Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lift more, move more !

Feeling a little stuck with your training? Have you been working out for a while but can't seem to get past your plateau? Chances are you might not be lifting enough weight. In the beginning of any fitness program, progression is quick and strength seems to double. Then you hit this point that it's harder to increase weight or PR. One of the most common reasons for strength to stall out is that you might not be lifting heavy enough weights to trigger growth and adaptation.
When lifting, the amount of weight you use is correlated to the intensity of the lift. Intensity is often expressed as a percentage of 1-rep maximum (1RM) which is the max amount of weight you can use for that lift.
Some people have a misunderstanding of resistance training, especially women. I have so many clients who are female that are so hesitant to lift any let alone heavy weights. Lifting weights creates shape to your body and builds that physique you are looking for.
A quick note about “muscle toning.” It doesn’t exist. This myth has been plaguing fitness professionals for too long, and it’s time we dispel it once and for all. Muscles don’t get toned, they don’t get longer or leaner. They get bigger, smaller, or stay the same size. That’s it. You are either strong or weak. When someone is referring to "toning" what you really want is muscle with decreased body fat. You do that with heavy resistance training and high intensity cardio. Lifting heavy weights will give you the physique you want, however lifting weights that are too light will likely do nothing but waste your time.
So let me ask: What is YOUR goal? If your goal is to increase strength or build muscle, it’s important to either find a trainer that will educate you about effective resistance training or research programs that will encourage you to progress to heavy lifting. For lifters, it’s important to keep in mind that you will eventually have to lift heavy weights to increase strength or muscle size.
Heavy is relative. It’s not about the weight; it’s about the effort. Heavy means a resistance that is challenging for the individual on that particular exercise and in their chosen repetition range. My heavy might not be your heavy and that is ok. This is why learning to work off percentages can really help you along the way in a strength training program. It’s also important that people learn how to recognize what appropriate resistance feels like. A good way to do that is to incorporate ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) into your training. A simple 1-10 scale can be used to measure RPE.
1 meaning it was super easy and 10 meaning you almost or did fail.
Learn to start slow and increase gradually. Lift heavy and lift smart and see the gains happen!

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