Monday, November 26, 2012

Knockin' Out Reps

Next time you're in the weight room and you're lifting heavy, try this: instead of counting out 10 reps in your head, count 5, twice. Or if the goal of your super-heavy set is 6 repetitions, count to 3 twice. Sounds silly, I know, but try it. It's amazing. It's a little magic trick for staying in the zone, and really developing that mind-muscle connection. That little tip has really helped me out a lot. I first heard about this technique in a podcast interview with former (and probably future) Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler.
Counting your reps backwards can be kind of fun too. It sort of feels like a NASA mission control countdown. You can imagine that the blast off at the end of the set is the muscle hypertrophy (the opposite of atrophy), the growth caused by momentary muscle failure. The real 'trick' of course is to not get caught up in the numbers, but the reps themselves. I believe workout journals are important, but whats more important is developing proper form, and excellent mind-muscle connection, because we lift weights to get stronger. We want that good pain, not injury. They say you only know you're in "the zone" afterwards. If you think you're in it, you ain't. So stay focused, feel each rep and remember those immortal words spoke by Muhammad Ali, when someone asked him how many sit-ups he does. "I don't know, I don't start counting 'til it hurts."

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