Bikes are cooling off in my closet. Can’t wait to go again!

Last night’s riders had all their buttons pushed because it really is time to dial it up!

Spring has sprung and the great outdoors will soon come calling. The lure of the open road will sweep through my indoor studio and they will all be gone.

Gone to race at new heights after a whole indoor season training to ride better and become stronger than ever before.

Our progressive indoor season begins in January although classes for some started November 1st depending on our rider’s needs and wants. Riding here I have tons of flexibility so I can be as creative as need be.

This past winter saw no interruptions in our riding schedule and by our planned conclusion in mid May we will have racked up 54 classes in all.

The point is, I don’t wake up one morning and say I’m going to take these riders to sustained muscle failure without first creating a riding history with them. Even though I have known most of them for years and years I am very cautious to still build on their actual abilities.

We have worked week after week and at better and better levels so in the scheme of things the timing should be right to start letting the horse out of the barn and go for it.

I often say “letting the horse out of the barn” in reference to my youth when I cared for a neighbour’s horses. When we first let them out of the barn in spring they would run wild, kicking, bucking and farting up a storm! It was always hilarious to watch and listen too!

Anyhow back to muscle failure. Failing muscles have many levels and the facts are there must be some failure to increase the size, strength and power of that working muscle. If it’s your plan to work on a single muscle or a group that will add what you need to become the leader of the pack, then failure is your best friend.

Wearing my PTS (personal trainer specialist) cap in the gym with all my athletes, my keen eye is always watching for the initial tell-tale signs of failure because this establishes the limits we must work within.

Those signs are as subtle as a slight shake of the skin on an arm doing the third rep of bicep curls, or a slight swing of the hips forward to help propel the barbell upward also indicates failure by cheating to raise the bar. Muscle failure isn’t “complete failure” or it shouldn’t be if you are doing things right.

Lots of levels, yes!

How far should you go?

There is an old Hawaii Ironman finisher video that’s famous because of the two lady competitors who are completely shot and after many awful tumbles are crawling to the finish line in such painful distress, you can’t help but watch them.

You may know the one!

This would be the epitome of learning what never to do, ever, as long as you live. There is always a reason for everything good or bad and spinning a tale can be done when you use creativity, but this level of failure is muscular and far more.

Losing control of a planned motion is not the worst thing in world when building a new body, in fact it’s encouraged but the degree of loss is key to still be safe.

When you do any resistance exercise be especially aware of your posture throughout and don’t allow your body to find an easier way because that’s cheating and failure too. Your body may want to sway a little and even make it feel natural as it’s convincing you to make a great exercise look silly.

Darn that body!

Last night I held my riders at failure for a large part of or 1.5 hrs together and they all had an awesome workout because they were prepared. They knew their limits and are smart enough to take heed, but they are physically able to push the boat out now and then to get better.

Failure is not bad, “complete” in my books is! Be safe out there!

Cheers, Paul

Muscle Failure and You

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