How HARD Should You Train To Build Muscle? (The Truth)

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.

71 thoughts on “How HARD Should You Train To Build Muscle? (The Truth)

    • bex0r says:

      I think you guys missed the point. Stefi was pointing out that most people have very poor understanding of what true intensity is. most people are working casually but think they’re training hard, and then are confused when they don’t see gains.

    • Njuice says:

      Oversimplified. It doesn’t come from mindless effort either. And it doesn’t come from non-optimal circumstances either, like genetics, upbringing, general environment, connections, etc. Successful people often undermines the luck that they’ve had in getting to where they are, contributing all of their success to pure effort. However, the fact is that the majority of people would not have gotten there, even if they had done exactly the same as that person. Not that there is nothing to be learned from successful people, but probably not as much as we’d like to think. There’s definitely some survivor’s bias to account for.

    • Eagle6 says:

      @Njuice I think the point is that you need all 3 parts to be a champion – sure you need the luck factors, but you need good programming and serious effort too. I don’t think Stefi’s trying to say that if everyone else worked harder they would be like her, but if you don’t put the effort in you’re making certain that you’d never get there regardless of genetics – there are probably hundreds of people with comparable genetics who simply don’t train as hard or as smart and end up in the “good but not great” category. In that sense I would say that being moderately successful doesn’t guarantee that someone is knowledgeable, but if they’ve reached the absolute peak (like Stefi) they almost certainly have quite a bit of knowledge accumulated along the way.

    • seanissomething says:

      @Njuice Correct. What you are describing is what’s called “survivor bias”. The people who “just work hard” and are successful just happen to be the ones that approach happened to work for. The people who worked hard and didn’t succeed? You never hear from them because they didn’t succeed.

  1. Orum tL says:

    This takes alot of freaking time to make this video. I can only say thankyou Jeff for doing it for us. Not even this video, every video you put so much time in them and you make those “science boring results” to interesting and makes me wanna listen, read and know more about it. I wanna thank you so much for every video you put out there, this can be said! Thnx alot Jeff and keep up the good work!!!

  2. Brandon Tomasella says:

    Honestly the best thing about jeff is he never acts like he knows it all, he says let me investigate this and present my findings and really tries to get all the info, great channel

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