3D is the latest rage in technology. Movies are being in filmed in 3D on a regular basis and are selling out theaters. TV’s are being sold with 3D technology so you can experience it in the comfort of your own home.
We’ve also been experiencing 3D in gyms for years! No, I’m not talking about walking around with blue and red glasses to make our muscles look bigger. We weight train using 3D. Let me explain….
As Pete has mentioned in a previous post, most people walk into a gym and train blindly. But there is a small minority that actually uses some type of plan to trigger a growth stimulus in a particular muscle. In order to do that they use three different dimensions, or variables, and design a workout for the muscle around these dimensions. These dimensions are:
2. Number of Sets
3. Number of Reps
For example, to work the chest, they will pick the exercises that will focus on the chest muscles and then will perform a certain number of sets of that exercise with a certain number of repetitions within each set. These “training plans” permeate muscle magazines and are the basis for the latest “add 10 pounds before summer” workout gimmick that the magazines tout on their covers.
The goal for each of these workouts is to push to failure with each set. They can then measure their success by seeing how much weight they can lift for the same exercise the next training session around.
We’ve all seen it. These trainees walk around the gym logging each workout carefully. They log the exercise, the number of sets and the number of reps performed each set to see how much weight they’ve lifted. If they increase the weight the next session around, they feel like they’ve made progress.
I see this with the personal trainers walking around with their clients from exercise to exercise, logging away. Instead of properly training clients, personal trainers have just become highly paid counters…..they count repetitions.
But let me ask you this. How long have you done a workout program like this only to stop adding weight to the exercise? What do you then? Do you think you’ve reached some kind of plateau which can be broken only with some crazy muscle confusion?
There’s a big problem here though. There is a component of the muscle stimulus equation that hasn’t been taken into account.
The problem is that these trainees are training in 3D and not 4D!!! By not training in 4D, they’re missing a key component of the muscle stimulus trigger!
What is the 4th component?
The time it takes you to do your workout is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL to triggering muscle growth. Muscle growth is triggered by the INTENSITY of the exercise. Time is the critical denominator in the intensity equation. That equation looks like this:
Intensity = Total work performed by the muscle /Total workout time for that muscle
Take this example:
Get down and do 20 pushups. Not too bad, huh? Get up, grab a drink of water, take a few deep breaths, and read a bit more of this blog. When you’re done with all that, get down and do another 20. Should be pretty easy, right?
Now try this scenario. Get down and do 20 pushups. Get up, take a deep breath and get down again immediately again and do another 20.
Guess what? In both scenarios you did 40 pushups. If you were logging this in your workout book you would have logged 2 sets of 20 reps of pushups. But were they the same intensity?
Of course not! The second scenario should have felt more intense. That’s because the total workout time was reduced. This causes intensity to increase. This increase in intensity is what stimulates your muscles to grow.
Let me say that again in case you skipped over that last sentence:
THIS INCREASE IN INTENSITY IS WHAT STIMULATES YOUR MUSCLES TO GROW!!!!
So Time is the 4th Dimension that most people are missing in the gym.
Think about it? Who measures total exercise time in the gym? You’d have to be really disciplined and have a stopwatch around your neck to be able to get an accurate reading. And even this would be difficult at best with conventional training.
Static contraction training is designed around 4D training. We only use the most effective exercise for each muscle group in order to recruit the maximum amount of muscle fibers. We perform 1 set of 1 repetition. We include time by holding the maximum weight possible for 5 seconds. If you can count to 5, you can do a static contraction workout! The only variable is weight and that makes tracking progress easy. This is why we are called Precision Training!
So what dimension are you training in? If you’re stuck in 3D, you’re missing out!