There is more to exercise than just lifting a lot of weights and running for hundreds of miles. If you want to get the most from your fitness program, you have to consider the fundamentals of what produces muscular strength and apply them methodically to your every workout. The key principle for continued muscular development is Progressive Resistance Training.
History of Progressive Resistance Training
Progressive Resistance Training was discovered by a Greek named Milo of Croton. Milo was a wrestler during the 6th century BC who woke up very early in the morning to carry a calf on his shoulders so he can do squats and shoulder presses with the calf. As the calf grew into a bull, so did Milo’s muscles and thus, Progressive Resistance Training was discovered.
Why do muscles grow and become stronger?
Hypertrophy, the scientific term for muscle cell growth, happens due to the human body’s innate ability to become stronger from stressors. This very well explains the old saying which goes like this: “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”
When you subject your muscles to work at an unusual intensity, your muscle cells break down. Now, this may seem like a bad thing but, the human body will refuse to stay broken and will do its best to remedy the situation as part of its natural instinct for survival. If you supply your body with enough proteins, it will use these nutrients to repair the broken muscle tissues. And when this is accomplished, it will even over-compensate by feeding more proteins into the muscle cells to make them stronger and bigger in anticipation for a similar workload that you might inflict on it.
How can we use this principle to gain continuous muscle growth?
Knowing this, a smart trainer will do the following:
- He will go to the gym to perform a workout with an unusual intensity.
- He will make sure that he will take in enough proteins to repair the muscle cells that have been broken and some extra grams more to facilitate growth.
- He will space his workouts to ensure that his muscles will have enough time to repair and grow between workouts.
- He will make sure that each succeeding workouts will always be more intense than the previous sessions to ensure continuous muscle growth.
Can these be done on your own?
At this point it may look very simple. It may seem that you only need to push yourself to the limit every time you’re in the gym right? Well, not exactly. Remember when we referred to the saying; what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger? What if the workout does kill you?
To make your gym session productive and safe, you will need professional guidance which only professional fitness trainers can provide. There is a very thin line that separates the right amount of training intensity from what is excessive and dangerous or one that is inadequate and useless. To keep your workouts within what is safe and productive; you need professional guidance which only commercial gyms like American Family Fitness or Fitness First can provide.
There is a lot of science involved in fitness and weight training that can only be learned and applied in the gym. Aside from providing you with the right training program, fitness trainers will also teach you the proper form and technique on the lifts and movements that you need to perform. And aside from the program design and instruction, a commercial gym will also provide you with the motivation to develop exercise from an activity to a habit until it turns into a lifetime commitment.