July 2, 2012

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on

Brian Espino at Raw Nationals 2011
Rant and Tip for July 2, 2012

Quote:”When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Well this is certainly an interesting quote for today isn’t it? Basically I take this to me to never give up. You may feel you have exhausted all possibilities but if you hang on and continue to try and work towards your goal, you will get there. Many of us hit plateaus weight loss and even try to add on that last 5 pounds to a lift. These are not easy task for many people. Most of the time weight loss and weight gain in the gym is easy in the beginning. We are giving our bodies something new and the response is usually impressive.

Some people have experienced a significant weight loss only to hit a wall or a stall in weight loss even though they still have a lot of body fat they want to lose. What happens here is a couple of things in my opinion, first off, your body has shed a good amount of body fat and now is going through a phase where it believes that it is losing too much fat. It needs to get use to being leaner and create a new set point of where it feels comfortable in its new composition. Once this is achieved you will see your body start to lose weight again. It takes hard work and perseverance to get past this hurdle. This is also why many people put all the weight back on. They do not stick to plan after a weight loss and they put the weight back on and then think the diet did not work. The diet worked fine, they just stopped working the diet. Secondly, there is the possibility that you are not getting enough calories and in which case your metabolism slows down to be able to be as efficient as possible with the fuel it is getting. When this does happen you may need to increase your calories. This usually happens to people with advanced exercise regimens.

The same thing can happen with strength training. What I have found that works for me is a combination of high and low rep work. The low rep work is to handle the big weights and get stronger and stronger in the 3 big lifts. I then switch up to higher rep exercises to confuse the muscle and build some muscle endurance. Now to do this I will perform my low reps first because that is when I am at my strongest in the beginning of the workout. After the heavy work is done it, time permitting I go high reps. For instance if I am benching for the day after the bench session is done I like to grab the 75 lb dumbbells and rep out with them. Depending on the day I will hit 25 to 30 reps for sets of 3. This also hits the stabilizing muscles during the workout. I take these reps to failure on each set with a spotter forcing the last 2 or 3 reps.

Squats for me today!

Have a great workout!

Tip: Like Roosevelt said when you are at the end of your rope hang on, do the same with your forced sets. Continue to push as hard as you can as your spotter guides you gently to the top of the rep.
Jim Kipp at the World IPF Meet

1 comment:

  1. Hi, thanks for this post. Your site looks interesting. Several of my blogs are chronicling my own weight loss journey. I will definitely keep up with your site, inspiration from anywhere is great!