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Flipping The Switch.

Posted Dec 04 2008 5:08pm

One thing that is intellectually easy for new clients to understand, yet difficult for them to execute:

At some point, you’ve got to flip the switch and go for it.

Some explanation is required here:

One of the concepts I hold near and dear is the idea that you should lift heavy things with the utmost control.  Lest I be misunderstood, this is an example of utmost control:

and this is “hard work”, but otherwise complete and utter garbage:

Note that in the first example, the gals are in full and complete control of the weights. Additionally note that the weight is so light that the only way it could possibly stimulate muscle growth is through inflammation from Page dropping it on Jennifer’s shoulder.

When most people think of “lifting weights properly”, they think of example one. And when they think of “working hard”, they think of example two. But there’s a third possibility - working hard, with (near) perfect form:

When you first start lifting weight that will actually make a difference in the way your body looks, it’s scary. It feels like you could easily get hurt if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here’s the distinction: You do know what you’re doing - at least, if you’ve had quality instruction. The weight feels heavy? It’s ok. Remove your barriers and just lift the darn thing. Go ahead - flip the switch.

What I’m saying is that you’re fooling yourself if you think that by squeezing the living heck of a 5 pound weight (keeping your shoulders, neck, and left pinky perfectly aligned, of course) you’ll stimulate anything in the way of results. You’ve got to work. No Virginia, you don’t have to kill yourself, but you’ve got to provide a large enough stimulus to cause microtrauma and to create chemical congestion in your muscle fibers. And for that, I’m afraid you’ll have to utilize high effort, with as perfect technique as you can muster:

So, let’s recap:

  • Perfect form/technique is important to avoid injury, properly load muscle/joint structures, and to ensure best possible performance. So use perfect technique.
  • Good ol’ fashioned sweathog elbow grease (read: effort) is important to insure your exercising provides a benefit - at a dose-response relationship (more effort = more results). So work hard.
  • At some point, the effort required will cause you to lose perfect form. But go ahead and lift it in perfect form anyway. No, it’s not impossible.

Got it?  Good.  Now go lift something heavy.

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