You don’t need to exercise everyday to be healthy.
Training should be hard, the harder we train, the more results we get, right?
Not really, according to this recent study.
This study attempted to explore that relationship – Divergent Performance Outcomes Following Resistance Training Using Repetition Maximums or Relative Intensity. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018 May 29:1-28.
In simpler terms, the authors compared performance outcomes with training to your maximum effort and training to a point close to your maximum effort, so “do or die” or “hard, but not easy”. The performance results, however, were better for the “hard, but not easy” group. In fact, they showed a more consistent result than the “do or die” group; they had a more consistent increase through the sessions and the subjects in the study showed an equal overall progress too. More results from less effort, isn’t that interesting? Or preferable?
If you’ve been going “do or die” and are starting to feel burnt out from your training, maybe kicking it back a notch might be the change you need. After all, maximum effect minimum effort, isn’t that what we really want? So stop your set 2-4 reps before you reach your maximum reps, and leave more energy for the other things we enjoy in life.
The performance indexes used on this recent study were jumping, power an velocity. And even in “hard, but not easy”, heavy loads of 85% of the maximum weight was used. Program design is important, finding what works for you and customizing an approach to bring you to where you want to be is important; finding your “sweet spot” in terms of your workout parameters, as above, can help your progress tremendously.
And remember, Hard, isn’t Easy.
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