Count and record every rep that you do and remember Every Rep Counts.
Mike Gittleson was the Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Michigan for 30 years and was a part of 15 Football Championships in that time. He explains, when I coached I put the following sign on the door. I wanted the players to know that everything they did counted towards their potential.
The sign meant many things. It referred to all aspects of life from sleep, eating and exercising - to school, family and friends. All of these aspects of living add up to who you are.
We discussed that all teams trained and we always assumed that everyone worked hard. Our goal was to be purposeful and get the most out of everything we did. The repetition in life is everything. The rep is how you grow as a person and reach your potential and grow as a team. Every rep of life counts.
The repetition in the weight room has a uniqueness as it causes muscular tension and physically changes who you are. This mechanical stress elicited by the lifter determines the metabolic stress or the amount of ATP in the cell. With brief and hard training there is little ATP, the mTOR pathway is triggered. The genes for skeletal muscle growth respond.
When you perform a repetition lifting weights, contract your musculature and pause at the top of the movement. The length of the pause should always be the same. After pausing ease back into the lowering phase of the repetition. You should feel the muscle lengthen. The lengthening phase causes high muscular tension and growth.
I like to have the athlete pause each repetition and wait for a number from the spotter. This creates quality repetitions, accuracy of results and requires a certain degree of discipline. Working until you can't control the descent of the weight creates the highest muscular tension. So, forcing reps and training to 'momentary muscular failure' is the way to go.
Performing repetitions, that is building muscular tension, is like pumping up the tire of a bicycle. If someone is helping you, but keeps releasing air at the valve: while you are trying to pump up the tire you can pump all day and never get the tire filled.
When lifting weights you are the someone who is in control. You make the decision to release air or tension based on effort or the discomfort you feel when pumping up your muscles. You can lift all day releasing muscular tension or you can get it done.
Remember these points when training - you lose the value of the rep or you lose muscular tension:
1. If you relax during the movement
2. If you use momentum as an advantage to make the lift easier during the movement.
3. If you use leverage to your advantage during the movement.
If you do properly performed reps and never lose muscular tension, pausing at the top of each movement and feel the lengthening of the muscle on the descent.......you will become brutally strong.
Systematic and Progressive Strength Training causes Adaptation.
Get the most out of each rep that you do
Make every rep purposeful
Make every rep count