Sunday, September 28, 2008

RESULTS WANTED - By Andrea Rippe

Originally Posted on on June 30, 2000

Many people stop working out because they cease getting results. Some will suddenly become inspired and come to me with questions about their workouts and say they are looking for results. I simply ask if they continually try to increase the weights or the reps. Usually the answer is no and there is typically an assumption that they should stay with lighter weights and do "more" reps. I also ask what exercises they are using and if they are using proper form on those exercises. Many times the exercises in their programs do not include some basic necessary movements.

The bottom line is the body responds to stresses imposed upon it. If you always use the same weights and use the same repetitions there is no need for your body to change. Create the need. First of all use proper form and keep it even though the body will try to break form in order to complete another rep. Lift the weight until you cannot lift it again. That means go to momentary muscular failure. If you take the muscle to the point of maximum effort it will overcompensate and get stronger so it can handle that weight the next time for possibly another repetition or at least part of one.

Most people will say they cannot do another rep when they actually have anywhere from one to ten or more repetitions left in them. There will be discomfort; there is no way around it. It is not comfortable to push the muscles to the point of failure. You really have to want to push the weight up as many times as possible. If you don't do as many reps as are possible you don't know what kind of effort level you are achieving. The body will respond to the stress. Increase the weight if you can achieve beyond 12 repetitions for the upper body and 20 for the lower. Work hard on increasing your weights and/or reps each time you enter the gym. If you want results the best way to succeed is to set concrete short term and long term goals. Don't waste your time.

In order to make your workouts more efficient, safer on the joints and more result producing it helps to choose basic core movements. Multi-joint exercises like the deadlift, squat, leg press, pull-ups, pulldowns, rows, dips, bench press, overhead press should comprise the basis for every workout program. These exercises allow for use of maximum resistance which load the most muscle mass possible. High quality machines like Hammer Strength and Nautilus equipment may be used instead of or to alternate with the free weight versions. There is a demand for variety as people get bored very easily. However, if you want result producing workouts stick with the basic exercises of which there are enough variations to keep your body doing different yet similar movements. For instance, you could do dumbbell overhead presses for your shoulders for a while, then switch to barbell overhead presses and then to Hammer Strength shoulder presses. There is no new revolutionary exercise that will transform you into something that the basic exercises can't.

If you use basic exercises with proper form in an intense manner consistently over time there will be changes in your physique. Given also that your diet and sleep patterns are as they should be your results may be dramatic. Make the commitment.
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