Tuesday, May 8, 2007

How I put Together my routine

I generally don't like strength training routines for one reason: They often read like putting together a gas grill or something of that nature. They just give a bunch of steps and reps without much explanation as to why you're doing what you're doing. I've been reading up on how the human body works a lot in the past year or so. Now, I'm nowhere near an expert but some of them don't seem to address some very important aspects of how the human body works.

Some of the things I try to address when I exercise are as follows:

1. Fast and Slow Twitch Fibers... You have both in every, single muscle bundle. Slow enables your muscles to work for extended periods of time without fatigue. Fast allows for fast bursts of intense activity. People's ratios vary but I like to do exercises that are modestly intense and some that are very intense and last only a short period of time.

2. Tension Integrity... It's common to think of the skeleton as a foundation or a rigid structure but this is incorrect. The skeleton without muscle and tendon attachments would simply fall to the ground. The skeleton has no secure, interlocking attachments. The muscles provide them. The muscle's tension provides placement and attachment for the bones in the skeleton. Proper tension between agonist and antagonist muscles is paramount. Without it, you're not really strong. So, I like to exercise muscles from multiple angles and directions to assure that the muscles have proper tension from all sides and angles.

3. Mind-Body Connection... It's the most important aspect of any workout. The exercises that you're doing should be done to establish complete control over your muscles by your mind. The ability to control the muscles at will makes remarkable things happen. I've spoken at length about it in the past so I won't repeat myself but I had to mention since I'm including elements of what goes into my thinking when I work out.

Here a sample of an arm routine that I did recently:

1. Handstand Pushups, 8 reps
2. Pullups, 10 reps
3. Biceps/Triceps contraction, max tension, 5 reps
4. "The Milo" isometric set, from John Peterson's IPR

I repeated this set 3 times.

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