Jun 19th, 2010

Stimulus, Recovery, and Progress

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Connie exerting an adaptive stress upon herself.

Lifting weights will not make you stronger, but recovering from lifting weights will. This seemingly simple statement is an important concept to understand if you are to improve your performance. When you exercise, you exert a stress on your body. If that exercise is to be effective in driving progress, it must be sufficiently intense to disrupt homeostasis, but not so intense as to injure you. Provided the appropriate dose of stress is applied, you will first suffer a decrease in performance, followed by a period of recovery where performance begins to improve. Once recovery occurs you will not, however, return to where you started. Instead, you will experience a period of increased capacity termed supercompensation. It is important to note that you will not realize this improved performance without sufficient recovery. In fact, if you continue to apply stress in the form of exercise without allowing for recovery, you will suffer performance decreases that can potentially be long lasting.

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Category: Fitness
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Jun 12th, 2010

Strength and Its Uses

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Freddy making 115 pound thrusters appear like a much lighter weight.

Strength is defined as the ability to apply a force generated through muscular contraction against an external resistance. It is also one of the ten general fitness skills that CrossFit adopted from Jim Crawley and Bruce Evans, makers of the Dynamax medicine balls that provide countless hours of enjoyment to CrossFit trainees everywhere. Of the ten skills presented in the linked article, strength and flexibility, or more generally mobility, form the foundation on which those other skills rely. In order to be a successful athlete you must be both strong and able to move your joints through an appropriate range of motion.

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Category: Fitness
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