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The Bicep Whisperer: How to get results from your workouts instead of just waiving your arms around aimlessly.

May 28, 2013, By: Jon Boldireff

I’m terribly sorry that my blog is late this week! I attended a fitness conference in Calgary the entire weekend called “Fit Rendezvous.” I was increasing my knowledge in order to keep up with the trends and become a better trainer for all of my clients. I sat in on sessions about injury prevention and training for the hips, shoulder and spine, tendon injury rehab, and the fun filled world of fascia. Needless to say, my brain is on fitness nerd overload. My two favorite speakers were Michol Dalcourt and Alexandre Pare. Mr.Dalcourt is the co-founder of The Institute of Motion (www.instituteofmotion.com) and Mr.Pare holds a Masters in Exercise Science. These are some brainy dudes!

In today’s blog, I’m going to briefly discuss how much weight you should use/how many reps you should perform in a set of a given exercise.  So you stroll down to 7-11 and start reading a fitness magazine while drinking your half Coke/half grape Slurpee (for shame). The article with the super tanned dude/chick says “45 minute workout to killer arms!” It gives you a list of exercises that you need to perform anywhere from 8-15 reps per set. Seems easy enough and you begin dreaming about all the tank tops you can wear this summer. You perform the workout to the letter, but don’t quite see the results you were looking for. Do you know why? I do. It’s because you stopped at 8 reps when you could of done 13. You stopped at 15 and you could of cranked out 5 more. It’s not the program that’s flawed, it’s your understanding of workout intensity. If the program says 10 reps, you need to use a load with which you can’t perform an 11th rep. Different ranges of reps will elicit different muscular response. I hate to pick on a gender, but women are especially notorious for this. “High reps will make me toned.” No it won’t. Building lean muscle and not eating that 700 calorie chocolate chip muffin will make you look “toned.” Don’t worry about bulking up ladies. 99.9% of you don’t produce enough testosterone for that to happen.

If  you’re using the same weights week after week then you’re doing it wrong. Stop waiving those 3lb dumbbells around like you’re signalling a plane to land safely on the runway and do some actual work in the gym. That goes for both women and men. You’re only cheating yourselves. As for the prescription of reps, rest, load and periodization of your program in general… that’s where it gets complicated; you need to talk to a trainer. Either that or do some serious research from credible sources to get a solid program that’s built SPECIFIC to your needs. If it was easy and simple then everyone would be in shape. Get informed and get results!

***Now that you’re lifting REAL weights, always make sure you’re being safe and using a spotter when needed.

 

THUMB UPDATE: I’ve been wearing this nifty new splint for a little over a week now. It looks like I’m in an S&M bowling or archery league. I was told 4 weeks which would mean June 7th, but my thumb is still swollen so who knows. Lots of leg training in the meantime!

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