Personal Trainer Tip: Combat Muscle Memory
I had an interesting talk with one of the new trainers at my gym today. It all started when he asked me if I needed a spot. We started talking and I told him about my routine, that is my slow workout / resistance training routine. He perked up and said it was great that I was doing that. He said the negative weight on an exercise (such as the negative weight on a flat bench press) is much heavier than the positive weight, because the negative weight also has gravity forcing it down. As a result, you work your muscle a lot more.
So the tip he gave me was this. I told him I was going to do my slow workout routine probably till the end of the winter. He told me not to. He told me to stick with it no more than 3 to 4 weeks. The reason — after 4 weeks your muscles will no longer be challenged by your workout. It’ll be routine for them. (Hence the term muscle memory.) So you need to mix it up. He suggested I do super slow workouts with drop sets. Start with a slightly heavier weight, few reps. And then move to a slightly lighter weight, more reps. That way I force the muscle to grow (with the heavy weights) and also train it to endure (with the slow/resistance aspect). I’m very psyched and I think I will start this off next week. The part I found most interesting was the 4 week part. Having to switch up your workout routine every 4 weeks sounds challenging. But you know what, I’m totally gonna do it. What have I got to lose.