The process of bodybuilding to develop strength

Still good to over train?

We discussed training to failure and highlighted that there are definite pros and cons to this bodybuilding strategy. As a quick recap, the pros are that muscles can be reshaped rather quickly using this method and it is effective as a bodybuilding tool if done correctly. The cons are that it is fairly easy to get injured using these methods, and injures can be sever if the body has not had enough time to fully recover.

It is valuable to understand the mentality behind overtraining. If you believe that the clich├ęs about bodybuilding, or even exercising in general are true, then you can count on getting a debilitating injury as a result of your efforts. The best bodybuilders in the business stress the necessity of performing reps correctly, not the “no pain, no gain” adage which is often the result of carelessness and sloppy showmanship in the gym.

Another problem is that habits once formed are very difficult if not impossible to change. If a bodybuilder is in the habit of training to sheer exhaustion, and loses form in the last sets of the day, the person will become used to always shirking responsibility for correct form at the end of the workout. The misaligned form in the last sets could be seen as a type of backwards “reward” for having done the other sets correctly. The bodybuilder may later begin to look forward to the last sets, which are done wrong, but “feel” better or appear to be “easier.” Those last sets are dangerous at that point, because they are done wrong, performed past the point of exhaustion, and are when the body builder is the most fatigued. The process of bodybuilding to develop strength should be respected and treated as a skill set that is developed slowly (not a rushed process to get it over with to force results). When bodybuilders are coached by qualified trainers, they are not pushed past the point of reasonable training. They never go to the zone where their body systems begin to silently break down, injuries result, and the brain registers bad habits as “good” ones.

If you think it is possible to over train your muscles forever, you need to take a step back, and think about this process more clearly. The athletes who train for serious minded national and global competitors, would never over train or workout to exhaustion during their workouts. They train carefully and with one purpose – which is to develop skill, strength and consistency of performing in their sport. At exhaustion you’ll lose your momentum and all powerful force of the exercise. Instead, you’ll be working small motor muscle units, and will be at the highest likelihood of injury. It is never a good idea to train the smaller muscles to fatigue – they are not made for this type of activity. They were made to work as part of an optimum team with the larger muscle groups. To bypass the large muscles in favor of weaker smaller muscles should be avoided at all costs. For these reasons, over training is not the way to go for long term results.
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