"Yes and no. There's often a point where you say, 'It's getting too intense here.' Your partner might be a little scared of the next set because you've been pushing him too hard, so you'll crack a joke and go over to somebody else and bullshit a little. Then you talk him into it. The best example I can think of was one day when Franco Columbu walked into the gym, went down into a squat with 500 pounds on his shoulders and couldn't come back up. Someone had to lift the weight off. I reminded Franco that four people from New York were watching the great Franco Columbu, the world's strongest bodybuilder, crashing down under a mere 500 pounds.
'Franco,' I told him, 'this is very embarrassing. There are a lot of people here watching and they think that the muscle magazines are all bullshitting.'
"He looked around and started breathing heavily, so I pushed it further. I bet him $20 in front of everybody that he couldn't do another repetition and then offered an additional $50 if he could go on and do eight reps. 'Bullshit!' he screamed. 'I did it a few weeks ago and I can do it again.' Out of the door he went, took a few deep breaths and came back to do 10 repetitions with the same weight-not 8 but 10.
"Do you think his body changed? No; his body was the same, his power was the same, but he was motivated. He ripped the weight out and just started going up and down as if there were no end, as if he were going to do 50 repetitions."
Harness the intensity and make today's workout count.