If you’ve ever heard of Preto’s Law, the 80/20 principle, then you know exercise is no exemption it. There are tons of different exercises out there. There are actually more exercises than actual muscle groups.
Research has shown that resistance training is the most effective method of exercising. The reason is because our muscles adapt the best when under short bursts of intense stress.
Lets say we lift an extremely heavy log and put it down a few feet in front of us. Sure, that was stressful, but was it enough stress to cause change?
Lets use sun tanning as an example. If I were to go out at noon, when the sun is the hottest and lay down for two minutes, will I tan? Probably not. Although the sun is really hot, I wasn’t exposed to it enough for my body to respond and produce the chemical response responsible for tanning.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan
The same is true for exercise. Henneman’s size principle states that under load, motor units are recruited from smallest to largest. In practice, this means that slow-twitch, low-force, fatigue-resistant muscle fibers are activated before fast-twitch, high-force, less fatigue-resistant muscle fibers.
If I were to start working out and stop half way through, then according to Henneman’s size principle, I’m only half way there. My body hasn’t had a chance to stimulate my fast twitch muscle fibers into adapting yet.
The most important part of a workout is reaching the point where ALL of our muscle fibers are stressed enough for our body to respond by stimulating a change.
How can we make sure we’ve reached that point? Simply by failing with our workout. The easiest and safest way to do so without a spotter is to use exercise machines at your local gym. Continue lifting the weight until you can no longer do so. At that point, you know for sure that your body has exhausted one group of muscle fibers after the other in an effort to fight the resisting force.
This tip alone will double most people’s workout results. Some of us to sets of our favorite number and cross our fingers for change. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works.
We need to do this while making sure we’re not at risk of injury. So sure, you can do olympic lifts and cross fit, but its a little harder to gauge our progress with more dynamic exercises routines. To avoid injuries, slower paces, controlled lifts are recommended. By lifting and lowering resistance slowly, we can maintain balance, concentrate on form and avoid using momentum to help us with the exercise.
- Again, I recommend weight machines for beginners or those without spotters.
Good luck! Stay strong and fail to succeed!