Feeling fatigued? Discover why weight training too hard at the gym is hurting your gains.
"Go hard or go home" is one of those catchy sayings commonly heard in gyms. But is always lifting hard the most effective way to train?
Bill Starr doesn't believe so, which is why the legendary lifter modulates his training efforts from workout to workout.
For anyone who doesn't know, Bill Starr penned the groundbreaking "The Strongest Shall Survive". Following a stint as assistant editor of Strength and Health, this national powerlifting record-holder became the conditioning coach for the Baltimore Colts, inspiring them to Super Bowl success.
During his time spent coaching, Starr discovered his trainees responded best when sessions alternated between hard and easier workouts. This meant, if an athlete trained the squat "heavy" on Monday, then they would benefit by training at a reduced intensity the next time they entered the gym on squat day.
Learning how to manage your relationship with intensity is important. Why? Because if you don't, you will likely hamper your efforts to facilitate recovery, thereby hurting your training and putting a halt on your progress. (This is especially true for the seasoned lifter where gains are more difficult to come by.)
So what's the solution?
Simple. Introduce a "light" day. This lighter workout serves an important purpose, as it won't disrupt any adaptive response from your earlier heavy workout, and instead allows for recovery while providing enough work to keep you fresh.
If you are beyond the beginner stage, offloading this way becomes necessary for progress. And the really cool part? It's super-simple to do.
A quick example for you:
Let's say Monday is squat day, and you just performed 3 sets of 5 reps at maximum effort. An easy way to offload next time, is to reduce your weights by 20%. This means, if your hard squat workout saw you using 80% of your 1 rep max for sets of 5, then your next squat workout now sees you using 60%.
Scared you'll lose your hard-earned muscles by training light? Don't be. Instead you will aid the recovery process, thereby boosting your gains when you next step into the gym.
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