During many of my appointments with clients, I hear that the weights I choose for them are “too heavy”. Now, I am sorry to say heavy, in this case, is a relative term. I firmly believe that if a trainee can perform correct repetitions in the amount of 10 or more per set, the weight is NOT heavy. Obviously there is nothing wrong with being “conservative” (right Fred, Ellen and Erica, etc.), but to make advances towards one’s goals, one must make advances in the amount of weight one uses when exercising.
In fact, Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, conducted a study on the weights “lifters” chose for themselves during their workouts. They concluded that, more often than not, people choose weights far too light for their fitness level. And while no one wants to see anyone get hurt by straining themselves…pushing themselves is a necessary evil.
What’s the difference? Well, if a trainee cannot even perform the first FEW repetitions of a set with correct form (full range of motion) that is straining. However, if a trainee has completed eight to 10 or more repetitions with perfect form and is PUSHING for a few more, that’s being on the way to Temporary Muscle Failure. And that’s a good thing!
Temporary Muscle Failure is a “lifting technique” where muscle fibers break down at a higher rate than when performing a traditional set where the amount of repetitions is predetermined and is complimented by the weight chosen to be lifted. When employed correctly, this type of training produces quicker advances and the ability to overcome plateaus. Why? Because it is more intense!
But in order for it to be successful, it takes two. Me, to help encourage you not to stop. Instead, to keep moving; no matter what the exercise or how much it “burns” And, you, to have to faith and employ the resilience to work through the last few repetitions not matter how much it “burns”.
One more thing. On the lighter side, I promise! Before I end this week’s installment, I would like to congratulate Joey Chesnut, 28-year-old California Native, for his sixth straight win at the Independence Day hot dog eating contest at Coney Island this past Wednesday. He downed 68 dogs and buns in 10 minutes, earning him $10,000! Sport or Spectacle? Athlete or Gluten? You decide. Resilient? Absolutely!