What is Resistance Training? Resistance Training Tools for Your Bodybuilding Jedi

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So what is resistance training and how can the force of resistance hurt your bodybuilding Jedi?

Discover the resistance training tools that protect you from the dark side.

The Force of Resistance

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...people argued over the muscle building powers of "the force". Many strength training authors claimed how heavy weights were key to building a more muscular body, and why force - or resistance - was THE determining factor and true Jedi master. 

Were they right?

Recent scientific research claims not, suggesting the force of resistance was never a Jedi master, but was a perilous path to the dark side.

Photo courtesy of JD Hancock

What is Resistance Training?

This groundbreaking research appeared in the Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness, 30 years after Star Wars was first released onto our cinema screens.

Working at the Human Performance Laboratory at Adelphi University in New York, Dr Ralph N. Carpinelli made an exhaustive study of the "size principle" - a principle which governs how muscle fibers are recruited and their relation to strength and muscle building. 

Why would this study turn out to be so important?

Carpinelli’s analysis would show why the force of resistance isn't the key determining factor when building a more muscular body, and would further reveal how its role is essentially secondary.

The Size Principle

So what is the size principle and how does it affect the way you train?

The size principle is basically a law that governs the order in which muscle fibers contract; and until recently, many authors believed that very heavy resistance was necessary to engage small and large muscle fiber recruitment...

...in other words, they concluded that heavier is better in the muscle building galaxy.

Yet following vigorous investigation, Carpinelli would note that force (resistance) is not the controlling factor in the size principle law. "Resistance makes little difference," stresses Carpinelli. "As long as the last few reps are at or near maximum. Effort, not force, is the controlling factor."

Training to Failure

Carpinelli illustrates the importance of effort and training to failure with the following example:

    “If a person is holding a 20 kg dumbbell at an elbow angle of 90 degrees…the first 10 seconds may feel relatively easy. After about 60 seconds, the person will no longer be able to hold the 20 kg mass.

    "What changed? The force, the weight, remained the same; so force was not the controlling factor. It was the effort that changed, the required effort, wasn’t it? The weight felt heavier and heavier as time passed, until the person was no longer able to hold it at a right angle.

    “Despite the increasing effort throughout the 60 seconds duration, the muscular force remained constant until it decreased at 60 seconds when the individual was no longer capable of producing muscular force. At the point of maximal effort, all the motor units in the pool were recruited for that specific isometric muscle action.”

These findings are supported by HEAVY DUTY author and bodybuilder Mike Mentzer. Writing about "the intensity of effort", he would stress how it is the quality of the effort, not the quantity, which is responsible for muscle growth stimulation. "Don't confuse training long with training hard," Mentzer often warned. "Training hard, intensely, is what is required to build muscle mass."

Resistance Training Tools

That makes sense, don't you agree? This would also explain why training to failure, and the maximal effort involved, is the true Jedi master and not the force of resistance as is commonly supposed.

Indeed, maximal effort is one of your key resistance training tools in your quest to build a stronger body.

Here is why any less than 100% effort equals compromised results in the gym.

The solution?

Train with maximal intensity.

In Summary

What is resistance training and how can the force of resistance hurt your bodybuilding Jedi?

Discover the resistance training tools that protect you from the dark side.

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