I had an interesting conversation with a fitness instructor just now. He told me that our muscles are stupid.
Muscles are stupid? What the heck is he talking?
His explanation – Muscles only recognize two things, whether they are being stretched or in tension. They will not know whether the stretch is caused by Yoga or weight lifting or Karate kicking. As for tension, it happens when we place resistance on the muscles. Again, whether the resistance comes from your grocery bags, dumbbell, barbell or even body weight, our muscles will not know.
True enough. Now, wonder what is he trying to tell me?
He said, “Because the muscles are stupid, whether using body weight or additional weight plates, if you can’t take your own body weight, don’t bother to place too much weights when you do bench press, wide grip lat pull down or others.”
Yes. Many are trying to make exercises harder by adding external load even when they are not able to handle their bodyweight in the same exercise. Some people can do 150 lbs of bench press, but they fail to perform 8 push ups in correct form. However, I was not totally convinced up to this point, but he continued to elaborate.
“Have you looked at those Summer Olympic gymnasts? Look at their body shape.” Now, I have to agree gymnasts have one of the best boy shapes compared to other sportsmen. Their arms are toned. The shapes are great. And all gymnasts practice use mainly their own body weights. Asking these gymnasts to do chin up is piece of cake while layman like us have to struggle to complete 10 repetitions.
Some people are arguing which is more effective – body weight or weight training? We both agree that we should not argue over this. Just do both. Both offer different ways to challenge your muscles. So, we should not limiting ourselves to just one style of training. The fact is, most of us started out with bodyweight training when we were younger. We climbed, we ran, we jumped…Now, we are adults, as we improved, we naturally evolved to weight training for more of a challenge. Because of that, weight training with dumbbell, barbell, kettle bell become the de facto type of weight training. Keep training with both weighted and non-weighted basic methods. Have goals for each, and keep them progressive. More repetitions or harder variations.
Out of no where, the other of my friend chipped in, “So, are you saying that training with body weight without using free weights is just like…eating with our fingers without using fork and spoon?” We both turned and looked at him. Speechless.
Category: Other Fitness/Sports Articles
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