Monday, November 11, 2019

Next 4 : Truth of Fiction? A Look at Bodybuilding Maxims

Next 4 : Truth of Fiction? A Look at Bodybuilding Maxims :
"It's all you!"

Whenever I hear someone yelling this in the gym, I always look over to see someone struggling to pull a bar off of his partner. As my colleague Dr. Sal Arria likes to point out, most people can easily lift a 45 pound bar with two pinkies. So the next time you tell your partner that you hardly helped him at all, think again.

"I don't want to get too big" (In my best Jerry Sienfeld)

Is this really a problem for people? This statement comes predominately from females who put shoulder pads in their blouses. Go figure. Could you imagine enrolling in a course or beginning some new endeavor saying "I'll do this as long as I don't become too successful."? Don't use fear of success as an excuse for not training.

"Strength built quickly is lost quickly"

In the strength training community, it is generally accepted that high intensity strength training will increase strength quickly, but this strength tends to be "unstable," or quickly eroding. High volume strength training increases strength slowly, but strength gained in this manner tends to be more "permanent."

These two observations support the concept of periodization, where a high intensity "peaking" cycle follows a high volume "foundational" cycle of training in order to exploit both types of adaptations. Incidentally, if you have strength trained for many years, you'll be able to take a few months off, and be able to maintain your strength and body composition quite well. Beginners can't afford to do this however.

"Quality before quantity"

This is a beaut of a universal truth. It applies to a workout just as much as it applies to a year or an entire athletic career. Let's say that you can perform about 6-7 pull-ups, but would love to be able to do 3 sets of 10 someday. Most people simply try to add reps (quantity) every workout, which usually leads nowhere because it doesn't make you any stronger.

A better approach would be to use lower reps (i.e., higher quality)- say down to 2-3 reps per set (which may require that you use additional weight hooked to a belt), and then gradually, add sets. After 3-4 weeks when you can do in the neighborhood of 10-12 sets of 2-3 reps, try one all-out set for reps and see what happens. I know you'll be happy with the result!

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