Train the Muscle
Sounds simple, right?
Most of us think that if I am picking up weights then I am essentially “training the muscle.”
And while this is true to some extent, you might be missing out on some of the benefits if your were to do the following:
1. SLOW DOWN
We get it. There are many fitness ventures out there that glorify “how fast” you can get something done. In fact, we have done this before as well.
However, faster is not inherently better.
Slowing down increases your ‘time under tension’ which can actually provide you a better stimulus if your goal is to build muscle and stay healthy for the long haul.
2. CONTRACT (squeeze) THE INTENDED MUSCLE –
Have you heard the term “Mind-Muscle Connection”? Well, now you have.
Essentially, the Mind Muscle Connection is intentionally squeezing or contracting the muscle you are working.
Try this: straighten your right arm. Now bend your right elbow pulling your hand toward your shoulder. And straighten your arm again.
Now, bend your right arm again, but this time intentionally “contract (or squeeze)” your bicep.
Feel the difference? That is the Mind-Muscle Connection.
3. CHOOSE APPROPRIATE LOADS:
This one can be applied in either direction. Some individuals always grab the heaviest weights possible and they are physically unable to do Numbers 1 & 2 above – missing out on the benefits of time under tension and mind-muscle connection.
However, it can also go the opposite way.
If you are ALWAYS choosing the lightest DBs, you might not be challenging yourself and getting the intended stimulus of resistance training.
So, next time you’re training, thinking about these 3 components to “training the muscle.”
– COACH SHANE