Quality Over Quantity

“It’s not the Quantity of the Weight, it’s the Quality of the Rep!” – IPL Pro Rob Tenerowicz

Far too often I see guys in the gym, especially those around my age (58), compelled to move as much weight as they can from Point A to Point B. And often, that distance between Point A and Point B can be measured in millimeters! I get it…what’s more impressive than loading up 7 plates on each side of the leg press machine?

Of course it loses some of its splendor when the guy sits down, with his hands pushing on his knees, and moves the weight up and down about 3 inches! The reality is that the guy achieved more out of loading the weight on and off the bar than he did actually doing the exercise!  I’d like to propose a different approach.

The most important thing to performing any exercise is to make sure you perform the exercise properly, maximizing the benefit to your body by making every single rep count! Here’s how:

UTILIZE YOUR JOINT’S FULL RANGE OF MOTION (ROM)

Your muscles and joints were designed to function in a full range of motion. If you cut that short, you’re eliminating the opportunity to maximize the benefit to your muscle. You’re taking the time to do each repetition, why not maximize the benefit? The only exception would be if you’re dealing with an injury and your ROM is limited from that…in which case, don’t aggravate the injury.

CONTROL THE WEIGHT

If you find yourself jerking the weight around or bouncing at the bottom or apex of each repetition, don’t! Again, you’re minimizing the benefit to the muscle when you do this by disengaging the muscle at each “jerk” or “bounce”. This will usually require that you lower the weight initially. But over time you’ll find that you can gradually increase the weight.

ENGAGE ONLY THOSE MUSCLES NEEDED FOR THE EXERCISE

When you perform an exercise designed for a certain muscle group, make sure you’re feeling it working only those muscles. Even though you can perform the exercise with more weight, notice whether you are engaging other muscles to complete the repetitions. If you are, back off on the weight and try to really feel it working only those muscles intended to be worked with that exercise. And over time, you’ll find that you can gradually increase the weight.

LESS WEIGHT MEANS LESS STRESS ON YOUR JOINTS

Each of the three recommendations above require using less weight. Even though you should be able to increase the weight over time, it may not be to what you’d like others to see you “lifting”.  However, another benefit to using less weight (but still maximizing the benefit to your muscle) is less stress on your joints (and ligaments and tendons). This is particularly important for those in my age group.

     I hope you’ll find my recommendations useful.  You’ve already made the commitment to go to the gym on a regular basis…why not maximize it! The goal is to keep you coming to the gym for many years to come.  Hope to see you on stage at an IPL event 

About the Author:

Rob Tenerowicz

Rob Tenerowicz

2020 IPL SOCAL CLASSIC - 1st Overall & Pro Card Men’s Bodybuilding Masters, 1st Pro Men’s Bodybuilding Open.

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