Friday, November 30, 2012

50 Repetitions (The Key to Bodybuilding After 50)

Even former champion bodybuilders start to panic when around 50, the slow deterioration beginning at 30 -- begins an even sharper descent, and by 60, they regard their condition as irreversibly hopeless -- in that the more they try to do to prevent that deterioration, only seems to accelerate the pace of injury from which they no longer recover, let alone, stimulate gains.

The most common expression, is that everything they do, every movement they make, causes pain -- which should be an indication that they are doing something wrong in the first place, and merely persisting and persevering in that manner, IS NOT the solution -- but is creating and the source of the very afflictions they are suffering.  That is a hard belief to overcome -- that what they've been taught and believed their whole lives to be good for them, is actually very bad for them -- despite what all those teachers and the mass media say.

The truth is their actual experience -- of knocking themselves out with little in return -- and in fact, the despair that all they can do is slow the deteriorative process down, rather than rightly experiencing rapid and sustained growth and progress.

Most of these people in distress will counter that they are using the same weights as they did before -- for the same 5 sets of 5 reps -- as they did before, but now the pain in their joints is excruciating, and they have to spend every moment away from the gym -- which now becomes more infrequent, undergoing various therapies just to be able to make it to their next workout, when they repeat that torturous experience -- until they finally, utterly, give up.

It doesn't have to be that way.  Instead, they have to go back to where they got off on the wrong track -- thinking it was the amount of weight they were using in the movement that is beneficial, to the realization that it is the movement itself without any weight, that is the benefit of movement -- and so making that more onerous and difficult, is heading down the wrong path, and is directly responsible for the pain in their joints -- which the movement done without weights for 50 repetitions, would be curative, restorative, and even produce growth.

Why then don't people just do 50 repetitions of any movement?  That's largely because they've always been told that they shouldn't, and it would be more beneficial for them to add weight, anytime they can do more than some arbitrary low number of repetitions -- usually around 5.  But anybody who has ever tried to do 50 repetitions of any movement (even without any weight), will realize that fatigue begins to set in around 25, and then every subsequent repetition becomes more difficult -- unless one learns to perform the movement more aerobically, which means increasing their circulatory/respiratory efficiency in order to sustain their efforts.

That is the real meaning of aerobic activity -- and not all that pseudo-medical jargon and explanations to make physical education seem like brain surgery, so they can be compensated commensurately.  But understanding this process, is a fine art and science -- of distinguishing actual experience and observation, from the endless elaborate and convoluted theories and explanations of why things go wrong.  Always, the explanation for things that go right, is very simple -- and obvious, but the various profit-making activities, need to complicate it to make their profit -- and seem invaluable to the process.

50 repetitions may seem like a lot -- or a little, depending on where one is coming from.  To a marathon runner, 50 repetitions seems like hardly going anywhere -- but for the sprinter, 50 strides will cover 100 yards -- and the person with the fewest strides, will also be the fastest.  For record-setting weightlifters, a single lift is all they think important -- but those are the very people, who usually are forced out of such competitions beginning at age 30, and by 40 are eliminated by injury or conditions related to such monumental efforts without consideration of the longterm impacts on their health.  They often retire to a lifetime of inactivity -- because of crippling injuries -- and never learn how to move and exercise without harming themselves (further).

Most people have this mental reservation that they can't do 50 of anything -- especially if they haven't done anything before -- or have been taught and conditioned to believe they must never go beyond 5 -- or 10.  What happens to those who do?  Surprisingly, they don't perish by violating those taboos, advice and admonitions -- but instead, discover a whole new world of enjoyable and sustainable movement -- that makes them feel immediately better, and better each subsequent time.

The reason for this is because in order to perform 50 repetitions of ANY movement, one has to perform that movement with aerobic efficiency -- which means fully contracting, as well as fully relaxing the muscles involved -- or it will produce anaerobic failure -- just as the heart will fail, if it cannot alternate from one state to the other.  Additionally, a weight that will only allow only 5 repetitions of maximal effort, will require explosive muscle contractions that will cause pain and injury to the joints -- until the muscles, tendons, or ligaments are damaged -- rather than strengthened by a maximal circulatory flow to those areas "exercised" in this healthful manner -- as indicated by the 50 repetitions.

The attainment of the 50 repetitions, is always accompanied by a noticeable and dramatic muscle pump -- that is often disparaged for its very effectiveness -- of maximally directing the blood flow to the specific area (muscles) desired -- which is the restorative, curative, therapeutic and growth effect.  That's how the body works -- to direct its resources (nutrients) to those areas very specifically and deliberately.

That's why and how people tend to get good -- at what they actually do, sustain, persist and persevere -- rather than the opposite.


Post a Comment

<< Home