Beginners make rapid strength increases due to their brains better communicating with their muscles. Get a free MP3 and learn a mind-muscle connection technique to consciously reenforce it.
How Beginners Gain Strength
When a beginner starts working out, most of his strength increases won’t come from his muscles increasing in size, but from the brain learning to do the movements better and recruiting more muscle fibers into them. It’s only later, when this mind-muscle-connection has been established, that the muscles really need to gain size to put out more force.
Most of this process happens outside your awareness, but we can further reenforce it by putting a bit of conscious effort into it.
The human brain’s attention only has limited capacity, and information it doesn’t regard as important it sorts out before it ever reaches your awareness.
Take, for example, the chair you probably are sitting on right now. Are you aware of it pressing against your back and bottom? Probably not until I asked you. The information from the nerve cells responding to that pressure has been there the whole time, but your brain classified it as non-important.
In much the same way you right now directed your attention to those nerve cells you can direct awareness to your muscles.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This is a two-step process: first you need to become more aware of your muscles, then you need to apply that knowledge during your workouts.
The first you accomplish with a powerful technique called “Progressive Muscle Relaxation,” where you concentrate on one group of muscles, put them under tension for a certain amount of time and then release them, fully and consciously feeling how they respond.
Normally you need someone to walk you through a PMR session, but to let you get right started with it, I prepared a special MP3 you can download for free. It walks you through a full session:
Evilcyber – Progressive Muscle Relaxation (right click and choose “Save link as…”)
Unfortunately there is a bit of white noise in the background, as I had to use my camera’s microphone for the recording. You’ll also have to live with my German accent.
Transfer Awareness To Your Workouts
Practice with this MP3 2 – 3 times per week, then apply the knowledge you gained to your workouts: when you do your exercises, direct your conscience to the muscles you train, feeling how they respond to movements and the resistance they have to work against.
From what you learned doing PMR, you will be much more aware of how your muscles work and your brain will be fully focused on them.
All this does sound a bit esoteric, but try it out. There is a good chance it will make a positive difference for your workouts and make them much more satisfying.
Here is the video to accompany this article: