1. You Must go to Failure on Every Single Set
Training to failure has been debated for quite some time. You need to stimulate the muscle and coax it to grow back and recover larger and stronger than before, but taking every set to muscular failure is a bit extreme.
Taking it a step further, some gym-goers load up each set with tons of intensity techniques like forced reps, negatives, and strip sets. They end up beating their bodies into the ground with little hope to fully and effectively recover. For the first few sets of a series, pyramid up in weight going just a rep or two short of failure then take your top few sets to muscular failure. Use intensity techniques sparingly.
2. You Build Muscle Only Through Low Reps and Heavy Weight
You’ve heard the old adage that you have to lift big to get big. But at what expense? I’ve seen countless lifters squat tons of weight for low rep sets and have little muscle to show for it. Yes, some lifters can lift super heavy and stay in the low rep ranges and grow. But the majority of us who find it difficult to pack on muscle need a higher rep range (8 to 12) to place the stress on the muscle, not our joints.
Heavier sets and lower reps are still fine to do every now and then, but the majority of your training should be performed with controlled technique and weights you can handle.