Like any new skill, those first few attempts can have you feeling like a very special unit and often very uncoordinated. When it comes to starting off your lifting/ training career, you’re going to be in similar shoes. 

Not only is it common to feel weak, but also very common to feel unskilled and demotivated due to lack of coordination. 

If you or one of your clients are a beginner, there are two simple reasons for you being weak and unskilled. 

1. You are weak (by definition of your ability/ lack of ability to produce force) of course.

2. You are unskilled (by definition of not owning the skill at hand).

However, it’s not the end of the world because there is a simple strategy to overcome both parameters in one and have you feeling stronger and more skilled than ever. 

When a novice is trying to get good at a task at hand, the single most effective way to build a motor pattern and skill progression is done through HIGH REPETITION OF BASIC MOVEMENT. If you intend to build strength as one of your markers in this scenario, then a simple linear line of progressive overload is also required. 

A role played example:

Sally says to Gemima: ” Hey Gem Gem, I bet you can’t do a push up on your toes”. 

Gemima snarks and tries her hardest, but fails miserably, looking like a half cooked salmon trying jump off the hotplate. She is a bit embarrassed because all of her friends at the party are busting out sets of 10 on their toes, chest to floor and elbows tucked, and she hasn’t been taught how to do them yet. 

So Gemima does the right thing. Rather than just getting stuck into trying her hardest at toe push ups for the next few months, she endeavours on a journey of basic skill progression, repeated with high reps so that she can build both her skill progression and motor patterning, which she knows will ultimately bring a bi-product of strength. 

The strength will be found because of the adaptive properties the body possesses. Adaptations in the cross sectional area of the muscle belly, the size of the muscle belly itself and the central nervous drive would have all increased, due to the volume accrued through high repetitions with low-moderate intensity. 

Here is how Gem Gem got her first push up: (You go Gem Gem)

A client is looking to be able to do push ups on their toes because their friend made them a bet, however, they have never stepped foot in a gym and don’t know where to start. So rather than trying tirelessly for months on end of just getting in there and giving it a red hot crack, and more than likely looking like a half cooked salmon whilst subjecting themselves to injury. There is a much more effective strategy you could employ in order to see real results. 

 

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