You may hear from a little bird, called the internet, that Steph Curry takes 500 to 1000 shots a day and that Jordan Spieth hits 500 balls a day during his time at a driving range. There are NFL players who boast about how many balls they catch during each practice, and MLB players who spend hours in the batter box, proving to themselves what they got. Thinking logically, these stories may give you the impression that to be the best, more is always better. The more reps you perform the bigger your muscles grow and the longer your training sessions run, the stronger your body and mind become?
This sounds logical enough, right?
Unfortunately, this mentality can’t be adapted for everything in the sports and fitness world. For example, you may hear from personal trainers, CrossFit coaches and sprinters that this mentality may actually work against your progress. These athletes and trainers sometimes stress the ‘Less-Is-More’ tactic. If your mind is constantly running at light-speed, you bounce from exercise-to-exercise, or aim to do 500 sets of 100m sprints, you may be disappointed with the results.
The MORE is always BETTER mentality may lead to:
Increased Likelihood of Sustaining an Injury
Every athlete, especially the pros, know that remaining injury-free plays a key role in progress and your path to greatness. Injuries force you to take a break from what you love, decrease your ability to practice and worst case-scenario, end your career. With over-training comes central nervous system failure, muscular fatigue and loss of concentration, all of which increase your chance of suffering an injury. Instead, choose to give 110% to each and every rep, regardless of the quantity you perform.
Higher Chance of Mental & Physical Burnout
Mental burnout is a game-changing glitch in your progress bar that pulls even athletes, with the greatest potential, away from their sport and demotivates the best of us. No person is above the burn-out, and it will do you good to remember that.
Hindered Muscle Growth
Every time you step in the gym to pump iron you are tearing down your muscle tissue, and those tissues need time & nutrients to repair themselves. If you spend hours-upon-hours in the gym, pumping out endless reps of curls, tricep-extensions and shrugs, you are merely draining your batteries; and not actually providing the proper stimulus for muscle growth. “Bodybuilding legend Mike Mentzer once described muscles as a stick of dynamite; Tapping a hammer at it all day long won’t do much, but a single, hard blow will set it off. Aim to hit your muscles with that blow.”
Instead, Try These Tips:
Focus on Form
One of the most important things to focus on during weight training, or any sport is technique; the way you execute a movement or rep to make it the most effective and efficient. When you switch your focus from quantity to quality, you can get more out of less. This will save you time, prevent unnecessary injury & pain, and help you to quickly progress towards your goals. For example, a sprinter must first learn proper running technique before jumping into breaking Olympic records. A bodybuilder won’t perform bicep curls for speed, but instead concentrate on muscle activation for each section of the movement. Believe us, your training will highly benefit from understanding—the how and the why you perform each exercise.
Benefits of Slow-Controlled Movement & Less Reps (Goes with the Above)
Next time you are in the gym try less reps, lighter weight (trust us) with a longer duration of movement. We are talking 20 sec. to 1 minute of movement time. Think about all that time-under-tension, your body has to be making gains.
1. Challenging even with lighter weights to save your joints some wear and tear, but maintain intensity
2. Lower Risk of Injury
3. Focus on Mind-Muscle Connection – helps you fine tune the entire range of motion, realize where in the movement you may be weak or lack neuron firing
4. A chance to work on stamina of the muscle and your mind
Vary Muscle Groups
Body builders will not perform two back focused days in a row but will instead pick body groups for each day of training.
Monday – Back and Shoulder
Tuesday – Leg Day
Wednesday – Biceps and Triceps… etc
Scheduling out your condition this way, will give your muscles time to rest, recover and grow. And hopefully keep your body on an upward slope of improvement.
Add in Injury Prevention Days
No athlete should overlook the importance of stability, flexibility and mobility training for injury prevention. Do not forget to schedule yourself a day off to stretch or take a relaxing yoga class, because the more you train, the tighter your body may be become. Think of our bodies as rubber bands, the tighter you make the band the more likely it is to snap. No one wants that.
The quality over quantity debate can go on-and-on but remember that sometimes less is more. If a movement puts strain on your nervous system, tears your muscle tissues or requires high-intensity-training your body will need more rest in between sessions and sets. Every athlete main focus should be injury prevention, because injuries hinder your progress more than anything else.
If you are lost about where to begin, please contact our Athletic Genetix exercise specialists for guidance about training schedules. And think about taking home a DNA test kit to have a customized nutrition and exercise plan to cater to your lifestyle and bodies exact needs!
Athletic Genetix was created to empower and educate athletes, using their DNA to derive game-changing plans to fuel their future.
Email the AG team today to schedule your sports consultation! –firstname.lastname@example.org