When most people think of working out, they do not anticipate going past the limits they set for themselves. Most wouldn't even imagine being in pain and pushing through it until they no longer feel the pain. Sound strange? Well, if you are hardcore or plan to be, in the world of bodybuilding, you need to know that your limits must be broken if you want to be successful and grow. This pain threshold is not the same as a painful injury. This is about the pain of limits, being at a point where you feel you can't go any further; you're fatigued, extremely sore, nauseous even, but pushing through it anyway. This is a glimpse into what's known as hardcore training.
In bodybuilding, there is the phrase, "Breaking the Pain Barrier". This phrase involves pushing past or through pain normally experienced from heavy, intense training. The majority of the pain stems from the hesitation encouraged by your mind. In order to get through it, you must conquer your mind first; that mental barrier that stops you dead in your tracks when training becomes too uncomfortable. This is actually the only way you will develop in the way necessary for you to get big. The mind usually acts as a buffer to protect the body from being harmed. It is a great tool to have, especially when you can actually do harm to yourself; such as in over-training or incorrectly performing an exercise. It simply sends a signal to the body when severe stress is induced. However, sometimes, it is necessary to push past the pain.
For example: In order to develop your biceps, you must train them. But not only train them, you must increase the stress placed on the muscles to make them grow. If you continue to lift 30 lbs consistently, your biceps muscles will adapt to that level of weight, causing them to no longer respond to the exercise and therefore stop developing. So when you increase the amount of weight you place on the muscles, it's uncomfortable and that discomfort will cause the muscles to respond because the level of resistance has increased and is therefore, foreign to the body. So in order to grow, you MUST experience levels of discomfort, there is no way around it.
In most situations, developing the technique of breaking the pain barrier will require a bit of assistance. It is a lot easier to have a coach or partner there by your side when you are fighting your mind and body to keep going. When you have a coach or a partner, drilling into your mind with force that "you can do this", "come on and fight", "no pain, no pain", it will help you to concentrate on that belief and not the pain you actually feel. You will find that when you keep going, you are pushing past your normal limits and the pain is no longer as intense as it was when you approached it.
Here is another example, for those of you who may be a little unsure right about now: Many of you know what it's like to stub your toe. That initial pain is intense, at best. It hurts so bad, you holler out, get mad, you may even cry. So you hold your foot, all the while, feeling all of that pain full force. But notice this; as you go through it, without even realizing it, you find yourself sort of soothing the pain by calming yourself to relax into it, and soon, the pain is no longer as intense as it was. Can you see the similarity? Breaking through this pain is hard to do but if you have ever stubbed your toe, unknowingly, you've already done this. It's not exactly the same as pushing heavy weight but the fight through the pain is the same.
In bodybuilding, pushing past your pain portal should be shared with someone who can guide you through it. It's a lot easier than trying to relax into it yourself because most people will avoid pain and just stop, if they are on their own. Having someone there to guide you will help you to develop the ability to shut out your mind and push your body to its limits. Being able to train with that sort of intensity takes practice and a strong desire, even if it causes you to collapse or vomit.
Most people are not going to train this hard and many of them will think it is absolutely ludicrous. But for those of you who know what breaking through the pain barrier is all about, you will embrace the fact that this is how you push the limits in bodybuilding to become your best.