Friday, July 24, 2009

Changing things up

Since we have started this class we have had a few different formats. Some successful, some not so much. Obviously, when things are planned and that plan is followed, success follows it.

As the saying goes, "Success favors the prepared."

However, many times in the class we aim to complete maximal repetitions of an exercise in a given time or we aim to complete only a certain number of repetitions.

Towards the end of the last class, I began to ask you guys to slow down your repetitions. and this time around I am presenting a new challenge to you. I want you to attempt to follow a specific cadence for each repetition. The most common cadence is 3 seconds when lowering the weight and 2 seconds when raising the weight.

What this will do is keep the muscle under tension for a greater period of time. Often we just zip through our repetitions and when fatigue hits we stop. But now I am asking you to keep your muscles under tension for a much longer time. This will have a few benefits and physiological adaptations.

The first is pretty basic - the longer the muscle is under tension, the more energy is required. (Calories=energy) By going through our repetitions slower we will require much more energy for the same exercises thereby getting the most out of each workout.

Second, this will help promote muscle growth. Remember, fat is used inside muscle. The more muscle we have, the more area we have to create energy. Calories are units of energy. So a greater demand on energy, will increase our metabolism, and thereby transform our body into a metabolic race car.

Thirdly, for those of you who enjoy it, you will experience some new soreness. This might not be too rewarding for the new folks. But for you who have been around for a while, you might be looking at soreness with a sense of longing. Or maybe not. Either way, you WILL know you definitely did some quality work.

So this weekend. Choose a lower body exercise, an upper body exercise and core exercise other than planks and do 8 of each using the following cadence: 4 seconds down, hold for 1 second, 2 seconds up and hold for 1 second (4-1-2-1).

(I'm going with pushups, split squats and mountain climbers for my exercises!!)

This should give you a whole new appreciation for strength and the joy of exercise.

See you on Monday for a new 4-week round of Hi-5 FitCamp. Have a great weekend!

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