I just re-read this quote, from Nate Green's "Built for Show," talking about athletes crediting God with their talent but themselves with their hard work:
"Any of us can get into better shape, but some genetically gifted individuals will always be able to work harder than their peers, and recover faster from their workouts."
I thought that was really good to put into a workout book, especially one aimed at young male trainees likely to go for broke if you let them. It's a good thing to keep in mind when you train. Not everyone has the same maximum strength/speed/whatever, and not everyone has the same recovery rate, either. Maybe you just can't work as hard as the next guy over, and if you tried you'd get hurt.
You can work hard, you should work hard, and you must work hard...but you don't have to judge your level of work by how hard others are working. You have to judge your level of work by what results you get out of it. If you go to the gym and don't go all out, but you keep improving and don't get hurt in the process, that's sufficient. Adjust your work to taste - try a little harder, see if it's still within your limits. If it works better, fine. If you start getting hurt or your results roll back, back down.
I think this is an important topic. More on this tomorrow, too.