Friday, May 08, 2009

Huge In A Hurry

I get an email from Men's Health usually 2-3 times each day. I read about 1 every month, which tells me I could probably stop subscribing but then I would feel unhealthy and that's positively NOT an option.

Today's email went something like this:

Dear Robby, God's Gift To The World, Oh Ye Of Spectacular Abounding Awesomeness, Phoenix From The Ashes Risen, We So Wish We Were YouOnline Reader,

Of all the stupid ideas in the history of mankind, this one has got take the cake: "The way to make your muscles grow is to damage them, destroy them, demolish them." Does that make any sense to you?

Do you make your garden grown by stomping on it? Do you make your bank account grow by squandering it? Do you make anything grow by destroying it? Of course not!

Physiologists and neuroscientists – the guys who study muscle-making for a living – are beginning to realize that "no pain, no gain" is a myth … because it's your nervous system that actually controls your muscles and determines their size. Your muscles simply do what your nervous system tells them to do.

Which is why you don't want to torture your muscles into getting bigger … you simply want to trigger the neurological changes that make muscle growth possible.

[delete product intro]

Do you believe in lifting slowly for maximum muscle strain, for example? See page 9 to find out why lifting quickly recruits more muscle fibers and makes you bigger faster!

Do you think the key to success is lifting moderate weights with LOTS of repetitions? See page 5 to discover why fewer reps with heavier weights gets better results.

Do you believe that isolating muscle groups is the way to build up lagging body parts and achieve balance? See page 6 to find out why compound exercises, not isos, are the key to solving these problems.

[delete sales pitch]

So stop TORMENTING your muscles! And start TRIGGERING them to new levels of size and strength.

Just to repeat and clarify ... large muscles do not mean strong, functional muscles. You should not hurt as a result of exercise. Yes, your brain controls how your body develops. This is why pilates is such a beneficial way to exercise. It was founded on the principle that you use your head to control your movement (hence its initial moniker, "Contrology").

As a follow-up I will say that people are still cracking their bodies out at the gym left and right. The most appalling to me is the back extension bench thingy and what people concoct as exercise and movement on it. If by back extension you mean Fast Track To Herniated Disc, L4-L5 Please, then yes, you're extending your back.

But I am happy to at least see this communicative effort which does contain some wisdom that is both pragmatic and offers prolonged benefit.

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