Breakthrough research in the field of exercise physiology has yielded stunning revelations about the way we get fit. The big surprise, though, is not what we “have” to do, but what we might “not” have to do.
Our thoughts can literally redefine the size, shape and strength of our bodies.
For decades, exercise scientists have worked to discover how we get fit. Getting stronger, we were told, was about creating enough resistance in a muscle to create millions of micro-tears that would, over days, weeks and months, rebuild themselves, bigger, leaner and stronger. So when we lift weights, sprint or engage in pretty much any kind of exercise, we set this whole process in motion.
The entire cycle is known as hypertrophy and it’s always been considered a pretty mechanical experience. Weight loss has been tossed off with similar assumptions. Regardless of he method used for short-term weight loss, sustained loss always comes back to calories in and calories out.
Nothing foofy, just hard work. Thus, the famed old coach’s chant, “no pain, no gain!” But, what if we could make a change to that slogan?
No pain…huge gains.
It seems there may be a giant kink in this system. And, it has to do with the brain’s role in whole process.
Building muscle, it turns out, is not nearly as mechanical as we thought. And, in fact, a recent study by Erin M. Shackell and Lionel G. Standing at Bishop’s University reveals you may be able to make nearly identical gains in strength and fitness without lifting a finger!
That study measured the strength gains in three different groups of people. The first group did nothing outside their usual routine. The second group was put through two weeks of highly focused strength training for one specific muscle, three times a week. The third group listened to audio CDs that guided them to imagine themselves going through the same workout as the exercising group, three times a week.