ARE YOU SIMPLY COUNTING REPS OR ARE YOU MAKING EACH REP COUNT?
What is a rep? A repetition. This key component is so special, and so integral to strength training that it’s easy to overlook and completely take for granted. Why? Because it’s so “simple” it’s easy to gloss over.
This cornerstone rep can be an amazing catalyst towards body transformation or it can be a futile exercise (pun intended) in mediocrity and staying the same year after year.
So what makes the difference?
Education, experience and intention.
Education- The mind is the most powerful tool we have in the gym.
Having a basic understanding of anatomy, functional movement patterns and scientific strength principles will lay a solid foundation to build upon.
Although we go to the gym to train our bodies this doesn’t mean we turn off our minds.
Experience- Training is an art and a science.
You could have all the theory in the world but without application and implementation it would be meaningless. It’s one thing to talk about muscle contractions and tension, it is another thing entirely to put a muscle in its completely shortened position and feel the innervation. You’ll need to experience this repeatedly to create a great mind-muscle connection to master this portion of a rep.
Intention- Focus on quality movement before anything else.
Every exercise is a skill set and should have purpose. The mistake people make is merely focusing on everything external vs. internal.
External- sets, reps, weight, exercises, moving the weight from point A to point B. etc.
Internal- creating a strong contraction through activation, actively thinking about the muscle you’re trying to target during the set, creating a strong mind-muscle connection on every rep while focusing on the stretch and the squeeze, tempo: slowing down the eccentric and actively exploding UP on the concentric if the rep calls for it and so on.
There is no stimulus so novel in nature that gives us the benefits of repeatedly lifting something heavy up and putting it down.
Quality movement is the goal and quality control is key. So if truly transforming your body is what you’re after, find the perfect rep. Then find it again and again.