Thursday, September 5, 2013

Come on... YOU KNOW THIS!

I won't deny for a moment that the more that you dive into strength training the more things get murky between what is the right proportion between the science of getting stronger and what your intuition says about getting stronger.  Do you base what you do on what sports science says that you should do?  Or, do you just go off how your body feels?   Depending who you go to for training knowledge, the answer to this question can vary with dizzying and mind-boggling proportions, second only to the old question, "what proportion of leanness is diet and exercise?"  

Even so, people often show a remarkable capability for over-complicating questions that should be plenty easy to answer for themselves.  They don't need to ask experts or clog up internet forums with even more worthless information than the useless information that's already there.  The answer to these inquiries should be:  come on, you know this... and possibly a slap in the face to wake up.  There are three, hideously common questions that fall into such a category for me and I'm going to take this gap in time at work to type them out in the vain hopes that they'll never come up again (or at least for a week or so). 

  1. What's the best music to work out to?  Um, what kind of music makes you want to move?  Yeah, it really is that simple.  Don't think for a second there is a style of music that you're not listening to that will increase your gains.  There is no Mozart for physical strength.  Actually, there really isn't a Mozart for mind strength either.  The guy who came up with the theory that Mozart increases brain power admitted it was a very short time duration spike that only works in adults, not children.  Some kind of heavy metal seems to be what motivates a good chunk of my readers, including the author to push harder.  I've also been known to listen to soundtracks from action movies (The Rock and 300 are personal favorites).  My wife is fond of gay nightclub music.  C&C music Factory was created, in part, by a gym rat interesting in creating dance music for the gym too.   Granted I think the latter two suck but whatever works for you, use it! 
  2. Should I workout when I'm sick?  Depends.  Can you move and carry on normal life and still have some energy left in your tank at the end of the day?  Then fucking work out!  Don't go balls to the wall but if you want to move your body in a constructive manner, then do it!  If you can't peel your ass out of bed from fear of vomiting, breaking something, ripping open surgical incisions, or lowering your T-cell count then stay put until you are better.  I've worked out with a torn ACL and common colds and while it's unpleasant, it's doable and it makes me feel mentally better about myself.  As long as I don't hurt myself further or tax my ability to recover, then I just keep doing my thing albeit at a reduced workload. 
  3. How much should I rest between sets?  On the surface, this question seems worthy of a more in-depth answer but peel past the surface, the answer is pretty simple:  as much as you need to get yourself ready for the next set...AND NO MORE THAN THAT!  That varies, depending on what movement you're working and if you're trying to condition or develop max strength.  Obviously, conditioning should be a lower rest period and max strength should have a longer rest period.  Often times, the reasoning for this question has to do with hormone release.  I've heard that studies show rest periods between sets have effects on Testosterone and HGH production/release and I have no interest in spitting them out.  I've heard too many contradictory statements to care about.  I think that your food and your rest after your workout has far more of an impact on both hormones rather than the rest in between your sets ever could.  So, worry more about that.
So, these three really just come down to just quit overthinking things and get to work.  Experiment and see what works best for you.  Most of what you'll learn will come from your own experiences and not what other people have tried.  They did the work and figured out what gives them success.  Now, it's your turn.  

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