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Maximizing your workout by pushing past the pain: Forcing those last reps

Start light to build strength, build and push beyond your capacity.  Force those last reps.
Start light to build strength, build and push beyond your capacity. Force those last reps.Archived photo

Remember being told when you were a kid, “Take care of your things and they’ll last a long time.” It may have referred to a toy, or a doll. Adults should take this tidbit seriously. Take care of your body and it will last a long time. A healthy diet and proper exercise to a body is like gas and water are to an engine and radiator. Fail to properly maintain these necessary items and your engine will ultimately fail you earlier than it should.

Proper exercise and how to do it is an individual choice. The harder you work, the better your results. Being healthy is being internally and externally strong which can be accomplished with diet, cardio conditioning and weight training.

Start light and slow to build strength. Novice lifters will lift weight beyond their means and often end with injury and slow to no improvement. Lift within your capacity, build your capacity, and push beyond your capacity. Force those last reps.

Here are some simple weight lifting starter techniques:

  • Hire a trainer to teach you form and technique. Weight lifting is not about lifting weights, it’s about lifting the weights the right way to build muscle.
  • Negatives – this is simply the negative or lowering contraction of a muscle vs. the positive or the upward motion. Slowly lower and contract any weight that you have positively engaged (6 to 10 seconds). Done in the beginning of a workout while at your strongest level will allow for intense muscle building. Using momentum to swing a weight up and down cheats your body.
  • Burn-Rest-Pause Training – is done by sticking to one weight (usually light and manageable) but doing a set to failure. Meaning the lactic acid in your muscles are screaming and taking over your entire being. Rest, pause, then repeat the cycle 3 to 4 times to failure.
  • Forced Reps – occurs when fatigue occurs from lactic acid buildup in your muscles. You shake, quiver, make funny faces and articulate grunting noises. But force, yes force those last reps. Your extra exertion of energy in those last intense moments makes a huge difference in building strength and improving your physique.

Bottom line, it doesn’t matter what you choose to make your body last longer, just choose to do something. Begin with forcing yourself to get up and start, it will make those last forced reps worth it.

 

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