Many people in the gym think that you need to do drop sets or find your one rep max every workout. However, for most of the population, people do not need to exert max force when working out. In fact, trying to reach your threshold every single workout session can actually hurt you in the long run.
It can lead to:
Unnecessary muscle fatigue
Mental exhaustion (which can lead to frustration, pessimism, and the possibility to throw in the towel)
Uncalled for strain and stress on the body
Injuries and sprains
Wasted energy with little reward
The list goes on and on, but I hope you get the idea.
In my experience, most individuals want to be functional, fit, and feel good! For most of us, you can accomplish this by working out consistently with moderate weights and using other modalities as well such as resistance bands, weighted machines, steppers, stability balls, ankle weights, etc.
It’s important to think of the long term when it comes to fitness. Sure, you lifted your max today, but what if you just put temporary or permanent damage to your muscles or joints? This could slow down and/or stop your progress.
Slow and steady does win the race. It’s always important to check your ego at the door, and to not get fixated on numbers. Heavy lifting often doesn’t include corrective and/or functional movements either. Most individuals need these types of exercises as well. For example TRX is a great tool to use to tone, shape, and promote lean tissue growth, and it only uses bodyweight. Your bodyweight can be your best friend when mixed with the right weighted and non-weighted exercises.
Rest is also important. Some individuals want to barrel ahead with their workout plans even if they are fatigued and certain muscles are sore. It’s paramount to not workout muscles that are sore until the tenderness has subsided. Patience is key; you must be willing to be flexible to change your routine if your body calls for it. This will help you reach your goals in a more efficient fashion. Foam roll and stretch too! Furthermore, please give yourself a proper warm up and cool down. The body needs time to prepare for the workout and to recover from it.
We, at BUF, want everyone to be able to safely and steadily reach their goals. With this being said, please reach out to us to learn more about a fitness plan that would work best for you! There are many misconceptions about fitness and health, and we would love the opportunity to help you in any way possible.