There are many positive, healthy reasons why you should put more muscle onto your frame. It's metabolically active, so you'll burn more fat at rest (and throughout your day), and there's less chance of you injuring yourself.
This week we want to geek out a little bit and discuss the three main methods of muscle development. It's really important because if you are not doing one of these three things then you may not be training efficiently as you could.
In simple terms, the three main training methods are...
Mechanical Tension - your muscles generate the largest force possible through full range of motion. Usually, the rep range is shorter with heavy weights.
Metabolic Stress - keeping your muscles under constant tension, often with zero rest between reps. Usually, the rep range is higher and the weights do not have to be heavy (or used at all).
Muscle Damage - usually involves high tension when your muscles are lengthened while contracting. Think of a slow descent on a pull-up or a stiff-legged deadlift.
Okay nerdy-mac-nerd-nerd, you might say, what does that mean for a normal person who just wants to survive a Bootcamp and get on with more fun things like looking at baby wombats.
Here are some things to try out...
Mechanical Tension - Stop doing as many reps as possible and think about using more weight and time under tension. When a weight gets too heavy we all are guilty of stopping short - like not going deep enough on a bench press or goblet squat. Think about using full range of motion throughout and drop down a weight if you feel you can't quite get there.
The Get Strong class has the best format to try this out.
Metabolic Stress - Think about not going full lock-out on an exercise. When you're at the bottom (or lock-out) of a squat you are actually in serenity for a split second, where the weight doesn't feel as challenging. Think about just stopping short of that moment and then avoid lock-out at the top (another serenity position), essentially keeping your muscles under stress throughout.
Try this with a Jump Squat at your next Cardio or Bootcamp class.
Muscle Damage - This category gets a little bit tricky because it needs to be programmed well. Your muscles will get sore as hell so you need to know what you're doing. Hiring a trainer and doing some one-on-one sessions or in a small group is recommended.
But if you feel competent, on top of negative pull-ups and stiff-legged deadlifts, you can try multiple pauses throughout the essentric (the lengthening of a muscle) component of a rep. You can grab a buddy to do forced reps - where after set failure they help you through the concentric (shortening of a muscle) part of the exercise but not the slow essentric part.
Kevin & Victoria