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What's the secret in making gains? (for Bodybuilders)
Tracking Your Exercise Performance!

Article care of jjustin.com

Why do we reach a "plateau" and find that we just can't make those gains that we use to make anymore?
Most of us realize that the reasons are both physiological and psychological. Although it isn't possible to continually make gains forever ad nauseum, one can ensure that maximum potential is reached without incurring injury by making sure he or she continually gets an incremental gain. Your mind and body are incredibly deceitful. They are acting in collusion against you! I'm just kidding! But in a sense there is an element of truth to this, and those of you that have gotten into the habit of tracking your exercise performances know exactly what I mean!

What do you mean by incremental gain?
In order for a muscle to strengthen, get bigger, or more developed it must be continually marginally overloaded. Simply put, muscles don't want to grow unless they are forced to do so: if there is no marginal overload, there can be no growth period! Us bodybuilders are notorious for continuously running a fine line between marginally overloading a muscle to stimulate growth and excessively overloading it causing injury.

Why do you say that our mind and body are deceiving us?
One customer who is an avid user of the program and who had to train without it one time wrote to me: "there is this cold empty feeling that comes in not knowing what you did in past sessions when executing your present exercise set, especially when it comes to trying to make a gain".
It is impossible for us to remember precisely how many reps that we performed for each set of each exercise in past sessions, or how many calories we burned in a given period of time on the stairmaster for past sessions (let alone how our clients have performed during their past sessions!) Indeed, those of us that say that they can
remember are implying the use of the same numbers from session to session with no gains! To take this a step further, those people that actually track their exercise performances often state that they would have quit the set sooner if they hadn't known how they performed in past sessions (their target numbers). More significant and disconcerting is the fact that even those of us who track our past performances may occasionally forget our target number right in the middle of performing that set! Perhaps their is a subconscious unwillingness to feel the burn! Remember, once you fall below your target numbers you slip backward and set the stage for reaching a plateau. If you're not tracking your past performances, there is simply no way for you to know your target numbers and thereby continually make incremental gains.

Although most veteran bodybuilders insist that they can "feel" their way to the last possible rep for a given set, few if any can actually do so without a training partner and without incurring continual injuries. By tracking your past exercise performances, you are relentlessly pursuing the marginal overload in a calculated way enabling you to continually make the gain without incurring serious injuries and their corresponding set backs.

How will Fitness Tracker help me make these incremental gains that you speak of?
Fitness Tracker
uses computer technology to facilitate data entry, organize your data informatively, and present information quickly and easily. It's very simple and convenient to use. Your exercise performances for the past four sessions for a given set are displayed side by side in columns right on the screen for your comparison. In addition, the Performance Calculator will give you a grade based on your performance in past sessions after you make the entries for the present set. You no longer have the old excuse that writing down all this stuff by hand in a notebook, and then accessing it is just a pain in the neck!

At a glance from this past information, it is easy for you to determine what needs to be done in the present set to make an incremental gain: Can I get just one more rep at that same load to make the gain? Am I at the point where I should increase the load and, if necessary, drop one rep? Can I set a new personal world record for calories burned in 40 minutes on the stairmaster today? Can I burn another 25 calories in the next 15 minutes on the bike to beat my performance in the last session? Can I spin for 15 more minutes than last time? Can I increase my high jump by another inch? Let me analyze my past bench press performances to determine a way to overcome this damned sticking point! These are the questions that you will be posing to yourself as you train. This is the way to make gains quickly, efficiently, and safely. This is the way to derive a real sense of accomplishment and bring some joy to your training sessions.

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