I often feel like life is just a series of coincidences. I was doing dead lifts at the gym Friday morning. My Thursday session showed no strength decreases from following Warrior + Paleo but, the dead lift would have been the real test.
I went all the way up to 315lbs and did it. That was what I aiming to have done. That is enough proof to me that Warrior + Paleo is having no adverse effects. Then I decided to do 325lbs.
I couldn’t. lol. My mind wasn’t there. So I went back down to 315 and tried. Couldn’t. So I’ve had this theory that it’s often entirely psychological. Lo and behold, I log on to T-Nation with my morning coffee and they have an article on motor neurons that explains how it IS about your brain.
Obviously, I’m not going to lift an elephant just because I think I can but, the number of muscle fibers that will fire are controlled by the brain. So, If I don’t think I can lift a weight, my brain will likely not send the signals to the biggest muscles to get off their asses and contract.
Scientific theory still mainly holds that the smallest motor neurons are fired first which means the smallest muscle fibers are fired first as well. So if the largest muscle fibers are firing, so are all the smaller ones.
However, there’s been newer research that has shown larger muscle fibers firing without the smaller ones firing. Intriguing? It was done using fast contractions or what equates to explosive movements.
I’ve done the Arthur Jones HIT protocol and it worked. I’ve done the Christian Thibaudeau Perfect Rep protocol and it worked. One is super slow and the other is explosive. I currently employ the Perfect Rep protocol and have been for about a year. They both work just fine. Sometimes I feel like doing a quick 4 week HIT program for fun—even though every session will be excruciating, I’m a nut job.
I can’t actually tell which type of protocol is more effective since I haven’t done HIT in years. But nonetheless, I do think the explosive protocols build more strength. This newer research would agree. Lift explosively and fire your bigger motor neurons which have the greatest potential to be strong.
Now I realize that this post has been all over the place and it’s not remotely focused. I’m talking about two different things in tandem. Well, that’s what I use this place for: a brain dump. :)
I really wanted to make the point that merely thinking about lifting a heavy weight fast before you lift will help recruit more of the large motor neurons which will help you actually lift the weight. Most people who have done any moderate amount of weight lifting would already know that getting psyched makes us stronger. This is more or less the same thing. I am often times repeating “dominate the weight” in my head before I lift.
Yea, I’m a little crazy.