I got a email through my personal training website the other day from a guy asking ‘Do I continually need to to shock my muscles with new exercises when I work out to get fitter and stronger?’

Yes you do need to ‘shock’ you muscles to make them grow and get stronger, but first let’s explain how I interpret ‘shock’. Shocking a muscle means to provide enough stimulus to it so it fails or burns out doing an exercise. By working a muscle to failure you break down the fibres within the muscle forcing it to grow back stronger.

With my personal training clients I do shock the muscles each session but in a more progressive manner rather than the shotgun approach most people use. Most people when they try to shock a muscle do different crazy exercises each workout, the problem with this approach is that there is a lack of measurable progress, can you say for sure you are really working harder than the previous session?

A more progressive model like I use with my personal training sessions involves using similar exercises each session, but gradually making them harder by adding more reps and more weight. The more reps/weight provide the ‘shock’ but because we are doing the same exercise a few weeks in a row I can track the progress the client is making and they can see themselves getting fitter and stronger when they are doing more reps/weight that the previous session. Plus I know that the person I’m training is working harder because I can see they have done more reps/weight than the last time they did a particular exercise.

I do change the exercises round, but only when the client has mastered one exercise and needs to move onto a more advanced one.

So try not to focus on shocking your body with crazy new exercises, but rather focus on progressively improving on what you are doing each workout and you will automatically ‘shock’ your muscles.

If you would like to know more get in touch with me and arrange a personal training session and I’ll show you how to apply this to your lifestyle.

To book a session or for comments and questions call or e-mail me:

E-mail: pete@petegriggs.com. Phone: 07947 049889.

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