I am currently reading a book called, “The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess” This book was written by some of the finest coaches in the industry, Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe, and Alwyn Cosgrove. As I was reading the other night I found a quote that I want to share and build on.
“Your body’s goal is to reach stasis so it can stop making adaptations to the stresses you impose on it. Your goal is to keep imposing new stresses so your body keeps making adaptations”
Now despite the name of the book, this quote applies to anyone looking to get results. We talk about weight selection often. A lot of times you’ll hear your coaches remind you to pick up something heavy! Let me explain to you why we stress this so much.
I will start telling you some of the things we take into consideration when writing a training plan for you to get effective results:
- Efficient and Effective exercise selection
- Purposeful exercise selection
- Purposeful timing sequences
- Exercise progressions for all fitness levels
If you have been training with us for some time then you probably know that we have specific strength days and specific metabolic day. Allow me to start with explaining what is happening in your body on those days. Stay with me here, this stuff is pretty cool!
I won’t get all science geek on you, but I do want you to know why we do what do when we design your program, and also why we are so adamant you keep seeking to progress.
Strength days are designed impose a load great enough to your current muscles fibers to break them down and then build them back up better than they were. Your body is smart, and it WANTS to handle the loads you place upon it, whether that be a 40 pound dumbbell or 4 bags of groceries in each hand. Wouldn’t you rather have your husband ask YOU to open the pickle jar because he can’t? J
Let me give you an example of how I approach load selection (How much I am going to lift that day) with a specific exercise that we did last week.
Dumbbell Bench Press – If these are programmed into my upper body day then I am going to start by selecting 5 pounds more than what I KNOW I can lift. You see, if in my mind I already know I can press those 35 pounds dumbbells then my body definitely knows I can already do that. If I want to see a change in my body and my performance (which I do) then I need to try something more. My muscles already know I can do that. My body has adapted to that stress already. I need to create a new stress. I need to tear into those muscle fibers and allow them the opportunity to tear, recover/rebuild and grow. So how does that muscle get stronger?
I know you’ve heard us explain the importance of recovery – it’s in this stage of the process you actually get better, if you do it right.
Here’s what I mean. Let’s say on Monday I just did my dumbbell bench press. I am not going to do the same exercise on Tuesday and Wednesday. It takes most people a couple days to properly recover from the demand of a heavy strength day. In your training program we are conscience about tearing into the same muscle fibers two days in a row.
The recovery and repair process from strength training (and High Intensity Intervals) takes a lot of energy. After you kill it on the training floor you will continue to burn calories as your body tries to recover and rebuild those muscle fibers. Which means you’re still burning on Tuesday from your training session on Monday!
BUT- if you select a weight that your body already KNOWS it can perform then you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Quick side not for the Ladies – Believe me picking up heavy load WILL NOT make you bulky. That is a whole other blog in itself – but just know you do not have the testosterone in your body to create such results. Leaner, faster, stronger, healthier means kill it on your strength days – pick up something heavy!
Stay tuned for Part II – Making the Most of Metabolic Madness!
Until then keep making it happen!