Building muscle is about technique, not blunt force. This remark appears contra-intuitive for people who have never taken up gym training. However, once they have become permanent inhabitants in this world of pain – sorry, I meant in this joyous and beautiful world of gym training – they will also have learned to appreciate the truth of this statement.
If you want a chiselled and aesthetically pleasing physique, you will have to master all the different techniques that the variety of exercises demands you to. And they are many.
You will also have to be able to lend a general quality to your workout attitude, your workout performances and the composition of your workout routine. All this requires the acquisition of a lot of knowledge, a lot of motivation and a lot of drive.
Furthermore, achieving and maintaining quality in your training requires constant evaluation and change.
In my opinion 5 sets of high quality can often be more worth than a whole session of just going through the motions. With the latter I am referring to those kinds of workouts where you tend to fulfil the numbers of exercises and sets that you have decided upon beforehand without ever committing yourself sufficiently enough for you to achieve any kind of real exertion or effort – and consequently no real results either.
The Pen and barbell ideal is one of aesthetic quality – and such a goal demands a quality-awareness throughout both the planning and the realization of the workout formulas that one employ.
In the gym the conquering of quality often demands a sacrifice of ego. If you are to perform a certain exercise in the best way possible more often than not you'll have to user a bit lighter weights than what you could do if maximum weight was the only issue.