Lifting the Mind




100 years ago, if you were to go up to your neighbor and gleefully yell out that you had just reached a 350 lb bench press for the first time, he’d have thought you were nuts. Most people didn’t even realize what a bench press was, let alone what kind of an accomplishment it is to power up 350 lbs.


There was a strain ( a large one I might add) in the Medical community that thought weightlifting would give you a heart attack! And that it would make you muscle-bound, slowing you down. Wow, how they were wrong.


But for me, one of the most interesting achievements is not so much that lots of new people have gravitated toward strengthening themselves. It’s HOW they’ve gone about strengthening themselves.


Modern Resistance Training is a very modern invention indeed. It is quite counterintuitive to believe that training each muscle group for literally seconds at a time1, for a couple of sets, 3-5 times a week would build significant strength levels. It would seem to make more sense to have a prolonged set, done many many times per week, the way we often do with school, and work, and other activities.


There are a # of Subtleties at work. As Pavel Tsatsouline has said:

  • High volume is required for a long term adaptation.

  • High intensity training (regardless of how intensity
    is defined) is used for a short term for peaking. Used
    over a long haul it leads to injuries, overtraining,
    and plateaus.

  • The load (volume, intensity) must be constantly
    varied. Light and medium loads are just as important
    as heavy loads.

  • Exercises may be changed after a few weeks but not
    sooner. The principle of continuity of the training
    process. Minor variations are allowed (e.g. the
    tactical pullup vs. the ring pullup; the DL vs. the
    snatch grip DL), big changes are not (e.g. the
    tactical pullup vs. a row; the DL vs. the SQ).

  • The principle of specificity. Training against the
    clock for a GS competitor, not a powerlifter.

Are we in a similar place when it comes to BRAIN TRAINING. Can IQ be developed. I don’t mean your basal amount of LEARNED knowledge, but your IQ itself?


Is there a case to be made for hardcore, quick sessions of study done a number of times per day, spread out vs. the marathon sessions normally used by most students?



Link of interest to this post:


1The average 6 to 12 rep set takes approximately 15 to 30 seconds to finish.


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