Monday, August 2, 2010

The Need for Speed

As I sit down to write this post, I can't help but think about the following scene from "Top Gun":

Which of course gets me thinking about the volleyball scene, but I digress. While speed may be entirely appropriate for fighter pilots in both movies and real life, it's not always appropriate for the gym. More specifically, when you're strength training.

When I teach someone a new exercise, and when that person gives it a try, they usually ask me how fast they should be going. My reply is always this—a medium pace that doesn't involve momentum. You see, when momentum is involved, it means that your muscles aren't having to work as hard. Speed becomes a driving force, rather than the power you've built into your muscles, and form is compromised. Which means you aren't getting the full effect of the exercise. On the other hand, if you go too slow, your muscles will exhaust rather quickly. Which is a completely different way to train. So again, find that happy medium when you lift weights. When you do, your last few reps will be difficult.

Also, I still haven't stopped thinking about "Top Gun." Such a great flick. When I was younger, my uncle would come over to the house specifically to watch the movie. And my dad would practically blow the speakers during the opening scene. They're fighter jets, right? So much better to hear it loud. The house would literally shake. To this day I firmly believe there's no better way to watch it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh...the volleyball scene! One of my alltime favorite movies. And, today I did supersets! I didn't have tons of time this morning but I did them for about 15 minutes. My heart never stopped pumping from the time I got off the elliptical to the time I reclined for core work. Thanks for the reminder to push it, T! Oh, also, tried to time my plank. Only a minute, 5. :( My back started hurting. I couldn't hold my abs in any tighter any longer. Guess I have some work to do.

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