There seems to have been a miracle scientific break through! This is like a Jesus second coming moment. People have learnt how to move…….without using their muscles.
Body builders apparently are the smartest of this new breed of people. They have figured out a way of lifting weights apparently without engaging a muscle.
It isn’t until a weight is lowered to such a ridiculously pointless amount that a muscle works, according to experts.
Firstly it needs to be said the purpose of muscles is to move bones, not weights. I’m pretty sure that thousands of years of evolution haven’t been for the purpose of having big pecs and peaky biceps! Hard to believe I know. Sorry.
Muscles are joined to bones at each end by tendons, so that bones may move.
Movement happens largely without us feeling anything.
Movement happens by muscles contracting.
If the muscle doesn’t contract, the limb doesn’t move.
You cannot move if your muscle doesn’t contract.
The very idea that you can move a weight, without engaging or contracting a muscle is physically impossible!
I may take the “mind muscle connection” phrase to literal, but if you’re moving then I’m pretty sure the connection between your mind and muscle is doing fine.
The amount of times I’ve heard over the years, “I don’t feel my glutes and hamstrings engage at the bottom of a squat” To which I reply, “did you stand up?” When the answer inevitably comes back as “yes”, I say, “Well they engaged then didn’t they!”
One of the jobs of the glutes and hamstring is to contract and pull your hips forward. If they don’t contract, this movement doesn’t happen and you don’t stand up. If you “feel” this happen or not is completely irrelevant. If the movement occurred, then the muscle did its job.
Gym goer’s today focus far too much on feeling a muscle. Incorrectly thinking that if they don’t feel a burn or some kind of pain, that the muscle didn’t do anything, and have therefore wasted a set or rep.
We are told that using heavy weights reduces the effectiveness of an exercise for various reasons such as: loss of strict form, shortened range of motion, the incorporation of other surrounding muscles. We therefore are advised to use lighter weights in order to “feel” the muscle more once again ignoring the fact that muscles are there to move limbs, not weights.
If you can imagine doing a bicep curl. Allow your arm to hang straight down and curl your hand up towards your shoulder. In order for this movement to happen, the bicep had to contract. To do this movement with no weight is easy. Add a 10kg dumbbell and it gets harder. The bicep had to work harder. Replace the 10kg with a 20kg dumbbell and it gets harder again. The bicep had to work even harder. Replace the 20kg with a 30kg dumbbell and the movement is much harder and you may no longer be able to curl the dumbbell all the way to your shoulder. The form and technique by now will have probably started to suffer too. The bicep is now at its limit of what it can do.
But does the fact that I may have now swung my shoulder first in order to curl the dumbbell mean the bicep didn’t work? No. In order for that dumbbell to curl toward the shoulder, the bicep still had to contract in order to move the forearm up. If the bicep didn’t contract, the forearm didn’t move.
Over time, through training and nutrition the adaptation to the heavy stress caused by that 30kg dumbbell curl, is the body grows new muscle and the biceps ability to curl 30kg increases and the movement is easier than before.
In order to make the bicep strong enough to lift the 30kg dumbbell, why would going to back to 10-15kg and doing strict reps force the body to grow the new tissue needed? It wouldn’t. It doesn’t.
Strict form is one thing, but if it were only about using strict form and not heavy weight, why aren’t we all curling 5kg dumbbell with slow perfect form and growing 20”biceps? Why is there a direct correlation for everyone in the gym between starting out small lifting light weights and growing bigger muscles as the weight lifted increases?
The most efficient way to stress the body out the most and force the growth of new muscle is through heavy weight training. When a limb moves, a muscle has worked. When the body moves, lots of muscles work. Adding weight to the equation means the muscle has to work harder. It is impossible for you to move without your muscles doing their job. Remember: muscles are there primarily to move limbs, not weights.