Enterprise Master Trainer, Reece Adams, has long been known for the jaw-dropping body transformations, and champion awards that his competitors earn.
Today, he’s kindly shed some light on how to maximise your training in the gym:
One common mistake I frequently see in the gym is body position. Often, people will set their body before doing their reps but then once they start moving, they adjust their body in a way to maximize their ability to get from point A to point B – no matter what. That is, they compromise ‘form’.
In my opinion, body position (or commonly referred to as ‘exercise form’) takes priority over range of motion.
I would rather a client learn to hold their body position and shorten the range than cheat to get a greater range.
Don’t get me wrong there are times you want to cheat the concentric (lifting phase) and maximize the eccentric (lowering phase), but this is an advanced technique and isn’t for beginners. Neither is it something you want to do week after week or program after program.
Mark and I had the opportunity of attending a private internship delivered by Charles R. Poliquin in Montreal. He said that hypertrophy is similar to getting a tan in that if you get too much exposure too soon, you will over do your tan and become burnt.
In other words:
Amount of exposure to the sun = Muscle damage (and you don’t want to overdo it)
So this leaves us with:
Sun = Resistance / Load on target muscle
(i.e. weight plates, barbell, dumbbells, resistance bands… Basically anything that you can use to overload a movement pattern to encourage muscle growth and development)
Ever seen people start a fire out of sunlight using a magnifying glass? How do they do that?
Essentially, the magnifying glass is positioned in a way that directs and concentrates the sun’s rays onto a single point – hence starting a fire.
If we make another analogy:
Magnifying glass = Body position when performing a movement
You want to concentrate on a specific group of muscle fibres, and use an appropriate load that allows you to move from point A to point B with constant engagement and recruitment of those fibres.
If the feeling of muscle contraction changes location at every rep, you’re not keeping the tension in one specific target group of muscle fibres, and you’re not maximizing the effect you’re aiming to cause – whether it be hypertrophy or strength gains.
As a side note: there is often more than one way to execute an exercise – what it comes back to is which muscle/s your trying to prioritize. As an example:
With a dumbbell row if I were to pull in a straight line to just below my chest it would prioritize my upper back more.
But if I were to pull toward my hip which would prioritize my lats more. Decide your target muscle and train with purpose.
If I can see a client isn’t putting in the effort, or is getting lazy with technique. I will give them this very important line:
“Do you want to do 10 reps or 100 reps for the same result?”
This brings them back to reality and if they do care about their results they will instantly work harder and more efficiently.
With this said it’s important to push yourself. Key is to ensure that it’s progressive as this is where effective programming comes in, and at Enterprise Fitness our ever-growing knowledge and pursuit for industry-leading education makes us a place where we excel and take care of this for you.
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