"The root of all health is in the brain. The trunk of it is in emotion. The branches and leaves are the body. The flower of health blooms when all parts work together."
- Kurdish Saying
Are You Running 'Naked'
The Wall Street Journal for May 29, 2014, Sports section, had an article entitled "How to Run 'Naked' - and Really Love It." It's author is Jason Gay. Jason means technologically he now runs naked. "No watch, fitness wristband, heart-rate monitor, virtual coach app, head-phones, music or AC/DC and Ice Cube, even though I really crave AC/DC and Ice Cube." And you know what? He adds, "And I love it." Jason is now "in tune" with his body and not being distracted by technological gadgets.
In the gym, the same thing occurs. Many people are not running naked. Some wear ear phones, some diddle with their cell phones, socializing by gabbing with others, or sitting by resting an unreasonable length of time. In this sense these trainees are not concentrating on what their bodies try to tell them because they are side-tracked by anything or everything not connected to exercise. If, to use a metaphor, exercise was underwear, they run naked and don't either care or not aware of wasting time in a gym - or the same goes true if they workout at home. To make progress requires concentration and attention to what's going on.
If technology has little value in working out, how about driving a car without some technology built into it? Would you drive without brakes, turn signals, lights, odometers, etc.? In other words, technology informs us of what's going on in the car, around us, how fast we're going, etc. Jason enjoys running without "technology" limiting his fun. To each his own and the freedom to choose what's best is really a personal choice.
Personally, I'll use what's ever available to aid any endeavor. How can you either time a race or figure out what your VO2 is if neither a heart-rate monitor is attached to your wrist nor having one available on a treadmill? How can a trainee determine if he is exercising within the limits and intensity that he should be following in any planned workout? Technology improves performance, safety, and progress. Either with or without technology, learn "Muscle Talk'', taken from a previous posting. It doesn't require any technology but it is a definite aid in exercising.
"The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent."
Learn "Muscle Talk"
This is the basis of all exercise (arguably) and is not usually mentioned as something to learn. Too bad, as all trainees of any sport are involved with this "language". Listen up: The muscles have no brain cells, no hearing nerves, and the same goes for the smell, vision, speech and some of the other senses (up to 22 senses according to some scientists). They don't know the difference between 8 reps, 3 sets, or a Cobb salad! So if we want to develop our body to become strong, healthy, lean, and sexy, we have to understand ............MUSCLE TALK!
If muscles don't talk, how can you understand what they want, what bothers them and what they can do? Let's say someone or some where you were led to believe that you should do a bicep curl for 10 reps and 3 sets. That's nice but it means nothing to the force that does the curl. The brain tells the muscles (via the nervous system) that you should pick up a dumbbell weighting 10 lbs. and curl it 8 times. If you are strong enough to do it, you will, and maybe you can curl more than 10 lbs. How about 15 or 20 lbs.? Sooner or later you won't be able to budge the added weight, even though your brain told you to execute the movement. What then? In stead of what then, consider what is the dominant force that is doing the exercise. The muscles told the brain to "Buzz off, we can't lift that amount of weight even for 1 rep" The muscles then prevail, right? So what this all means is that there is a final point in exercising that shows up when the muscles involved get progressively fatigued until failure of doing the curl. Whoopee! That point may be for 1 ,5, or 15 reps or whatever. To read that you should use 10 lbs. for 8 reps is just a guess, by the trainee or trainer.
Note: Doing exercising until failure is not something the beginner should practice. Learn how to do each exercise in good form for approximately 8-12 reps, and usually for 1 set. As your body responds to exercise wait for at least 1 month before increasing the intensity of the exercises performed. In the near future a program for beginners will be given on this blog. Also, it's advisable to have a trainer help you set up a program according to your condition, health and age.
The description of exercise then becomes the progressive fatiguing of the muscles involved until failure of the movement, and it is done under supervision. The Supervisor then becomes the trainee's muscles.