ASK THE EXPERT FITNESS COLUMN 12/16/2020
By Mayra Ron, owner of The IN and OUT Workout
There seems to be a misunderstanding among women of the famous phrase “less is better.” I always tell my clients that in exercise “less is better” but I often wonder if they fully comprehend or are able to explain this phrase to others. Today, I will expand on this further and perhaps eliminate any doubts concerning this.
Let’s begin with the basics; in exercise more intense is better and less time under load is better. In other words, when you exercise (please note I am NOT talking about recreation which can be defined as anything that makes you sweat profusely yet does not develop muscle- more on this in another article) you want to use the Maximum resistance (weight) but you simply cannot lift in good form for a long time. Think of a heavy object. I am sure you can lift it several times but after a while your arms will collapse. You utilized the maximum effort but it did not take a long time to get muscular failure (you could not lift the object anymore.) Exercise then consists of utilizing the strongest muscles in your body and fatiguing them. You must get to the point where one more repetition is impossible. This hurts, is uncomfortable- you literally think you just cannot do one more and I push you for a last one. It’s like your body gives up. Then and only then you are done and you then proceed to another muscle group.
If we understand this concept, it is a given to achieve muscular failure you simply CANNOT workout for a long time- it is the minimal exercise (duration) for maximum results. A strenuous SuperSlow session can take from 15. At the beginning because the resistance (weight) is not too heavy yet (you progress over time) your workout may be 20 minutes or 25 yet as you become stronger (learner) you can push more weight and thus the time under-load (the time you lift up and down) will be less but you will be exercising better (more effectively) and thus you will be getting better results from doing “less.” So, less is really better. Do you see it, my reader?
We live in a consumer society where “more” equates to better. We eat at places where the portions are bigger because it is better (to whom?? Not your health. We visit all those “everything you can eat” restaurants and stuff ourselves because it is good to eat more. We buy and buy, even though we really don’t need all those thighs, but we do it because we have been conditioned: more is better. I don’t think it is better and deep inside I know you recognize this too. So in exercise, my dear clients, less is better!!
Train hard/ be blessed