Thursday, November 15, 2012

Strength Training - Mind Over Matter

Do I have something interesting for you today. I recently read the results of an experiment, titled: “Maximizing Strength Training Performance Using Mental Imagery”. Now imagining a ‘win’ is nothing new, not by any means. But this study took it to a different level.

The break it down without all the scientific terms and information; a control group was told to do bicep curls with no weight in their hands, 3 times per week, for 8 weeks. The experimental group was told to do the same thing, but imagine a heavy weight in their hands (still holding nothing in reality). The experimental group gaining between 32-44% increase in strength over the control group!

That’s a minimum of about ⅓ strength gain just by imagining the muscle working harder! What should you take away from this? Simple, imagine you’re always doing more than you are, really think about each muscle as it activates, and try to get it to work harder.
Or on the adverse, imagine you can do something, even after failing it. Picture yourself performing the exercise from an internal, first person view, then picture it from an external, third person view.

Imagine yourself working hard, and you will work hard.

If anyone is interested in reading a .pdf copy of the study, let me know. I have it saved, and can send it to individuals.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Minimalist Running

I recently came across a nice brochure for barefoot running, publish by Vibram, for their FiveFingers shoes. This is specifically for FiveFingers, as the guide states, but in reality this is good information for any types of minimalist shoes. The foot exercises are fantastic for anyone, no matter the shoe type. The other tips they give are awesome for anyone using shoes without a traditional 'high heel'.

The main thing I want people to note, the proper ball strike while running. It's on page 9 of the attached brochure. This is a VERY hard thing to explain to people, it's not a toe strike, it's a ball strike. Vibram did a great job of explain the details of it.

Vibram FiveFinger Barefoot Running Guide