I’ll let you in on a secret … looking good and feeling good doesn’t take long workouts or heavy weights. The secret is hidden in the contact between the mind and the muscle.
Using too much weight and too many reps can actually keep you from your goal.
Let me explain …
If the weight’s too heavy, your whole focus is on lifting the weight. If you have too many reps you forget everything but getting that last rep. It’s the wrong focus.
The correct focus is more personal.
It’s turning your attention to your own body … finding neglected, underused muscle fibers and filling them full of life.
Lean forward and listen a second …
What you are about to learn is a radical departure from what you may have heard about fitness. It will take some faith so if you will just pretend you know nothing about exercise for a minute and listen to someone that has invested 46 years in exploring the body, I can promise you a pleasant surprise.
As I said earlier, the secret to rapid progress is … making this mental contact with the muscle and holding on long enough to breathe some life into it.
This “contact” is so effective in fact … the actual process of exercise is really just priming the pump for the important part to follow.
Sort of like a golfer taking a few practice swings to prepare for the drive down the fairway.
You see, exercise just allows you to eavesdrop on which muscle fibers are working and which ones are being ignored.
When you make this discovery, you’ll have found the magic of bringing your body to life.
First, I must emphasize, the path way is more clear if you go very slow and concentrate on which muscles you are trying to activate. By the way it doesn’t take 10 or 20 repetitions or multiple sets of each exercise. It only takes 3 repetitions (that’s right, just 3 reps) to get the hang of which muscle is being worked. Once you make this discovery, then it’s time to “hit the ball down the fairway” with a “Synapse” (total flexing of the same muscle fibers”.)
Let’s walk through a popular exercise for building the chest so you can get a feel for the steps required to bring your muscles to life.
Dumbbell Bench Press
Lying supine on a bench with fairly light dumbbells. (the amount with which you can easily do 3 complete reps. Start at the very bottom of the exercise.
Position: Lying supine, dumbbells held with palms facing your feet, elbows almost straight out from the shoulders. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the chest. (See how much you can stretch out the chest muscles.
Close your eyes and feel the muscle fibers as they stretch and extend with greater elongation. Then right at the very bottom, pause for a second, then slowly (especially right down at the bottom) begin to press the weights overhead. Close your eyes and send all your attention to the chest muscles.
Forget about the weight or the reps. Shut out everything else. You should not only sense the muscles working but sense which part of the muscle is doing the work. This will enable you to activate muscle tissue much better. In fact, it gives you the ability to activate muscle that has never received direct attention. Take at least 10 seconds to fully extend the arms over your chest.
Conversely, when you’re just cranking out reps at a 1 or 2 second pace (normal rep speed) you never sense the ability to direct energy to different parts of the muscle.
When you go slow the magic begins. As the weight comes up and you begin to sense the muscles not as just a gross motor movement but a muscle with individual responsive sections, you can explore a little, changing the wrist, or palm or how you hold the hand to bring out more feeling of muscles being flexed.
Continue this “feeling around” as you reach the top of the exercise but then right at the very top try to flex the chest muscles as hard as possible.
After having done the flex at the top, slowly lower the weight … taking at least 10 seconds on the way down stretching muscles fibers that have never been stretched or “spoken to” before.
Repeat this for 3 reps. Now get up off the bench, set the dumbbells down and prepare to “drive the ball down the fairway” now that you’ve used the exercise to get the feeling of chest muscles flexing.
Now it’s time to use the “Synapse” to drive home stronger electrical impulses to muscle fibers.
This Procedure Seems to Work Best
Work on one side of the chest at a time. Stand with most of the weight on the foot opposite of the side you are trying to flex. Close your eyes and try to flex the muscles on the right side of the chest so hard these muscles go into cramp. (Like your calf does in the middle of the night.)
You won’t be able to flex these muscles very hard of course because it may be the first time in a long time you have even worked them. The more body fat in the area the less responsive the muscle will be. In fact if you’re like most of us. You’ll find it hard to flex these muscles at all. But perhaps you’ll feel something different and it will signal a world of opportunity ahead.
You’ll discover …
Your body was designed for neuromuscular perfection. Granted, right now it’s a little rusty. It will take time and a some patience to get it humming smoothly.
When this happens you will launch an adventure that’s exhilarating and gratifying. Because as these muscles begin to fire with greater and greater intensity, they become more metabolically active and they literally eat body fat for energy and this is the just the beginning of the mystery.
You will be limited only by your recuperation which is a factor of your nutrition.