort is always required to lose fat or build muscle, but focusing on effort alone is only going to lead to low energy levels, worn out joints, poor recovery and very little progress.

Why does this happen?

Because when the focus is on increasing “effort”, execution tends to go out the window for most people. Your focus can’t simply be on doing more and working harder regardless of the cost or how your joints feel.

Your increased effort must be directed precisely to your muscles in order to reap the rewards of your hard work.

The goal is always to keep tension on the target muscle(s), not just move more weight for more reps without thinking. That is why we focus on @3 down or isometric holds in our workouts, so that you can maximize the time under tension in those working muscles.

And with this, you must learn to progress your effort in your working sets WITHOUT compromising your execution.


If you find you can no longer feel the muscle and are feeling a joint or nothing in the exercise, then you’re done. Rest. Speak with BEFIT coach so that we can help maximize your next set.

For that matter, it does not matter what the clock says or how many reps it says to do on the whiteboard. If you have more to give in your set, keep going. The whiteboard and the clock is just the framework for the workout. If you chose too light of a weight you need to keep going and get the most of your set. If you chose too heavy of a weight, then you most likely will finish early. The moral of the story…


Everyone is different, we have different abilities, strengths, weaknesses, limb lengths, bone structures, pelvis sizes, bodyweight, muscular attachments, and is why we try to provide as much variety to fit your body at BEFIT with the 3 levels in every workout.

So how do we progress your effort?

As you know, effort is always required to make progress in anything. Things will not just magically happen.

But running as fast as you can in the wrong direction isn’t going to get you where you want to go. That’s why we believe and know that execution of all exercises is your greatest opportunity for progress right now.

***And until you’ve mastered execution for your body, you simply can’t be building muscle and burning fat as effectively and efficiently as you should be ****

You may think of reasons such as poor genetics or bad body parts as excuses, but that’s BS.

If you can build any body part you can build them all, what’s missing is your brain doesn’t understand yet how to put tension in the muscle you are trying to build!

For example, sometimes we pick up a weight and our body naturally puts tension in a muscle. Our strong body parts take over and they get stronger, while our weak ones stay really weak.

What we need to do is consciously shift the tension to where we want it to go. And if you keep thinking about working hard which is going to put more tension in the body parts that you are already good at then you will keep improving them and not get better at new skills that involve different and/or weaker muscle groups.

If you mindlessly workout and move your body you will most likely perpetuate imbalances in your body.

You have to consciously put tension in the muscle that you are trying to build. NOT WHAT YOUR BODY WANTS TO DO.

Remember your body is meant for survival, your body wants to disperse the load to as many muscles as possible to make things as easy as possible.

You want to learn how to isolate and eliminate all those other muscles from being able to assist and choose the one muscle you want to improve in that exercise.

So lets say I go to do a pushup and there are 4 muscles that can assist…

I have my triceps, front deltoids, chest, and lats, and all these muscles can help do the exercise, but my objective is to strengthen the primary muscle, the pecs (chest). My objective is to make all these other muscles do less work and make the pecs do the greatest amount of work.

Those other muscles are still going to work, but I just want to make it so that they do less work. And once you reach the point where you can do this without thinking… NOW’S THE TIME WHERE WE CAN START INCREASING THE EFFORT!

If you apply this formula to your pushups moving forward, you will get better at pushups.

If you are someone that is not thinking like this when working out you need to heed this advice.

IF YOU ARE SOMEONE THAT ATTACHES TO WORKING HARD, has been eating decently clean, and doesn’t feel that you have the results to show for it, this essentially what has been happening…

You work harder.
You work a little harder.
And eventually what do you do?

You’re causing so much internal stress that you can’t lose fat or build muscle.
Your body becomes insulin resistance because there’s so much cortisol and stress from those workouts!

What you need to do is the minimum effective dose to get the maximum amount of response. But it needs to be the most isolated, the most precise stimulus to those muscles to get the results you are truly after.

So if you are someone that is looking to build muscle and/or lose fat as fast as you can, precision execution, NOT JUST EFFORT, is your greatest opportunity for progress in the gym.

So slow things down, feel your muscles, and get after that burn.

Committed to your results,
Josh Saunders, BS, CSCS
Voted Langley’s best gym
6 years running
(And just hitting our stride now ;))