Hello My Friends
Welcome To The Vitality Project!
For those of you who are new or not-so-new to the concept of weight-training, this article is devoted to saving you precious time and energy!
The reason I suggest that this quick read will do just that is simply this valid point that I am going to make: Most People Including Personal Trainers Have No Real Understanding Of Just How To Get Measurable Results From The Application Of Weight-Training Exercise Strategies!
How do I know this?
The power of observation (I am in the gym almost ever day) and the added fact that I have spent over 30 years of my life giving fitness advise to people with the intent upon improving their health and well-being.
Weight training is an invaluable tool for improving your body, your health and mental function. It’s affects are underrated, overlooked, or it is simply poorly performed and/or poorly applied in most cases.
These are the reasons why most people do not even get close to achieving their potential when applying resistance exercise to their regimen. How many people have you heard say “I tried going to a gym…it didn’t work for me.”
WHAT!!! Hold on just a minute here…what didn’t work, the gym or what you did when you were inside it?
When applied properly…weight training works and works well for anyone who tries it properly and continues performing it consistently. I feel very confident in suggesting that this is a fact!
Here is the scoop regarding the use of weight training strategies….it’s all in how and to what degree you apply the concepts.
Here are a few points to consider if you want to get the most out of your weight training experience.
Forget about calculating the total amount of muscular work that you perform for any given workout….although this calculation tells you the quantitative amount that you did (Reps.x Sets x LBS) it does not tell you or stress the most important factors in the application of weight training methodologies.
The quality of your workout in real time.
From a qualitative perspective this really involves the manner with which you train with weights…what your approach was during each workout. You can also refer to this as the application of training intensity.
Here are a couple of concepts to apply EACH time you weight train.
Time Under Tension: The method of increasing the intensity of each training set is to increase the length of time you place the target muscle group under tension. To do this, you must increase the contraction time by using a slower but much more controlled technique which actively contracting the muscle(s) you are trying to activate. Muscle fibers have to adapt to the resistance (stimulus) by increasing their cross-sectional size and their degree of contractility. They will adapt to a great degree and at a faster rate if the time the stimulus is applied continues and is sustained. To do this correctly, your technique has to be exceptional, concentration focused and your ego left at the door simply because, if you do this right, you will have to lower the weight or start with a lighter one. Trust me when I say that this is a skill that HAS to be taught and also consciously felt by the trainer in real time.
Remember this: muscles respond to the rate of change in their length and the length of time that tension is applied. Slow the rate of change in muscle length during a set by slowing down your training tempo thus increasing the time under tension. Oh, and both the positive and negative components of the contraction are important! Utilize a slow, smooth tempo with no use of momentum during a repetition.
Muscular Failure: When you perform a set of arm curls for instance, increase the contracting time by at least a factor of 2 and complete each repetition until you cannot complete another repetition and you “fail” or reach muscular failure during the set.
Although this training methodology is advanced, it should be learned very early on because folks that I have observed even years of weight-training never even get close to approaching this. Their muscles would have reached maximum adaptation years before…are they wasting their time?…no but they will continue to get what they get because the continue to do what they have always done!
If you use time under tension method and go to muscular failure on each set, you will do much more to influence muscle recruitment in a much shorter period of time because your training will become much more efficient, focused and sensory.
Sensory….meaning that you will have a very close sensory attachment to your weight training as the burn of muscular fatigue and added recruitment needed will be something that, not only you will be good at focusing upon, but something that your body will get much better adapting to. When this begins to happen…you will be going in the right direction. Your body composition will start to change again for the better and your level of fitness improve…along with a few other things!
Focus upon the intensity of your weight training in a controlled sense while becoming much more focused upon your technique and breathing…use focus and patience as your guide…these are also very reliable tools to apply to your life and training!
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
The Vitality Project