5 things you must do to achieve your best workouts
Walk into any gym in the world, observe the people performing strength training exercises, and you will quickly notice something about the technique used by 99% of them.
Essentially everybody is performing their exercises very quickly.
They throw the weight up. They let it drop back down. Mindlessly flailing their limbs with no apparent focus or concentration, often talking to someone at the same time.
They rattle the barbell plates. They let the weight stack slam together. Momentum is utilized to the fullest extent possible. There is no pausing at any point in the entire set.
The only time all this high speed of movement stops is between exercises, when the average trainee rests for several minutes, often while socializing, re-setting their playlist, texting somebody, watching television or checking their cell phone.
It almost seems like they can’t wait to get their set out of the way, so they can get to these other activities with minimal disruption.
Why do people train like that?
I think that one reason they do it is because they see virtually everybody else doing it, they assume it’s the right way to do it, and that the one guy in the gym not doing it is some misguided weirdo who is doing it wrong. This is the way a lot of people make all of their decisions-they go along with the majority, avoiding the painful job of thinking critically for themselves.
Once the trainee starts utilizing this method, they discover that moving the weights faster allows them to lift more weight more easily. Although less effective from a strength and muscle building perspective, this method is more satisfying to the ego. Fast reps also produce less muscular discomfort than slow reps, and avoiding pain is desirable for most people.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is inferior results. Moving the weights quickly lowers the intensity of the activity; and intensity is the stimulus required to cause an increase in muscular size and strength. Putting in a maximum effort yields the best workouts.
To maximize the intensity of each repetition, the weight should be lifted and lowered slowly, under full muscular control, utilizing the force of muscular contraction alone without momentum.
Going slow is also safer. Increased speed of movement increases the risk of injury. If you have ever witnessed, or been in, a car accident, you already know this.
In addition, going slower creates the best workouts workout because it makes them more time-efficient. You put more tension on your muscles in each set, allowing you to place a greater workload on your muscles in one set than the fast lifters get in 3 or more sets.
Going slow is the first of 5 cardinal rules of “Fantastic Form” that helps our clients achieve their best workouts consistently.
So what are the other components of “Fantastic Form”?
Listen to Fitness Coach Cara tell you about “Fantastic Form” and why it’s a must-have for the best workouts!
To review, here are the 5 keys to performing quality reps, to achieve your best workouts consistently:
1. SLOW SPEED. Slower speed makes your muscles contract harder to lift the weights by minimizing momentum. Lifting slower is safer, and more effective.
2. CONSTANT MUSCLE TENSION. In order to have an efficient 30-minute workout, eliminating rest unless needed is key. Don’t let your muscles rest and recover between reps. Continue lifting until you reach muscular failure.
3. MOMENTARY MUSCULAR FAILURE. In order to stimulate your muscles to grow, you must attempt something that your muscles are incapable of. Don’t be afraid to get stuck on a repetition, MMF is our goal at Rock Solid Fitness.
4. AVOID BODY LEVERAGE. Don’t try to get an advantage by moving your body to gain leverage. Arching your back, or squirming while under a load, to get a tough rep only increases your risk of injury. Remember not to be afraid of getting stuck during a repetition.
5. FULL RANGE OF MOTION. Always lift each repetition through a full Range of Motion in order to strengthen the entire joint and muscle.
This will result in a stronger and more invincible you!
Here at Rock Solid Fitness, our Fitness Coaches are all college-educated in the exercise field. They fully understand all parts of the workout: the exercises you need to perform to reach your goal, how to maintain proper form to prevent injury, and the nutritional aspect that makes results possible. This depth is rare within the personal training gyms in the Dunedin & Tampa Bay area. The unique scheduling model allows you to come in and train when it’s convenient for you, not us. You have our entire team at your disposal, not just one trainer.